Labour motion urges Government action on housing crisis

06 March 2024
  • Government housing targets consistently inadequate
  • Short-term letting regulation stalled, exacerbating housing shortage.

Labour’s Duncan Smith TD speaking on the Labour motion in the Dáil today reiterated the urgent need for Government action to address Ireland’s housing crisis.

Deputy Smith said

“Government’s housing targets are simply too low and are failing to meet the critical demand for affordable homes in our country. Homelessness has reached record highs with over 4,000 children without a home. This is simply unacceptable.

“The European Commission’s delay in regulating short-term lets is exacerbating the housing shortage, with over 18,000 entire homes listed on Airbnb compared to a mere 2,007 available for rent on Daft.

“According to Residential Tenancies Board data, 19,011 eviction notices were issued last year, with 61 percent attributed to property sales. This highlights the vulnerability of tenants and the urgent need for legislation to end no-fault evictions and protect tenants’ rights.

“Government has a choice. Government could choose policies included in Labour’s motion, which would help alleviate the housing disaster. Labour’s vision for housing could be implemented.

“Firstly, Government could increase building targets to a minimum of 50,000 homes per year to meet the established need for affordable housing. Additionally, measures to end no-fault evictions could be adopted promptly.

“Government could also set up a State Housing Construction Company through the LDA to increase the delivery of public homes to over 20,000 a year by increasing social homes delivery to 12,000 a year, and 10,000 affordable homes to rent or buy. This would futureproof our housing requirements.

“Furthermore, Government cannot afford to wait for the European Commission to act on regulating Airbnb-style lettings. Real enforcement powers must be granted to the Residential Tenancies Board to crack down on unscrupulous landlords and ensure tenants’ safety and rights are protected.

“Finally, funding could be allocated to local authorities to address vacancy and dereliction, and to deliver social and affordable homes for our communities. It’s time for Government to prioritise the well-being of its citizens over profit-driven policies.

“These are choices that Government could make. Government says it won’t oppose the Labour motion but this rings hollow when there is no action. The time for empty promises and half-measures is over. It’s time for Government to demonstrate real leadership and deliver tangible solutions to Ireland’s housing crisis.”


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