The Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy today launches the Party’s housing manifesto for the general election. Called ‘Homes within Reach: Making housing available, making housing affordable’ the manifesto outlines a comprehensive plan to radically rethink public policy to address the housing crisis Ireland faces.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Catherine Murphy said:

“The key focus in our housing plans is to deliver good quality housing at the lowest possible cost to purchasers and renters, rather than the highest possible profit to developers and land speculators.”

“There is a failed political ideology at the heart of the last governments approach to housing, one which relies on ‘the market’ to deliver the housing so urgently needed. This Fine Gael government did not want the state to compete with private developers and so in a blatant disregard of one of their primary responsibilities as a government, has consigned thousands of people to the highest rents ever, homes that are just unaffordable to buy and over 10,000 people to homelessness.

‘Our policies launched today aim to radically shift the balance back to the State as a key provider of housing that is affordable to buy or rent and of social housing. We expect the State to intervene in the market on behalf of its people – and we set out how that can happen. And we expect the State to be a vital player in making housing affordable for people – affordable to buy and affordable to rent.

‘We would radically scale up the planned number of houses being built by the State, on public lands, to an average of 20,000 a year, 100,000 over the lifetime of the next Dáil, as capacity increases. This would need the government’s weak Land Development Agency to be re-established as a powerful Housing Delivery Agency with teeth and targets to deliver on this ambitious housing programme.”

Also speaking on our housing manifesto launch, Carly Bailey, the candidate in Dublin South West, said:

‘The level of homelessness is an affront to us and to Irish people and is one of the most disgraceful legacies of this Fine Gael government, supported by Fianna Fáil. We believe that the homelessness crisis is entirely predictable, following government policies. The next Dáil can eradicate homelessness by following a ‘Housing First’ model and by building the social and affordable housing that is needed. It just needs political will and courage. We will not be found wanting.”

Some of our key proposals are:

  • Introduce a nationwide rent freeze
  • Legislate to stop land hoarding
  • Eliminate tax breaks for REITS and Cuckoo Funds
  • Introduce legislation to reserve 20% of all private developments for housing that is affordable to buy or rent, in addition to the current 10% for social housing
  • Further measures to protect renters
  • new Land Commission to challenge our relationship with Land and develop a strategy for the next decades
  • Constitutional change to provide a right to a home, and to reshape the balance between the common good and private property rights.
  • Specific measures to support housing for older people

21st Jan 2020

1. Homes within Reach is available here.

2. The Social Democrats are running 20 candidates in #GE2020, including Catherine Murphy in Kildare North and Cllr. Carly Bailey in Dublin South West.
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