Labour's proposals for State-led action to fix the housing system
The Labour Party believes that Ireland’s housing problems can be solved. We can build an Ireland where every child grows up in decent housing in a good neighbourhood.
A range of State-led measures are needed, including taxes and levies, to strongly motivate those with available land to develop housing on it now, and to eliminate profiteering. At the same time, it is clear that the main source of affordable housing has to be the State.
Labour has identified how €16 billion can be invested, over five years, to deliver 80,000+ affordable homes, including traditional council housing and a new form of public housing that would be available to all at an affordable cost.
Labour's housing policy has over 70 distinct proposals.
A summary of the main policies are as follows:
- A single national State agency, called the National Housing Development Bank, is to be given the powers, the land, the expertise and the money to deliver housing now. This will replace the existing Housing Agency and the Housing Finance Agency, and will take resources, including land and expert staff, from NAMA.
- Housing Executives will be created in a selection of local councils, on a regional basis, to concentrate expertise and resources and to restore the capacity of local government to deliver social and affordable housing.
- A referendum will be held to recognise socio-economic rights in the Constitution, including the right to a means of affording housing, to be fulfilled on the basis of available resources.
- Public land will be made available for social and affordable housing, including schemes of affordable home ownership, but public land will not be sold.
- Every town, rural townland and urban area will have a masterplan developed, which will demonstrate how all the necessary services and amenities will be provided so that housing is integrated into sustainable, thriving communities.
- Sustainable Community and Housing Quality Standards will be put into law.
- Robust plans will be put in place to address the housing needs of specific groups, such as Travellers, students and older people.
- A new deal for the rental sector that protects tenants and recognises the challenges faced by single-property landlords in complying with regulation.
- A range of measures designed to push land owners towards the development of vacant sites rather than land hoarding.
- Supports for collective approaches to home ownership for low- and middle-income households