Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Sinn Fein TD John Brady: “Government’s Housing Policy is A Hamster Wheel of Horror.”

Speaking after released their most recent report on the state of the Private Rental Market, Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Social Protection and TD for Wicklow/East Carlow said the shocking figures for Wicklow alone are an indication that this government housing policy has become a Hamster Wheel of Horror.

Teachta Brady Said:

“Figures released by the online site suggest the cost of renting a home has shot up by 10.5% in the last quarter of last year and is still rising. This represents an increase of 45% since 2011 and is the strongest indication yet that the chronic housing shortage in Wicklow and across the Country is set to continue. These figures prove beyond doubt that the government’s failure to initiate measures giving rent certainty to tenants is allowing the price of rental accommodation to spiral out of control and out of the reach of the average worker. The only people benefiting from the governments failures are landlords operating in the private market. The figures come on foot of a report last week which showed the continued growth in the numbers of families with young children becoming homeless.”

Teachta Brady went on to say that the governments housing policy is in tatters:

“The government’s patch work policy of housing initiatives is in tatters. Even if the plans were implemented in full; it would hardly put a dent in the figures of homelessness which are now growing a rate that is beyond comprehension. The lack of social housing and the failure of the government to commence a realistic house building programme means almost every day another family in private rental accommodation is forced out onto the streets due to spiralling rent costs; with no hope of securing accommodation in social housing. It is a hamster wheel of horror for thousands of frustrated parents and frightened children. Fianna Fail’s policy of placing the responsibility of house building solely in the hands of private developers has led to a disastrous over reliance on the private housing market which clearly cannot meet demand even at a modest level. Fine Gael and labour compounded the problem by ignoring the warnings coming from Sinn Fein and homeless organisations such as the Peter McVerry trust over the last number of years, as a result we now have a vicious cycle of dysfunction which is sucking more and more families into it unending wheel of despair.”

In terms of the future prospects for those in rental accommodation or languishing on the housing list Teachta Brady had this to say:

“At a certain point in any crises the natural human reaction is to throw out the book and deal with the immediate danger. Here, Minister Simon Coveney and the entire Fine Gael/ Fianna Fail coalition are failing in their responsibilities on every level measureable. Rent certainty is needed right now to put a cap on rising rents and force a reverse in costs. This would immediately relieve the stress on the tens of thousands of people who are literally sitting on a ledge waiting to fall into homelessness. The lack of social housing has shifted from a Crises situation to an Emergency, and is now in the realm of catastrophe. Sinn Fein is calling on the government to declare a National Housing Emergency and release the funds needed to allow local authorities and other agencies to immediately commence a nationwide building programme. No level of Hyperbole could exaggerate this housing emergency. Time is running out fast before the housing requirements of the nation move well beyond the capacity of the state to deliver while this government dithers with useless plans and pointless platitudes. Fiddling while Rome Burns.”

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