Housing plans for change ignored by government in Dáil.

In March 2024 Labour Party TDs tabled a motion in the Dáil called for increased housing targets and regulation of the housing sector. The Government parties wouldn’t even oppose it but refused to change course. They ignore sensible and costed ideas from Labour that would make a real difference to resolving the housing crisis. These are the sort of measures urgently needed to address the housing crisis.

Labour called for:

  • increased government housing targets to be published with an implementation plan to deliver the minimum 50,000 new homes we need a year that should also include ringfenced provision for older people, and people with disabilities.
  • the introduction of greater security for renters through legislation to further limit the grounds for eviction and to end no fault evictions.
  • The European Commission to stop dragging its feet on the regulation of short term lets and for the government to act aggressively to return homes to long term rental.
  • A European Plan for Affordable Housing that will protect state investment in public housing, end the financialisation of housing, and tackle speculation in the housing system.
  • Increased enforcement powers for the Residential Tenancies Board and local authorities to ensure exploitative landlords are held to account.
  • A doubling of the tenant in situ scheme to at least 3,000 homes a year, and increased take up of the cost rental tenant in situ scheme.
  • increased funding for local authorities to tackle vacancy and dereliction through the compulsory purchase of empty buildings.

This wasn’t our first Dáil motion trying to get the government parties to change their failed policies – in February 2023 Labour TD’s put down a Dáil motion to get the Government to change course, calling for the Minister to implement the following emergency housing measures:

  • Extend the eviction ban and mandate the RTB to inform local authorities when a notice for eviction has been served to a tenant.
  • Introduce monthly reporting from each local authority on the tenant-in-situ scheme with adequate reasons as to why the purchase of a rental property wasn’t proceeded with.
  • Begin an emergency public house building programme using the full resources of the state with monthly reporting on the number of housing commencements by local authorities, approved housing bodies and the Land Development Agency.
  • Commence the rapid compulsory purchase of vacant and derelict properties by local authorities with targets for each, and mandate the Land Development Agency to CPO and assemble small sites for owner occupier co-operative housing developments.
  • Introduce a mechanism to allow tenants access to the rent credit when their landlord has not registered with the RTB; and increase resourcing for the RTB.
  • Increase the national housing targets to a minimum of 50,000 a year and double the delivery of social and affordable housing.
  • Adopt and pass into law the Residential Tenancies (Tenants’ Rights) Bill 2021, and Acquisition of Development Land (Assessment of Compensation) Bill 2021.
  • Endorse and rapidly progress Labour’s Housing (Homeless Families) Bill, which requires local authorities to recognise and prioritise the needs of children in accordance with their best interests and constitutional rights.

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