Government's "tinkering" with tax breaks is evidence of their lack of understanding of the housing crisis.
That's the warning issued by Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, who was speaking to Newstalk on the second anniversary of the launch of the current Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael housing plan.
The warning comes as reports this morning suggest that tax measures are being prepared to incentivise people to live in apartments.
Reports also suggest that an enhanced rent-a-room scheme will allow up to €20,000 per room to be earned tax-free is being considered.
Since 2017, the annual exemption limit has been €14,000, and if the gross rental income does not exceed the exemption limit, landlords do not pay income tax, PRSI or USC.
Deputy Ó Broin said this is the approach that saw the housing crisis "deepen" under the Fine Gael Government from 2016 to 2020.
"It deepened even further since Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael formally entered the coalition," he said.
"We need the direct delivery of tens of thousands of social affordable homes by Government, not tinkering around the edges and more tax breaks from developers.
"The very fact that Government continues to propose the same kinds of things is evidence that they don't understand the problem."
'Making it worse'
In a statement this morning, Deputy Ó Broin said that in the last two years since Government launched their housing plan, "almost every indicator shows that not only is the plan not working, it is actually making the housing crisis worse".
“In the last two years, homelessness has increased by 56%. Child homelessness has increased by a staggering 78%," he said.
“Government missed their social housing new build target by 17% last year and even worse missed their affordable housing target by 60%.
“We are almost at the end of the third quarter of 2024 and the Government has not yet released in Q1 or Q2 social and affordable housing progress report.
"This does not indicate that Government is making progress and all the indications are that Government will again miss its social and affordable housing targets this year.
“Since the Governments housing plan was introduced, rents have increased by 21% and house prices by 8%. New rents are now on average €3000 more a year than in 2021. It is now on average €22,000 more expensive to buy a home than in 2021.
“The supply of genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy is pitifully low. Last year just 323 affordable purchase homes were delivered and just 684 cost rental homes were completed.
“The Government’s housing plan made big promises. Two years in and it has been marked by delay and poor delivery. Not only are Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael failing to tackle the housing crisis, they are making it worse."