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SIPTU using 1916 centenary to highlight housing shortages

Commemoration will “ring hollow” if Irish citizens still “languishing on housing lists”.

Image: photocall

SIPTU HAS PUBLISHED a discussion paper outlining a four-year plan aimed at tackling the housing crisis.

The plan is based around the provision of 25,000 social housing units between 2015 and 2018. The report outlines the creation of 65,000 jobs and puts its projected cost at €3.7 billion.

The report has been put forward by SIPTU as part of the approaching 1916 centenary. In its introduction, SIPTU general president Jack O’Connor says:

Commemorating the heroic sacrifices of the men and women of 1916 in terms of military gallantry and inspiring rhetoric will ring hollow indeed with the 100,000 households languishing on housing lists.

In the plan, SIPTU identify three areas of action in need of attention as being:

  • The need to secure a viable rental accommodation sector.
  • Introducing a greater number of social housing units.
  • Boosting private housing finance.

In its aims to meet the finance need for private housing, a recommendation is made for either the development of ICS or the creation of a new State backed mutual with an aim at long term low rate mortgages.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Jack O’Connor specified that the document “doesn’t purport to offer all the answers”. He went on to say:

There should be a social dimension to the centenary. It should be about the value of the attainment of independence. It doesn’t make much difference if all the suffering is being done under the tricolor.

In the 2013 Housing Agency Summary of Social Housing Assessments, Cork and Dublin were identified as the two areas most in need of social housing. Construction of social housing as a total share of residential builds has been on the decline over the past twenty years.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, social housing counted for 20% of total residential construction. By 2007, the average was down at 8%.

Private rents increased by almost ten percent in the first six months of 2014.

READ: There’s enough land zoned for housing to build 500,000 new homes

READ: Young people might have to delay flying the nest due to rising rents

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