FG need to change their ideological approach to housing

28 March 2019

Speaking in relation to the shocking rise of homelessness beyond 10,000, the leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, challenged Minister Eoghan Murphy’s ideological rigidity.

Deputy Howlin said:

“I have listened to Minister Murphy claim that Labour spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan’s desire to strengthen tenants’ rights is an ‘ideological’ view.

“With over 10,000 people experiencing homelessness, Eoghan Murphy’s remarks speak volumes about his own rigid ideology. His preference is clearly to give stronger protection to private property rights than to people’s fundamental right to shelter.

“The ideology of this Fine Gael Government is precisely why they have failed to end the homelessness crisis, despite having the resources available to do so.

“When Labour was in Government, the first time there was any available money, I allocated as much as possible to build social housing again.

“The solution to the homelessness crisis is not rocket science. This Government has the public-owned land and access to money, and there are sufficient builders in the economy. What is missing is the political will for a State-led approach to build the necessary affordable housing and social housing.

“Labour would allocate at least €16 billion over five years, without raising taxes, to build 80,000 homes on public land, and make them available to people of all backgrounds, just like they do in countless European cities, including Vienna where two-thirds of people rent quality, affordable housing from the city.

“If people want a change of policy, they have the opportunity in the local and European elections on 24th May to send a clear signal to this Government that its ideology is preventing it from meeting people’s basic needs.”

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