Failure of the government to meet own social housing targets and simultaneous sale of public land to Johnny Ronan confirms Fine Gael’s “real housing policy – privatisation and outsourcing”
In a statement this morning, Richard Boyd Barrett TD said that the failure of the government to meet its own Rebuilding Ireland targets for building social housing confirm the bankruptcy of Fine Gael Housing policy.
The policy relies overwhelmingly on the delivery of social housing through private landlords and as a result leaves huge numbers of people who have supposedly been provided with a ‘housing solution’ in totally precarious housing situations.
Richard Boyd Barrett noted that of the 136,000 social housing units promised in Rebuilding Ireland, 87,000 of these are to be provided through HAPs or RAS- precarious or insecure private sector provisions.
The move by DLR properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, to sell the big bit of land in Cherrywood to Johnny Ronan further confirms the that government policy is not interested in building public housing on public land, but instead facilitates the privatisation of land that could be used for council housing.
DLR Properties was set up in 2009 as a vehicle for the council to offload property that had crashed in value. Ten years later, this is the land that should be used for public and affordable housing, but the government insist on selling off public land to private developers- the result of which is a drip feed of the bare minimum of housing in order to keep prices high.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “Yet again we have clear evidence that the Rebuilding Ireland plan and the government are failing in the area of housing. The rate of housing units becoming available is just so minuscule that it cannot feasibly keep pace with the ever growing crisis.
“Every day in my clinic there are people coming in with the most desperate housing difficulties, many people and their families facing homelessness or rotting on the housing list- many others are being axed from the housing list because their income goes slightly over the income threshold that haven’t changed in a decade, in what is a clearly cynical policy to keep waiting lists figures down.
“For the government to allow a private developer like Johnny Ronan to acquire a massive part of the Cherrywood site is a disgrace because we need, urgently, public and affordable housing on this site. The strategy of privatisation and outsourcing has failed categorically.
“The drip feed of housing units is not dealing with the issue of the housing list or the rate at which people are becoming homeless in this country. The government need to scrap their failed policy and directly build on the publicly owned site which they still have.”