Govt must make affordable housing a priority – Brendan Smith


– State-led scheme is needed to kick start development –

 Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the government cannot continue to shy away from the housing affordability crisis and is calling on the Housing Minister to bring forward a State-led affordable housing scheme.

Fianna Fáil has brought forward a motion in the Dáil this week calling on the government to earmark an additional capital investment for a state led affordable housing scheme.

Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “People across Cavan and Monaghan are struggling to afford to buy their own homes as prices have started climbing again, but average incomes are not keeping pace.  Affordability is now a real issue and this government’s record to date has been abysmal.

“Fine Gael scrapped the Affordable Homes scheme in 2011 since then not one single affordable home has been built.  The Local Infrastructure Activation Fund aimed to build 5,600 new homes across the country.  None have been delivered to date.  This complete failure has led to a lack of supply, which in itself is fuelling the affordability crisis.

“People are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of availability of affordable homes in the border counties.  Rents are spiralling out of control and many people, who have saved for years to get a deposit together now find themselves priced out of the market.

“The government’s hands-off approach has led to a major supply shortage.  This cannot continue.  We need to see a State-led scheme to kick-start development in certain areas. This must involve an initial capital investment by the state, and the proceeds of these sales must be re-invested into more homes.

“My party will be putting pressure on the government to invest in an ambitious State-led scheme with clear targets in the upcoming budget.  Our motion this week is one of a number of steps we are taking to address growing affordability.”