Cian O'Callaghan TD

The Taoiseach-in-waiting has political spin in spades without any discernible plan to tackle the housing crisis, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s spokesperson on housing, said:

“Fine Gael’s new leader has stated that he wants to build 250,000 homes over the next five years, equating to 50,000 homes each year.

“In doing so, Simon Harris is finally admitting to what has been obvious for some time – that this Government’s targets have been totally inadequate and their delivery record abysmal.

“What the incoming Taoiseach has failed to outline is how he actually intends to build thousands more homes than are currently in the pipeline.

“Simon Harris’s spin-heavy speech at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis was big on rhetoric but light on detail.

“One concrete step that the Government could take to address the housing crisis is to introduce a specific zoning for affordable housing. This would facilitate a continuous supply of new homes that people can genuinely afford.

“I put forward an amendment to the Planning and Development Bill to introduce a zoning for affordable housing, which the Government shamefully rejected.

“People cannot live in housing targets. Without a major overhaul of the Government’s housing policy, we will continue to see this crisis deepen.

“Fine Gael’s 13 years in office has seen record house prices, record rents and record numbers of people becoming homeless.

“Simon Harris’s declaration that ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ is sounding more like a threat than an inspirational soundbite.”

April 8, 2024

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