Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that this Government and its predecessor have subcontracted out the notion of social housing as a public good to developers who try to wriggle out of their obligations at every opportunity.

Teachta Crowe was speaking on a Sinn Féin Bill to remove the 2026 sunset clause on the 20% obligation of social housing in new housing developments.

Speaking after appearing in the Dáil last night in support of the Bill, Teachta Crowe said:

“The building of social and affordable housing by the state is something that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael abandoned years ago. No more would the state provide homes as it had done for decades to those who needed them. They subcontracted it out to the developers who were never keen on the idea and have looked for any excuse to wriggle out of their responsibilities. This Bill would remove the exemptions for developers so that they do not have to build their fair share of social housing.

“We are in the grips of a housing crisis and we cannot afford to waste any opportunity to get families out of homelessness and into secure accommodation. It would be wrong to allow the chance for thousands of social and affordable homes to come into the market so that big developers can line their pockets just a little more.

“Only by providing social and affordable homes can we ever stand a chance of reducing homelessness in this country. An ESRI report last week showed us that lone parents, migrants, people with disabilities, Travellers, and younger people all struggle to source adequate housing and are dependent on an expensive rental market to meet their housing needs.

“This Government’s only idea was to bring in a shared equity scheme which will only push the cost of houses higher still. This Government refuses to bring in a vacant property tax; they refuse to build social housing themselves; they refuse to bring in rent freezes

“Housing for All? A reheated version of past Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael policies that mange to be even less ambitious than those other plans the Government failed to deliver. Until the government commits to ramping up capital investment in social and genuinely affordable homes, the most vulnerable in our society will continue to struggle.”