Housing for All plan 'nowhere close to the level of need' - Ó Broin


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.58 3 Sep 2021


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Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson says the majority of the Government's Housing for All plan is 'padding'.

Eoin Ó Broin was speaking after publication of the report on Thursday, which he says contains very little in terms of actual housing.

The €4bn per year plan pledges that 300,000 new homes will be built between now and 2030 - that includes 90,000 social homes and 54,000 affordable homes.

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But Deputy Ó Broin told Pat Kenny once you go beyond the figures, the substance is not there.

"The vast majority of the 160 pages are padding, but when you actually scratch beneath the kind of bloated figures that have been used in the press conference yesterday and you look at the actual delivery - particularly of affordable homes over the coming years.

"This plan is deeply disappointing - next year we're only going to get, at the very top end, 2,000 genuinely affordable homes.

"We might get 3,000-3,500 the year after, and threonin it'll hit about 4,000.

"That's nowhere close to the level of need that people desperately seeking to buy their own home - or those people stuck with very high rents out there - are looking for.

"And likewise for renters, there really is nothing new.

"The claim that they're going to introduce tenancies of indefinite duration is misleading, there's nothing to stop rising rents".

Construction costs

He says the Government is planning a slight technical change to the Residential Tenancies Act, instead of an overhaul.

"My criticism of this plan is many of the things it's claiming - such as for example tenancies of indefinite duration or measures to protect renters from rising rents - aren't actually in the plan.

"So whether it's social housing, affordable housing, renters or homelessness the big claims that were made yesterday... when you scratch beneath the surface and see the actual facts, unfortunately what this Government is doing is repeating the same failed housing policies of the last five years".

And he says while construction costs are rising, there are other ways to keep the costs down.

"Unfortunately construction costs, because of Brexit of COVID, are going to rise - although most industry experts reckon that they'll then kind of flatline early next year.

"How you do it of course is not on the cost of materials side - but on how you treat land, how you treat margins and how you treat the other soft costs."

He also suggests targeting a much larger cohort of derelict and vacant properties could deliver more affordable homes - and also help meet Ireland's climate change targets.

"We don't just need to tackle a few hundred of those each year, we need thousands of the 90,000 vacant homes brought back into use.

"For me... one of the most disappointing things is that they've kicked the can of the Vacant Property Tax down the road for another year".

Main image: Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing, Eoin Ó Broin, speaking to media on the plinth at Leinster House. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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Eoin O Broin Housing For All Housing For All Plan New Homes Pat Kenny Social Homes Vacant Property Tax

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