Radical Change in Housing Policy needed

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Bray Labour local election candidates Anne Ferris and Ian McGahon are calling for a fundamental shift in the approach of the Government’s housing policy. It comes as a Labour Party Dáil motion calling for 80,000 homes to be built over five years was voted down by Fine Gael and Sinn Féin.
Ferris and McGahon said: “It was really surprising to see Sinn Féin siding with Fine Gael to vote down a Labour Party motion calling for thousands of publicly owned homes to be built. Every day people in Bray are telling us that housing is the biggest issue facing them due to soaring rents, high house prices, and insecure tenancies. It is is difficult to understand why Sinn Fein would side with the Fine Gael government when current government policy is badly failing people.
“There are now over 10,000 homeless people in Ireland at any one time, while the
cost of renting and buying a home has soared in recent years. The free market
approach of Fine Gael to housing provision has failed. The national strategy “Rebuilding Ireland” has not worked and it is time for the State to step in to directly commission and build 80,000 homes.

“Labour nationally has identified how €16 billion can be made available to achieve this, without raising taxes, by financing it from the Rainy Day Fund and the Ireland Strategic
Investment Fund, alongside a commitment to allowing Credit Unions to invest in
such a public housing fund.
“Labour housing policy also specifically focuses on the thousands of homes that can be
better insulated, in particular those in public ownership to help meet Ireland’s obligation to reduce carbon emissions, and to reduce fuel poverty.

“Labour wants to double the commitment under Part V to 20% for private housing
developments, and return powers to local authorities through Housing Executives for
the management, maintenance and development of housing at local government
level.

“Further, the Irish rental market is in urgent need of reform, to strengthen the
protection of tenants in the private rented sector from eviction and rent increases;
and to provide a strong legal basis for long term leasing.
All of these policy actions and reforms put together offer a strong viable alternative to current government failures that have made thousands homeless. Here in Bray we see these failures every day. The local elections on May 24th give people an opportunity to show their disgust with this governments failure and inaction on housing.

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