FF proposals on Affordable Housing insufficient, inefficient and unsustainable

12 September 2018

Speaking in response to Fianna Fáil’s proposal for €200 million for ‘affordable housing’ and their claim this would provide 4000 homes, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD, argued that the Fianna Fáil proposals are insufficient, inefficient and unsustainable.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Fianna Fáil are asking the Government to spend an additional €200 million in Budget 2019 on affordable housing, which is a clear signal that they are not taking the housing crisis seriously. With over 100,000 households on housing waiting lists and even greater numbers facing rents they cannot afford, the volume of housing needed is in the tens of thousands per annum.

“That is why Labour has proposed spending €16 billion over five years, in a project of State-led development of 80,000+ homes. We have at least €5 billion in the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund that can be allocated to house-building now, if the Government so chooses. As college professors have argued, the Government simply needs to get on with it.

“Fianna Fáil’s plan seems to be to make housing affordable by giving for-profit developers €50,000 per home to make them more affordable for buyers and also giving public land away for free. Who will choose the lucky ones who get this subsidy? This is economically inefficient as such largesse will not be available for all those who need housing.

“Labour would cut out the for-profit developer by having a new National Housing Development Bank act as a non-profit agency to commission builders to supply much needed homes. We would keep public land in public ownership, but create rent-to-buy and tenant-purchase schemes that give people a realistic pathway to paying for home ownership if they so desire.

“Once Fianna Fáil give away public land, how will they house the next generation? That’s unsustainable. Labour proposes following the European norm of municipal housing. Three or four people out of every ten rent from the cities of Amsterdam or Vienna, and this should be the norm in Ireland too.

“People from all walks of life should be able to afford high quality rental accommodation from their local authority.

“What Fianna Fáil is proposing is insufficient, inefficient and unsustainable. It shows how much Fianna Fáil is stuck in the past when they advocate giving away public money and public land for private gain.”

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