News & Media

Labour unveils ambitious plans to tackle housing crisis

3 October 2019

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

The Labour Party recognises that the housing and homelessness crisis is one of the biggest issues facing this generation.

In it's Alternative Budget for 2020, the party has put forward a fully costed plan to tackle this crisis by implementing one of the biggest affordable home building projects in the history of the state, providing increased funding for the retrofitting of public housing, and further investment to take annual delivery of social housing units to 10,000.

Unveiling the measures today, Labour Housing spokesperson, Deputy Jan O’Sullivan said:

“For seven months now, the total number of people who are homeless in this State has surpassed 10,000. This includes nearly four thousand children.

“At the same time, rent in many parts of the country is higher than it ever was at the height of the boom and continues to rise, forcing more people into homelessness, while others can’t afford to save for a house.

“It is very clear that the housing market has failed to deliver.

“Labour believes that the State must build homes again, while freezing private rents and changing incentives to make private developers deliver homes that people can afford to buy.

“In our Alternative Budget for 2020, Labour has proposed a comprehensive and costed €16 billion plan to provide at least 80,000 units of affordable housing over five years to transform the Irish housing system and end the boom to bust cycle.

“By immediately building more social housing, we can reduce the pressure on the private rental market and reduce Government spending on rental subsidies.

“We have also committed a further €450 million in capital expenditure in 2020 to ensure the total delivery of 10,000 social housing units next year. This would provide for an additional 2,264 homes next year on top of the existing Rebuilding Ireland plan commitments.

“With over 140,000 publicly owned homes in the State, the time has come to ensure they are warm and energy efficient, so we are also committing a further €100m for the retrofitting of social housing alongside additional funding for the Warmer Homes Scheme targeted at low income households.

“There are other non-budgetary measures that Labour has proposed to tackle the housing crisis, such as the freezing of rents for a temporary period, strengthening tenants’ rights, recognising the rights of a child in a homeless situation, and measures to tackle speculative land hoarding.”

ENDS

Building An Equal Society - Our Alternative Budget 2020 is available here:

https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/building_an_equal_society_-_labours_alternative_budget_2020.pdf