Emergency Housing for All plan needed to get people through the winter

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
23 September 2022
  • Time limited eviction ban and rent freeze
  • Implement purchases with tenant in situ
  • Focus on increased delivery of social and affordable homes

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has demanded the introduction of an Emergency Housing for All plan to keep people from entering homelessness this winter.

A Labour analysis of Housing for All last month revealed a grim story of major delays, a rental trap, overcooked house prices and systemic homelessness failings. This analysis now appears to be backed up by the scrutiny of the Cabinet Committee on Housing. Senator Moynihan said further delays as unacceptable as people pay the price for failed targets and delivery.

Senator Moynihan said:

“If you look at any markers of a functioning housing market it’s clear that Housing for All is failing to make the situation better for people – rents continue to skyrocket with little to no security for the renter and house prices are out of kilter with any concept of fairness. Increasingly, I’m deeply concerned about the huge increase in no fault evictions experienced by many loyal and hardworking renters throughout the country simply because their landlord is selling up.

“Labour has followed the progress of Housing for All closely. Like everyone affected by the housing crisis, we want it to succeed. However the evidence is it is failing fast. The latest warning from the Cabinet Committee on Housing must be heeded and, much like this year’s budget, the Minister must produce an emergency Housing for All plan to deal with the increase in evictions, to safeguard people from entering homelessness this winter and to help better accommodate the Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Ireland almost seven months ago.

“An Emergency Housing for All strategy for the winter would implement a time limited rent freeze and eviction ban to give renters certainty in the midst of runaway inflation and soaring energy costs; it would equip local authorities to buy housing where there is a tenant in situ to keep people out of homelessness; it would focus on delivering social and affordable homes to speed up supply coming on stream.

“The minister is relying on spin over any real substance, with a penchant for photocalls rather than plans. It’s clear that this approach is not working for tens of thousands of people, with actions being delayed particularly in the area of social and affordable housing which is desperately needed in the overcooked market. It appears that any of the measures delivered to date are meerly tinkering at the edges and shrot-term band aids without any of the ambitious home building projects that are desperately needed to accommodate families, single people and elderly people.

“Indeed, the Committee’s own analysis shows that key projects such as incentivising old people to downsize have been delayed, despite such a measure having the potential to change the entire makeup of Ireland’s housing stock. There has been little to no focus on apartments which would play a huge role in getting homes for older people who want to downsize or single people who want to own their own affordable home. This policy failure is continuously ignored by the Minister.

“There can be no further delays. It’s time for an Emergency Housing for All plan to get people through the winter.”

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