June 10, 2022
Micheál Martin must stop blaming others for government’s housing crisis – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Taoiseach Micheál Martin of desperately trying to deflect responsibility for his government’s housing policy failures. 

The Dublin Mid-West TD urged the Taoiseach to stop blaming others for the housing crisis and to start implementing policies that will deliver the affordable homes that people need.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that heads would have to be knocked together to tackle the housing crisis. 

“He has been Taoiseach for two years. During that time, homelessness has increased, rents and house prices have spiralled upwards, and output of public and private housing has been glacial. 

“What the hell have Micheál Martin and his Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien been doing for the last 24 months?

“The Taoiseach is desperately trying to deflect responsibility for his government’s housing policy failures. He should stop blaming others for the housing crisis and start implementing policies that will deliver the affordable homes that people need.

“The Taoiseach’s criticisms of the pace of land transfer from state agencies to the Land Development Agency is a case in point. 

“When the LDA legislation passed through the Oireachtas, Sinn Féin and others warned that, without comprehensive compulsory purchase order powers, the new agency would have limited ability to acquire and develop underutilised public land. 

“This view was shared by agencies such as NESC, ESRI and TASC.

“Despite repeated requests for government to amend the LDA Act to make it an effective active land management agency, Minister Darragh O’Brien chose to give the agency limited ransom strip CPO powers.

“This is the reason why, four years on from its creation, the LDA has proved ineffective with respect to ensuring best use of public land.

“Added to this is the refusal of government to cut the red tape applied to local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and others when developing public housing. 

“This means that even when the LDA does acquire land, such as in Shanganagh, Dún Laoghaire, developments are still taking far too long.

“If Micheál Martin is frustrated with the lack of progress on land acquisition and affordable housing delivery, then he should be frustrated with himself, his Housing Minister and his government. 

“They are the ones who approved the limited CPO powers for the LDA. They are the ones refusing to reform the public spending code. And, crucially, they are the ones refusing to invest in the delivery of 20,000 of social and affordable homes that are needed every year.

“It is time for the Taoiseach to accept that the deepening housing and homeless crisis is the result of decisions he and his cabinet colleagues have made over the last two years. 

“Only a radical shift in housing policy and a doubling of direct capital investment in social and affordable homes can fix the Fine Gael Fianna Fáil housing crisis.”

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