Time for Radical Reset of Housing Policy in Ireland

Ivana Bacik TD
21 May 2024
  • Government’s failure is undeniable

Labour leader and Housing Spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD has responded urgently to the latest report from the independent Housing Commission, which has sharply criticised the government’s housing policies. The Commission has called for a “radical strategic reset of housing policy” and revealed an underlying housing deficit in Ireland of up to 256,000 homes. This report confirms what we have long known: the government’s approach to housing has failed spectacularly.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The Housing Commission’s report is a damning indictment of the government’s failure to address the housing crisis. It highlights what Labour candidates have been hearing on the doorsteps across the country: rents are rising, homelessness is increasing, and house prices are soaring. Government has utterly failed to manage this crisis.

“The Commission’s estimate of a housing deficit ranging from 212,500 to 256,000 homes, based on 2022 Census figures, sets out in stark terms the scale of the problem. Supply of housing is far too slow, and this deficit is proof of years of neglect and mismanagement. It’s not as though the Government hasn’t had opportunities to change course. Instead, they have relied excessively on the private market and implemented policies that merely tinker around the edges of a disaster.

“Years of economic prosperity have been wasted by successive governments that failed to tackle what is undoubtedly the issue of our time. Labour is calling for immediate, radical change. We would take decisive action to end the overreliance on private investors in the housing market and adopt a State-led approach to building more affordable homes, dealing with the rent crisis, and tackling homelessness.

“Labour has a vision for housing. Labour will build, and build back fairer. We propose to allocate an additional €1.45 billion in capital to the delivery of housing. We will protect renters and end speculative land hoarding. We are committed to doubling State delivery of cost rental and affordable housing, increasing income limits for social housing eligibility to €40,000 per person, and moving towards doubling state investment in direct social build.

“We urge the government to listen to the Housing Commission and take immediate, decisive action to radically reset housing policy. The time for half measures and ineffective policies is over. Ireland needs a comprehensive housing strategy that truly addresses the housing disaster. The government must act now to provide real solutions to the housing crisis.”


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