Galway TDs call for changes to housing policy in rental crisis

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Independent Galway TDs are calling for the government to make a number of changes to its housing policy to support rental accommodation.

The Regional Independents Group, which includes Denis Naughten, Seán Canney, and Noel Grealish, met on Monday night, and agreed on eight proposals that they believe will have a real effect on the current housing crisis.

Galway TD Denis Naughten said that his position on the vote on the government’s housing policy tomorrow will be dependent on the government’s response.

The Dáil is due to debate a motion by Sinn Féin to extend the eviction ban today, with the government arguing against it, and vote on the matter tomorrow.

“My Regional Independent colleagues and I met last night and put the following eight asks to Government on the housing issue that would make a real difference to the current crisis,” Denis Naughten said.

The independents group wants to make it easier for elderly people in nursing homes to lease out their homes, and extend the rent-a-room scheme to people receiving social welfare, and include tax relief for small landlords in the next budget.

The group also wants to increase grants for refurbishing vacant properties, and open the scheme to properties being rented out, and not just owner-occupied.

Other proposals include guaranteeing payments to landlords where HAP tenants default, and supporting construction of Strategic Infrastructure Developments where planning has been secured, but work hasn’t begun.

“The objective behind our eight proposals is to secure rental accommodation for those facing eviction, provide relief for small landlords to ensure they remain within the market and ensure affordable housing is made available to young couples and families.”

Deputy Naughten said that the government’s attitude towards these proposals will also influence his vote on the proposed no confidence motion in the government.

Labour Leader Ivana Bacik today told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that it is likely that her party will table a vote of no confidence in the government by the end of the month.