Lame Duck Agency shows a Government out of its depth on housing

Ivana Bacik TD
24 October 2023

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik said Government are asleep at the wheel on housing.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Bacik said Government are not across the financial or legislative detail when it comes to housing.

Deputy Bacik said:

“It’s not just in health that we find gaping holes in this Government’s Budget. We understand from Minister O’Brien that €6 billion is to be allocated to the Land Development Agency, but it is entirely unclear as to where this is coming from.

“Even if the Minister manages to find the funds down the back of the couch, the Government will still need to act to ensure that  LDA has effective legislative powers.

“A change in terminology by the CSO means that provisions in the Act which creates compulsory purchase powers for the Agency have now been rendered ineffective.

“The irony is that the Department of Housing was on the working group which decided to make that change in terminology. Now that Labour has pointed this out, it’s clear that amending legislation will be necessary to restore adequate powers to the Agency.

“In the meantime, we might better refer to the LDA as the Lame Duck Agency.

“So just what is going on in the Department of Housing? Today, almost seven months on from its announcement, the Minister has finally published details of his ‘panacea’, announced when the Government decided to lift the temporary no-fault eviction ban – a renters’ first refusal when their landlord is selling up.

“It’s extraordinary that seven months on, this is the best the Minister could do. The majority of renters who are forking out their hard earned money on extortionate rents aren’t able to save for a mortgage.

“This is all happening in the context of tax breaks worth over €160 million for landlords announced in Budget 2024.

“Meanwhile, nearly 13,000 people are in state emergency accommodation; almost 4,000 of those are children. Tens of thousands of people are whittling away their savings on rent, when they should be able to buy a home of their own. Just what is going on in the Department of Housing?”

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