The Government’s social housing statistics demonstrate an increased reliance on long-term leasing arrangements across the country, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.
Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s spokesperson for Housing, has criticised this practice for being expensive and turning social housing into a profit-making exercise for private investors.
“Long-term leasing sees the State paying for a property over a 25-year period, well in excess of the value of the property itself. At the end of the lease, the State has no asset and the social housing tenant is at risk of eviction. This is an incredibly reckless economic approach that is not an efficient use of taxpayers’ money.
“In tackling the housing crisis, the priority must be in delivering affordable and social housing. Instead, the Government is once again demonstrating its reliance on the private sector to create short-term solutions that will worsen our situation in the long run.
“The Government has not even secured clauses in the contracts that would allow the State to purchase the homes. This is a policy that serves nobody except private developers and investors.
“In 2020, 1,444 houses have been paid for through leasing programmes. There is growing evidence that the use of long-term leasing is being accelerated in 2021. This is a huge investment into housing without any resulting ownership. These funds would be better invested in new build social housing owned by the State.”
March 11, 2021