Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described plans by the government to hand over €800 million to private landlords for rental subsidies as obscene.

The Sinn Féin TD was commenting on figures received in response to parliamentary questions that showed plans to spend €800 million on rental subsidies in 2020 and only €789 million being given to councils for the building and acquiring of new social homes.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The latest figures received in response to parliamentary questions confirm that the government’s housing priorities are all wrong and skewed towards private landlords.

“Next year the government will spend more on social housing rental subsidy schemes than it intends to give directly to local authorities to build and buy real social houses.

“This private landlord approach by government is obscene, totally wrong, and a misuse of taxpayers hard earned money.

“They have allocated €806.3 million of taxpayer’s money to subsidise social housing tenants in the private rented sector.

“At the same time the government is only giving local authorities €789m to build and buy real homes for social housing. Their preference is to give more money to private landlords than to local authorities. This is obscene.

“The government has its priorities all wrong. Local authorities should be the primary driver of social housing delivery. Unfortunately, Fine Gael and their Independent Alliance supporters continue to over rely on private landlords to meet the growing demand for social housing across the State. We need to end this obscenity.

“This is the fourth year of Rebuilding Ireland and this government is still not building the homes that are required, people are locked into private renting and waiting lists are getting longer every year, while the lack of any affordable housing particularly in the Dublin area means house prices are beyond the means of anyone on an average wage.

“We need to see the reverse happen. The government needs to prioritise investment in real social and affordable homes and not into more subsidies for private landlords.”