Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

18th June, 2018

Housing plans are not worth the paper they’re written on if no actual homes are delivered – Breathnach

– real progress on housing and homelessness urgently needed –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that while the Taoiseach has lauded Louth County Council for their record on Compulsory Purchase Orders and bringing vacant units back into use, in Louth today there are 4,506 families seeking housing, which is a sum total of those on the Housing List and those availing of HAP.

“There are 850 additional housing units planned in Louth over the next three years. This equates to an average of 280 units annually. 4,506 people on a housing list providing 280 units annually, means that families could be waiting 16 years before they get housed. Currently the waiting times are between 8-10 years. And the Government call this progress!

“I have had countless queries from constituents, endeavouring to purchase a house of their own, however the rebuilding Ireland home loan is not working, and people are being denied access to credit even where they prove an ability to repay. As part of Fianna Fáil’s Housing Policy, the proven ability to pay rent must be taken into consideration by mortgage lenders when making mortgage approval decisions. In addition, the Government must establish a mechanism to support Credit Union investment in public housing. Despite the Central Bank allowing Credit Unions to invest in such a vehicle since January, the Government has yet to finalise a proposal.

“The sustained increase in house prices poses massive affordability issues. This is not just affecting the low income workers in the Dublin market but also in Louth and elsewhere. While I welcome new inward investment in Dundalk with recent job announcements, there is a severe lack of housing for incoming employees of these companies.

“The current homelessness figures in Louth equate to 128 people in temporary accommodation. It is not acceptable that the Government have been massaging the figures in relation to homelessness. The most recent figures from March 2018 show a record total of 9,681 people homeless in Ireland.

“Fianna Fáil will put forward our policy ideas in the run up to the budget. Change is needed in the abysmal numbers of apprenticeships to support the building trades. On social housing increase is needed in Capital Budget which is still 24% below 2008 levels. Supply and affordability is the key issue that needs to be addressed in order to get to grips with the crisis in the private, social and rental sector.

-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie