Sinn Féin today launched our detailed and costed plans for housing and dealing with the homelessness crisis. The Three Amigos in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have created chaos in housing, relying almost entirely on the market to deliver on housing need.
Peadar Tóibín (@Toibin1), Denise Mitchell (@cllr_mitchell) and John Brady (@johnbradysf) launched the proposals this morning and you can read Peadar’s statement here. Sinn Féin has the political will to deal with these crises with the urgency and the investment that is needed. See a summary of our proposals here.
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Also today, Pearse Doherty responded to Enda Kenny’s comments that his message of ‘keep the recovery going’ is weak, by saying “Fine Gael should put their misguided plans in the bin”. See the full statement here.
Social and affordable housing
- We will launch plans for 2030 – Project 100,000 to bring the State ownership of housing stock to a minimum of 200,000. This will ensure a build of at least 70,000 social units and at least 30,000 cost purchase and cost rental housing units by 2030.
- We will commit €5 billion (a cumulative €2.2 billion more than the government’s commitment) in capital spending in 2016-2021 and strengthen Part V to ensure the delivery of 36,500 social and affordable houses.
- We will increase requirements under Part V to 20% social and affordable housing on all new developments with 10% social and at least 10% affordable housing.
- We will ensure that all housing construction delivered by the State is designed in mixed tenure developments of social housing with differential rents, sheltered housing, cost rental and cost purchase, alongside good infrastructure and amenities.
- We will review all property-related tax reliefs that encourage speculation for profit.
- We will re-examine urgently the practice of capping rent subsidies – simultaneous to the introduction of rent regulations, to ensure rents demanded by landlords do not escalate to meet any increase in the rent cap.
- We will create rent certainty by linking rent increases to inflation.
- To provide greater security of tenure, we will amend the Residential Tenancy Act to restrict the grounds on which landlords can serve notices to quit.
- We will establish a Deposit Retention Scheme, authorising the PRTB to hold private tenancy deposits until the conclusion of a tenancy agreement.
Social, environmental supports & geographic supports
- We will end the practice of removing HAP recipients from housing waiting lists.
- We will extend the Warmer Homes Scheme to include window and door insulation and increase funding to the grant system.
- We will continue to allow and smooth the planning process for the building of houses in rural Ireland as primary residences, but ensure this is achieved where the building is sustainable.
Planning regulation & building quality
- We will establish an Office of Planning Regulator, with the appointment of a Regulator to be made following open public competition by an Independent Appointments Board.
- We will ensure all public areas are finished by developers by requiring lodgment of a realistic bond to cover the works. We will ensure that developers and/or builders who do not finish their developments to the required standard will be put on a shared LA list and barred from applying for planning permission for further housing developments.
- We will ensure that where developers are found to have knowingly put residents at risk in their dwellings through bad building practices, legal and financial proceedings will be brought against those developers and a ban put in place to prevent them from building future developments.
- We will include all homeowners whose houses have been built with the Mica Muscovite (weetabix) block and include them in any redress scheme – along with homeowners suffering with pyrite issues.
Homelessness, inclusivity and special needs
- We will make an additional €30 million available to LAs and homeless agencies to house the homeless in emergency accommodation in year one of government.
- We will frontload funding to Local Authorities with a good track record of drawing down funds and providing Traveller accommodation, with penalties for those who refuse to build needed Traveller accommodation.
- We will develop Universal Design and Lifetime Adaptability Guidelines so new buildings can accommodate people with disabilities and save on future adaptation costs.
- We will remove blocks on survivors seeking social housing if they are named on a mortgage with their former abuser, as laid out in Sinn Féin’s Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2014.
- We will increase funding for domestic violence refuges by €5.45 million in year one of government.
Housing will be a key priority for Sinn Féin in government
Sinn Féin spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has outlined Sinn Féin’s practical plan to tackle Ireland’s housing crisis.
Speaking at the launch this morning, he said;
“Fine Gael and Labour have caused chaos in housing. They failed to invest in social and affordable housing, so there are now officially 89,872 households on local authority waiting lists.
“We now have a national emergency and we need a national response. Solving the housing crisis requires political will.
“The principals of the Proclamation declare basic rights, and the right to housing is just that. The fact that 100 years later all Irish people do not have a place to call home or do not have a roof over their heads is unjustifiable. Housing will be one of Sinn Féin’s key priorities in government.
Deputy Tóibín continued;
“We will make an additional €30 million available to Local Authorities and homeless agencies to house the homeless in emergency accommodation in year one of government.
“We will launch plans to bring the State ownership of housing stock to a minimum of 200,000. This will ensure a build of at least 70,000 social units and at least 30,000 cost purchase and cost rental housing units by 2030.
“We will also commit €5 billion, a cumulative €2.2 billion more than the government’s commitment, in capital spending in 2016-2021 to ensure the delivery of 36,500 social and affordable houses.
“Whilst the Government parties seem to be oblivious to the housing crisis, Sinn Féin will not stand back and allow citizens of this state to continue living on our streets, in homeless shelters and in emergency accommodation.”
Keep the two-tier recovery going? No thanks! – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has responded to comments made this morning by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who admitted his message of ‘keep the recovery going’ is weak, by saying “Fine Gael should put their misguided plans in the bin”.
“Fine Gael’s mantra of ‘keep the recovery going’ is wrong and failing to connect with voters because the majority of citizens simply haven’t felt any recovery in their lives, and won’t under Fine Gael.
“There has been recovery at a macro level. No one is disputing that, but that has not translated into money back in people’s pockets or any improvement and investment in public services.
“Fine Gael are proposing to squander the opportunity to build a recovery that is fair and sustainable. Their recovery proposes to continue their chaos in health, housing and education while promising tax cuts that will disproportionately benefit the highest earners, even though they know their figures don’t add up.
“The choice to be made by the electorate next week will be between a Sinn Féin led Government pursuing progressive, costed policies that will deliver a fair recovery for all, or a continuation of Enda Kenny’s two-tier recovery that benefits him and his friends.”