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Affordable housing needs to be prioritised- O'Sullivan

14 November 2017

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called on the Government to introduce a national affordable housing scheme as part of efforts to tackle the housing crisis.

It follows the latest ESRI report which shows house prices could rise by 20% over the next three years, while rent is also up by 11% in the year to September, according to Daft.ie.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“These latest reports make for grim reading but will not surprise the workers on average incomes for whom buying or renting a home has become unaffordable.

“Supply is clearly a critical issue here; not enough homes are being built. But we need to ensure that the homes that are built are affordable to rent and buy.

“The onus is now on the Government to pick up the slack from where the private sector has failed in terms of assisting in the delivery of homes that are genuinely affordable.

“The State has more than enough land to get to grips with this crisis, and must support the local authorities to ensure the 700 publicly owned sites that have already been identified for mixed tenure development, are used to deliver social and affordable housing.

“That is why the State simply must introduce a national affordable housing scheme.

“Today’s report from Daft.ie also shows the cost of renting a home, particularly in Dublin, is continuing to rise at an alarming rate.

“Many of these renters are those that are also trying to save to buy a home, and so are caught in a vicious cycle of high rents and an inability to save for a deposit.

“Ireland is moving in the direction of other European cities, where renting over home ownership is becoming more prevalent, and so we need to protect our rental sector and those tenants in it.

“If rent is not going to be linked to the CPI, as the Labour Party has been calling for, we need to see Rent Pressure Zones extended and ensure tenants have security of tenure.

“The shortage of supply has now become a crisis for those who are renting, those who can’t afford to buy and more specifically those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“This is no time for business as usual.”