“Housing crisis is not an accident” – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy described the ongoing housing crisis as the result of government policy pursued by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Deputy Carthy was speaking during a debate on a Sinn Féin Private Members Motion tabled to address issues facing renters.
The Motion proposed to implement a three-year ban on rent increases, return a months rent through a refundable tax credit and address sub-standard accommodation.
Deputy Carthy told the Dáil:
“The housing market in this State is dysfunctional. That is not an accident.
“The outworking of this dysfunction is that the majority of renters do not want to be renters. Most want to purchase their own home and others need the security and fair rent that a council house brings.
“The motion that Sinn brought before the Dáil calls for a break for those who are renting, a three-year ban on rent increases, the cost of a month’s rent to be returned to renters, and for adequate standards for rental properties to be enforced.
“Let the record show that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party TDs intend to vote against these proposals.
“Their response to the housing crisis is to offer more of the same with new fancy packaging. They have offered a shared equity scheme that everybody who has examined it objectively says will increase the cost of homes. They propose an affordable housing scheme that includes as ‘affordable’ properties that cost €450,000.
“There is a continued expenditure of billions of euro on subsidies to private landlords and ongoing scandalous tax avoidance measures for vulture funds and other parasites of the financial services industry.
“None of that is an accident.
“It is Government policy, led by an ideology that believes speculators and bankers should not just be allowed, but encouraged, to dominate the housing market.
“Meanwhile, young workers can expect a future in which home ownership will never be more than an aspiration. Rents are too high to save a deposit and investment funds are ready to buy up the limited supply that makes it onto the market. Mortgage rates are far too high for those who manage to buy a house and the vulture funds are ready again to pounce as soon as they get into difficulty.
“There is an ongoing faith on the part of the Government that the private sector will resolve the problem that was created by housing policy being handed over to the private sector in the first place. It is a system where even public land is handed over to private developers and where, no matter what, the obvious and proven long-term solution of building public homes on public lands is avoided at all costs, other than in the most limited and tokenistic way conceivable.
“The housing crisis is not an accident.
“It is Government policy and only a Government with the correct policies can resolve it. Only a Government with determination, commitment and principles can turn the tide.
“This motion sets out Sinn Féin’s first steps to support renters. That too is not an accident.
“It is a signal that better policies are coming.”