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Housing for All update report amounts to spin over substance

15 November 2023

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has said this Government’s housing policy seems to prioritise spin over substance.

Responding to the update report delivered by the three Government leaders, Deputy Bacik characterised it as reflecting a serious inadequacy and ineffectiveness in government policy on housing.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The Government’s half baked policy approach to housing is having devastating real life impacts. We know that two-thirds of young adults are still living in their childhood bedrooms, we have record breaking levels of homelessness which continue to skyrocket under the watch of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and we have a rental market in utter disarray.

“Fianna Fáil remain far too reliant on the private sector to pick up the pieces of a failing housing strategy.

“No where is this more evident than in the failure for Minister O’Brien to focus on the delivery of social and affordable homes.

“The delivery of social and affordable homes is crucial to protecting those at the hard edge of the rental market. We need to see more focus and funding given to local authorities to get back to building and providing social and affordable homes if we are to meaningfully address the housing crisis. Government is failing to do so.

“The short-termism at the heart of housing will have long-lasting consequences for people in this country and young people in particular who feel they have no chance of ever owning a place of their own.

“Even when we look at supports in place for people hoping to get on the housing ladder, the Government is failing to provide equality of access.

“First time buyers remain locked out of supports when buying a second hand home, and many of the grants presuppose that people can pay upfront and claim back the outgoings later. That’s just not a possibility for the majority of people in the housing market.

“Perhaps Housing for All should be renamed Housing for Some.

“As our population continues to rise, the State should be and must be leading in the building of social and affordable homes.

“The overall objective of Housing for All was to ensure that “every citizen in the State should have access to good quality homes: to purchase or rent at an affordable price; built to a high standard in the right place; offering a high quality of life.” Across these clear markers, the progress report should say “fail, fail and fail”."