People Before Profit in Galway have condemned the government’s Housing For All plan as a ‘continuation of the failed policy’ of relying on the private market.
The party’s Galway representative Adrian Curran said that the plan will not deliver enough social housing to drastically cut housing waiting lists.
He said that it promises about 10,000 new build social homes each year but even these homes will come mainly from private developers selling 20% of new developments to local authorities.
“Once again, the number of new homes we get will be left to the market and those seeking profit. It is a scandal that people will continue to languish on these housing lists for years,” said Adrian Curran.
“There is no commitment to impose a rent freeze or even set up mechanism by which landlords could be obliged to reduce rents.
“It only links rents in Rent Pressure Zones, such as Galway city, to the rate of inflation. This ignores the fact that rents are already too high – and most economists predict a rise in inflation.”
He said that the €4 billion annual spend on housing, €1 billion will flow directly into the hands of private landlords through schemes such as HAP.
“The affordable housing proposals mainly rely on a shared equity scheme. But the evidence from Britain is that such schemes only lead to price increases in the longer term.
“There was an alternative to reliance on the private market. The government could have used public land to build social and affordable housing.
“It could have defined affordable as a realistic percentage of a person’s income rather than as a small reduction from an overheated market. It could have set up a state-run construction company to build homes at cheap cost and ensure that they meet proper environmental standards.”