Unacceptable failure to miss social housing targets – Housing for All is failing fast
Speaking after oral questions with the Minister for Housing, Labour leader Ivana Bacik TD has called for Government to put an end to the “endless parade of meaningless figures”, and to update its Housing for All plan in light of a continued failure to reach its self-prescribed targets.
Deputy Bacik called for an updated assessment to identify what Ireland’s potential requirement is, coupled with a clear pathway to ensuring that everyone has a home.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The Taoiseach’s admission that the housing crisis is holding us back as a country is of little use to the thousands of people across the country living in precarious situations, living in homelessness and living pay check to pay check paying extortionate rents.
“I’m particularly concerned at the failure of the Housing Minister to reach his own housing targets for social homes for the past three years in a row. When challenged on the shortcoming by me in the Dáil Chamber this morning, he merely reiterated the Government’s targets without accounting for his failure to meet them.
“No matter what targets the Government sets, the experience of people who come to my office every day is that they cannot find a home. It is heart-breaking, and no amount of spin can change that.
“As recently as 10 days ago, the Taoiseach himself arbitrarily announced an increase to 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.
“There seems to be an acceptance by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil of these latest missed targets for building social homes. This simply isn’t good enough.
“Labour is calling on the 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.
“Earlier this month, the Housing Department published record breaking homelessness figures. The Government have failed to respond. The record 11,542 people living in homelessness don’t have time for any more missed targets. They need an Ireland that works and a Government that is committed to building the homes that are so desperately needed.”