Stark Housing Figures Highlight Government Inaction

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
22 January 2021

Labour spokesperson on housing Senator Rebecca Moynihan has said it is very worrying to read the Central Bank’s projection that up to 23,000 fewer homes will be built than necessary due to Covid-19. With the Government failing to address the growing housing crisis, Senator Moynihan has reiterated the need for state intervention in housing.

Senator Moynihan said: “The update from the Central Bank is stark and very worrying, however it will not come as a surprise given the scale of the crisis pre-Covid. Even throughout the pandemic with many suffering immense financial hardship, house prices continued to rise. Now, this, coupled with a lack of supply and with an increase in savings, housing is even more unaffordable than this time last year.

“I’m gravely concerned about the Government’s lack of ambition or resolve on this fundamental societal issue. Over a quarter of voters in last year’s general election stated that housing and homeless was the main issue, yet the Government continues to turn a blind eye to the crisis.

“The continued failure to meet Rebuilding Ireland targets further highlights this. Figures from last December show that only 1,700 sites have been completed, compared to the 8,907 target – that’s less than 20%.

“With supply such a critical issue, we simply have to start building more homes – but homes that people can afford to both rent and buy, for the thousands of people on ordinary incomes that are getting squeezed out of the current market. We cannot continue to rely so heavily on the private sector to supply homes, as this is clearly not working.

“If the Covid-19 crisis has shone a light on anything in relation to the housing crisis, it is that we cannot allow people to languish in hotels and in hubs. The only solution out of this is by directly building social and affordable homes.

“The Government can’t even deliver on the low targets they have set themselves within Rebuilding Ireland. These targets are constantly being missed and the only people who have to suffer the consequences are those who are on our housing waiting lists across the country. For our communities to continue to grow and flourish, even during this health crisis, we must act now so that fairer development is at the heart of building of housing, infrastructure and amenities.”

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