News & Media

July stimulus is a missed opportunity for housing

23 July 2020

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Rebecca Moynihan
  • Nothing for renters
  • More of the same failed approach

The July stimulus is a missed opportunity for housing with nothing for renters according to Labour Housing Spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It is clear from what has been announced today that Housing obviously wasn’t the priority for the Government’s July stimulus. I am disappointed that there was no relief for renters as part of the July stimulus, who spend a far greater proportion of their income than homeowners on their home.

“This plan represents more of the same failed thinking that has exacerbated the housing crisis over the last number of years, the same failed thinking that Minister O’Brien railed against while in opposition.

“In the area of retrofitting, of which the Green Party were such strong advocates while in opposition, the Government could have used the stimulus to put people back into work by announcing a programme to upgrade the existing social housing stock.

“Instead the stimulus only focuses on vacant homes or voids. While I welcome this initiative to refurbish voids, the Minister needs to ensure that local authorities stick to their targets and don’t fall behind as they have in the past.

“The changes announced to the Help to Buy scheme will do nothing for first time buyers as they do not address the issue of a lack of affordable housing which is at the heart of the housing crisis. If the Minister was serious about addressing this, he could have supplied and funded a direct build programme as part of the stimulus.

Moynihan continued:

“Today’s announcement amounts to nothing more than a rehash of existing policies and is a missed opportunity to deal with the housing crisis which is obviously not a priority for the new Government. The lack of supports for renters who spend 25% more than owner occupiers on essentials and of a comprehensive retrofitting programme shows that this new Minister has adopted most of the failed policies of his predecessor which will result in more misery for the tens of thousands affected by the housing crisis.