Targets plucked from thin air will not solve housing crisis

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
11 January 2023

Responding to comments made by an Taoiseach yesterday in relation to updated Housing for All targets, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said the Taoiseach is plucking figures from his head without any basis in reality.

Senator Moynihan said an updated assessment is needed of what Ireland’s potential housing requirement is, coupled with a pathway to achieving that, instead of arbitrarily increasing the annual housing target from 33,000 to 40,000.

Senator Moynihan said:

“We’ve entered a new era of housing spin with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar using the first weeks of January to start a talking shop on housing rather than taking practical steps to addressing Ireland’s housing disaster.

“At a press conference yesterday, the Taoiseach seemed to arbitrarily increase the Housing for All targets from an annual average of 33,000 houses to 40,000. This figures appear to be plucked from thin air rather than based in fact. This is in the context of seven years of failed Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil housing policy, the hallmark of which has been missed targets.

“Labour is calling on the new Taoiseach to work with his Housing Minister and carry out an assessment of Ireland’s potential housing requirement that takes into account the missed targets of the last seven years, the growing population and patterns in migration.

“We then need a pathway as to how that will be achieved by the State, by Local Development Authorities and by the private sector. There can be no more fantasies from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil when it comes to housing.

“Last week the Department published record breaking homelessness figures. The Government’s response seems to be to hold a press conference announcing new, unfounded figures, rather than focusing on rolling up their sleeves, investing in education, training and apprenticeships, identifying new sites and astutely managing current projects.

“The record 11,542 people living in homelessness don’t have time for spin, nor do the many people driven out of our cities due to extortionate rents or the adult children living with parents.”

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