Government must get to grips with affordable housing crisis by building on state land

April 16, 2018

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD today called on the government to get to grips with the chronic shortage of affordable homes and ensure that state land is used to provide both social and affordable housing.

Deputy Murphy made her comments as RTÉ reported that a government scheme to incentivise the construction of affordable homes has not paid out a single cent since its announcement in November 2015.

Deputy Murphy said:

“This report is just the latest confirmation of the abject failure of the government’s efforts which relies on the market to deliver social and affordable housing. It is blatantly obvious that the market cannot deliver genuinely affordable homes. Recent reports of people queuing for days for a chance to buy homes off the plans show just how dysfunctional the housing market has become.

“We need to see a much more aggressive and determined approach to tackling the housing emergency which is forcing people into continuing to pay rents which in many areas are skyrocketing. The government is not maximising the use of available land – both public and private – to deliver social housing and affordable housing to rent or buy at prices that people on average incomes can access.

“The only certain way to deliver affordable housing faster is for the state to get building and develop public landbanks. There are more than 700 sites owned by local authorities and the Housing Agency, with a further 30 sites owned by state bodies.”

ENDS

16 April 2018