Housing Crisis is “The Civil Rights Issue of This Generation” – Bacik
- Minister Harris and Minister Donnelly must work together to bring vacant HSE properties into supply
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions today, Labour Leader and Housing Spokesperson Ivana Bacik condemned the Government for their failure to tackle effectively the “civil rights issue of this generation” – the housing crisis.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The housing crisis is the civil rights issue of our generation. It is denying people the basic human right to a safe and affordable place to live. The government needs to do more to address this crisis, and it needs to do it now.
“We know the devastating impact that the housing crisis is having on people’s lives. Bringing vacant and derelict houses back into use could represent one way and indeed be low-hanging fruit in a range of measures necessary to tackle the systemic issue of supply when it comes to housing.
“In the short term, tackling vacancy and dereliction would bring much needed homes on stream.
“In the medium term, it would save tax payers money and in the long term it would end the destructive cycle of allowing communities to fall apart from neglect.
“We know from recent reports that the HSE owns more than 250 empty buildings across the country. It’s outrageous that the Government hasn’t instructed the HSE to release these empty buildings to house people who are so desperately seeking accommodation.
“This isn’t a silver bullet, but it is just one example of how the public sector could be doing more to help with the housing crisis.
“Today, students are taking to the streets to highlight the range of issues facing them between the increased cost of living and the total dearth of affordable student accommodation. Minister Harris should be working with his colleague, Minister Donnelly, to instruct the HSE to end its hoarding of vacant properties. He should have all the expertise from his time in the Ministry.
“We need a sense of urgency from the Government on tackling the housing crisis. We cannot allow people to continue to suffer in this way.”