In anticipation of a crucial Dáil confidence vote in the government’s Housing strategy scheduled for tomorrow, the Rural Independent TDs have issued a scathing critique of the government’s unpalatable handling of the Housing crisis. The group has expressed that they have lost all confidence in the government’s ability to tackle this urgent issue, citing a stunning display of government neglect.
Speaking from Leinster House, the leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath stated:
“The housing crisis in Ireland has reached a critical point. Homelessness is on the rise, with families and individuals forced to live in unsuitable accommodations or on the streets. The government’s last-minute proposals have failed to address the problem, leaving people to suffer the consequences of its inaction.
“The housing crisis is not just an issue of homelessness, it has wider societal implications, impacting people’s mental and physical health, and family life. The lack of a coherent strategy and over-reliance on the private sector, together with an influx of asylum seekers and refugees – the majority from Ukraine – has created a severe shortage of affordable homes, leaving people priced out of the rental market or struggling to find a home because the government is operating on a wing and a prayer.”
“The government’s failure to plan for the housing crisis, coupled with chronic underfunding in social and affordable housing, has led to the current situation. We need a coordinated approach that involves both the public and private sectors. Investing in social and affordable housing, regulating the rental market to protect tenants, and addressing the underlying issues driving demand for housing is essential.
“The failed policies of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Green Party, and the Labour party have brought us to this position. It’s convenient for Labour to try to forget their role, but Ireland’s homeless population increased by 4,090 individuals between April 2011 and April 2016, representing a total increase of 145% during Labour’s time in power.”
“The failure is also highlighted in the fact that the Irish population grew by 536,000 between 2011 and 2022, including a growth of 362,000 in population between 2016 and 2022 alone. However, over the same period, the net housing units constructed were merely 129,700. From the 2011 to 2016 period, when Labour and Fine Gael shared power together, housing completions were only 29,000 while the population grew by 174,000. Now the Labour party is promising to build 100,000 housing units a year if they get into government again.”
“We need a government that is willing to take bold action, stop the empty promises and make the necessary investments to address the housing crisis. The time for broken promises and shallow policies is over. Failure to act will only result in more individuals and families falling through the cracks. We urge the government to prioritize this issue and work towards real solutions for those at risk of losing their homes. The cost of inaction is too great, and we cannot risk turning the housing crisis into a full-blown social crisis.”
“In the face of this mounting crisis, we believe that the government’s inaction is simply unacceptable. Accordingly, we are urging our colleagues in the Dail to take decisive action to hold the government accountable for its failures,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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