Fianna Fail conversion on affordable housing welcome but far too late

Labour Representative Declan Meenagh has said that reports that Fianna Fáil will pursue an affordable housing plan in their manifesto is welcome, but far too late!

Declan said:

“For the last two years Labour has called for a State Agency to drive the delivery of affordable housing. It has been clear for some time that the private market has completely failed in housing.

“Reports today that Fianna Fáil will adopt the same approach is welcome but comes too late to make any difference this year. In fact, it wouldn’t have any impact until after the next election if it is to be part of their manifesto.

“Supporting Fine Gael for the last 20 months, Fianna Fáil could have ensured such a housing body was set up and active as Labour has consistently proposed.

“Instead Fianna Fáil were happy to support the Government, and their only idea before the last Budget was tax cuts for developers.

“It is quite clear that any strategy to tackle this crisis must also include a national Affordable Housing Scheme. We have heard mutterings from Government on this over the past year but as yet, no concrete plans. In the meantime local authorities are giving planning permissions for new developments without any conditions on affordable housing.

“With supply at an all-time low, the State needs pick up the slack from where private developers have failed. There are simply not enough homes being built.

“In NAMA, we have an existing body with the resources and expertise to drive the development of affordable housing. It’s time now for action, not just leaked plans.”