Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that investing in social housing is an investment in the well-being and future of the Irish people, promoting social cohesion, reducing inequality, and contributing to economic stability.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Teachta Crowe said:

“With a shortage of affordable housing and increasing homelessness rates, the need for social housing has become more urgent than ever. The last thing Irish people want to hear is the excuse that homes cannot be built overnight. Fine Gael has been in power for 12 years. In those 12 long years, the level of homelessness has done nothing but grow.

“We have seen homelessness records broken time and again. There are 3,700 children in emergency accommodation, and I genuinely worry that there will be 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000 by the next election. We are told that there is a bumper budget worth €6 billion on the way. Shame on the Minister if we fail to ensure no child grows up in emergency accommodation.

“A substantial increase in the supply of social and affordable homes will help to combat homelessness and will prevent more vulnerable individuals and families from falling into a cycle of poverty and destitution. That should be our aim, but it does not seem to be.

“Affordable housing options allow individuals and families to allocate their resources in order to meet other essential needs, such as education and healthcare, and for discretionary spending on food and clothing. Is that too much to ask in this day and age?

“They say politics is about choices. It is also about the art of doing the possible. Surely it is not overly ambitious to believe we can house our citizens, including families and children. We were elected to make decisions that might ultimately affect the course of people’s lives. That makes our choices moral as well as political.

“The provision of social housing in Ireland has become a moral imperative, as well as an essential public good. It ensures the right to housing, promotes social cohesion, reduces inequality and contributes to economic stability. It is a no-brainer.

“Investing in social housing is an investment in the well-being and future of the Irish people, fostering a more equitable and inclusive society for all. We cannot continue to break homelessness records and say it is somehow normal, inevitable or even right.”