#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 1°C Friday 22 January 2021
Advertisement

Taoiseach told he is living in a world of 'make believe' by ignoring the reality of the housing crisis

In Dublin, house prices have decreased by 1.5%, while apartment prices increased by 1%.

The Taoiseach said the government has hit the ground running in terms of housing.
The Taoiseach said the government has hit the ground running in terms of housing.

SINN FÉIN’S MARY Lou McDonald has told the Taoiseach that he is living in a “world of make believe” by ignoring the reality of the housing crisis. 

“You’re making the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place,’ McDonald told the Taoiseach.

During Leaders’ Questions, she said more families now face the prospect of homelessness and more young people are giving up on ever owning their own home.

Her comments come as the Central Statistics finds that property prices nationally have increased by 84.6% from their trough in early 2013.

Dublin residential property prices have risen 92.5% from their February 2012 low, whilst residential property prices in the rest of Ireland are 84.9% higher than May 2013.

In Dublin, house prices decreased by 1.5% and apartment prices increased by 1%.

The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 2.5%, while Dublin City saw a decline of 4.4%.

Outside Dublin, house prices were up by 0.5% and apartment prices up by 0.6%.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the South West at 3.3% – at the other end of the scale, the Mid-West saw a 4% decline. 

Cost-rental

On Monday, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien announced that €35 million in funding will be made available to Approved Housing Bodies to deliver 350 homes in 2021 at rates which are a minimum 25% below open market values.

McDonald criticised the minister today, stating that the “350 units was the best you could do, 50 less than was promised in the budget“, she said.

She said the government is in an “ideological cul-de-sac”, stating: ”You are afraid to do the right thing because you don’t want to upset developers and landlords.”

Defending the government’s record, Micheál Martin said it’s hoped they can hit the 18,000 housing delivery target by the end of the year.

He said policy is not being led by developers.

It is now the time for local authorities to “bite the bullet”, take ideology out of the room and deliver housing schemes, said the Taoiseach.

He urged politicians to stop blocking housing developments, stating that the government has “hit the ground running” when it comes to tackling housing issues.

Social housing dispute

Fine Gael’s Emer Higgins raised with the Taoiseach a case in South Dublin County Council, and accused Sinn Fein of voting to delay 29 social houses on a public site in Clondalkin.

She said the plan is to have it 100% social housing on 100% public land, stating that these homes should be delivered as soon as possible. 

The Taoiseach said he did not have the details of the case, but said said some parties are voting down housing plans that are not totally in line with their vision. He urged political parties to work together to get homes delivered.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said Higgins comments in the Dáil today were “deeply disappointing”.

He told TheJournal.ie that councillors from Sinn Fein, Fianna Fáil, People Before Profit, Social Democrats, and the Green Party voted to defer the decision for four weeks.

He said his party has a proposal for 44 homes, including 15 dormer bungalows, that could be used for elderly people that wish to downsize, as well as a child and family home taking in a site across the road from the original site.

Higgins said this proposal would delay any build for “months on end”. She told the Dáil that Sinn Fein plans have no drawings, no design, and no planning permission. Higgins added that no public consultation has been carried out on the party’s plans.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“This is a prime example of Sinn Fein’s approach to housing – delay building houses to keep the housing crisis on the agenda,” she told the Taoiseach.

“On Monday nights meeting the [county] manager proposed reducing the number of homes on the site to 20,” said Ó Broin. 

“FF Mayor Ed O’Brien proposed a 4 week deferral to allow for further discussions to improve the development. That was supported by councillors from FF, SF, GP, PBP, SD.

“We are meeting the Housing Manager on Monday to push our alternative or a compromise solution to increase the overall number of homes and ensure the Child and Family Centre is also delivered,” he said, adding that whatever plan is signed off on should ensure the site is maximised to deliver ambitious numbers of new builds.

The Taoiseach was also asked about homelessness and the high number of deaths in the capital. Labour’s Alan Kelly asked why there are no national figures on homeless deaths. 

Martin said the Health Research Board is now collecting data by looking at coroner’s records. He said the issue is “of deep concern” to the government is being taken “very seriously”. 

He said the homeless figures “are still far too high”.

Read next:

COMMENTS (54)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel