April 16, 2023
Minister for Housing must explain colossal failure to deliver affordable homes – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has demanded that the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, account for his €1bn budget underspend and explain his complete failure to deliver affordable housing.

Deputy Ó Broin was speaking ahead of a Sinn Féin motion on affordable housing, which will be debated in the Dáil this Tuesday.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The buck stops with Darragh O’Brien. 

“After three years as Housing Minister, he must account for his failures and answer the question: Where are the affordable homes?

“The truth is he has no answer. 

“Zero affordable purchase or rental homes were delivered by his government in 2020.

“Zero affordable purchase homes and just 65 cost rental homes were delivered in 2021.

“The target for affordable purchase and cost rental homes for 2022 was too low and will not be met.

“On top of these colossal failures, the government’s unforgivable decision to end the ban on no-fault evictions and their mismanagement of the private rental sector has led to widespread fear for tens of thousands of renters.

“Unable to find alternative affordable accommodation, many facing eviction feel a sense of shame. But they should not feel any shame – that shame belongs squarely at the feet of Darragh O’Brien and his government.

“The majority of these renters are working people – teachers, nurses, Gardaí, retail and service sector workers – many of whom are not eligible for social housing. They need affordable homes to rent and buy.

“The revelation that Darragh O’Brien has failed to spend €1bn of his capital budget for social and affordable homes since 2020 is scandalous.

“During the worst housing crisis in modern times, Darragh O’Brien needs to explain how such a huge underspend is possible.

“Among the measures Sinn Féin is calling for this week is for the government to dramatically increase its investment in the delivery of genuinely affordable homes for working people.

“That investment should deliver at least 8,000 affordable homes to rent and buy per year.

“The funding streams and approval processes for the delivery of affordable homes must be streamlined to accelerate the delivery of these homes.

“The government must also reinstate the ban on no-fault evictions to protect all renters, and introduce an emergency package of measures to prevent people from becoming homeless.

“The controversial Shared Equity Loan scheme and the so-called Help to Buy scheme should be scrapped and the funding diverted into the delivery of genuinely affordable homes.

“We need a real housing plan with real ambition and real solutions to this crisis. 

“Sinn Féin will exhaust every avenue possible to drive the changes that are necessary to deliver affordable homes for working people.”

Sinn Féin’s affordable housing motion can be read here.

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