News & Media

Labour wants the State to build 80,000 homes over five years

10 April 2019

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

Labour’s motion before the Dáil today calls for a fundamental shift in the approach of the Government’s housing policy. Labour spokesperson on housing, planning and local government, Jan O’Sullivan TD, will lead on the private members business.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“There are now over 10,000 homeless people in Ireland at any one time, while the cost of renting and buying a home has soared in recent years. The free market approach of Fine Gael to housing provision has failed. Rebuilding Ireland has not worked and it is time for the State to step in to directly commission and build 80,000 homes.

“Labour has identified how €16 billion can be made available to achieve this, without raising taxes, by financing it from the Rainy Day Fund and Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, alongside a commitment to allowing Credit Unions to invest in such a public housing fund.

“Labour’s motion also specifically focuses on the thousands of homes that can be better insulated, in particular those in public ownership to help meet Ireland’s obligation to reduce carbon emissions, and to reduce fuel poverty.

“Labour wants to double the commitment under Part V to 20% for private housing developments, and return powers to local authorities through Housing Executives for the management, maintenance and development of housing at local government level.

“Further, the Irish rental market is in urgent need of reform, to strengthen the protection of tenants in the private rented sector from eviction and rent increases; and to provide a strong legal basis for long term leasing. The current approach of Government is not enough, and already too late for the thousands that have been made homeless due to the failure of Fine Gael to act over the last three years despite multiple efforts by the Opposition to change the law in this area.

“The Labour Party recognises that shelter is a fundamental human right, and we are asking the Dáil to declare that it is the duty of the Government and the State to ensure everyone has that right fulfilled, and we outline a programme of policy actions to achieve that.”