Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Seamus Healy has called on Minister Alan Kelly T.D. to commence an emergency house building programme to tackle the housing crisis now affecting over 2,500 families in Tipperary and almost 90,000 families nationally.
2,546 families now languish on Tipperary County Councils housing waiting list and face years waiting for accommodation.
Successive Governments have abandoned families to the tender mercies of the private market and that has been an abject failure condemning families to homelessness and years of waiting for accommodation in substandard conditions.
As President Michael D. Higgins said recently “You can’t leave the provision of housing to a residual feature of the market place. We have done that and homelessness is a consequence of that”
The previous Fianna Fail/Green Party Government stopped building local authority houses and that failed policy has been continued by the current Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition.
Minister Alan Kelly T.D. must reverse that policy and commence an emergency house building programme to tackle the issue.
There are huge social and economic benefits to such a programme.
It would be self-financing. Thousands of building workers could be put back at work saving on social welfare payments and increasing exchequer income through PAYE returns. Significant savings would be made on the €350m per year paid to private landlords through rent supplement.
Such a programme would boost local economies and retail trade, create sustainable employment and provide good quality accommodation. Rental income to local authorities would also be significant.
An emergency house building programme would be a win, win situation for all concerned, it is a no brainer and Minister Kelly should grasp the initiative immediately.