April 19, 2021
Minister O’Brien finally appearing before the Housing the Committee – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented ahead of the Minister Darragh O’Brien’s first appearance at the Housing Committee tomorrow evening to provide an update on the Programme for Government commitments on housing.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Nine months after he took office, Minister Darragh O’Brien is finally coming before the Oireachtas Housing committee to provide an update on his housing plans.

“The committee has been asking him to attend for some time, as his predecessors Eoghan Murphy and Simon Coveney attended at least four times a year to take questions and provide quarterly updates.

“Unfortunately, Minster O’Brien has developed a reputation for avoiding scrutiny.  He has by-passed pre-legislative scrutiny with two renters’ bills and the Land Development Agency Bill.

“The committee session tomorrow evening and the upcoming questions in the Dáil on the 5th May will provide opposition TDs with an opportunity to examine what the Minister’s housing policy plan is.

“The housing dysfunction hasn’t gone away. Rents are still too high, house prices are continuing to rise, social housing output is struggling; and current government schemes are failing to deliver any genuinely affordable homes.

“For example, the latest CSO Residential Property Price Index report shows that in the last eight years, house prices in Dublin have increased by 95%.

“The latest Employment Conditions Abroad International report confirms that Dublin is the fifth most expensive city in which to rent in Europe, with the recent Daft.ie rent prices report shows that average new rents in Dublin are €1,951. 

“RTB data published last month shows that rents are still rising across the state, with Dublin commuter belt counties seeing a 5% rent increase in the last 12 months.

“These unsustainable prices, coupled with the lifting of the eviction ban this Thursday, mean there is now a very real concern among NGOs that this could all lead to an increase in family homeless presentations.

“After nine months in office Minister O’Brien has had a more generous grace period than those who went before him.  He must now outline what plan his government has in place to tackle the housing crisis.”

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