By Michelle Devane, PA
Sinn Féin has called on the Government to double capital investment in housing in the next Budget in a bid to solve the housing crisis.
Pearse Doherty claimed home ownership is now an “impossible dream” as he urged the Government to tackle the increasing cost of homes across the country and assist those in the “rental trap”.
The party’s finance spokesman told the Dáil the Government “simply doesn’t get it”.
During Leaders’ Questions Mr Doherty said: “Homes are increasingly out of reach for ordinary workers and families, and this includes many people on decent incomes.
“I genuinely think that the Government simply doesn’t get it, you simply don’t understand the scale of the problem and the level of the anger that’s out there.
“As house [prices] continue to rise the ability of renters and others to save when so much of their pay packet is eaten up by rent, and other living costs is becoming even more difficult to many.
“To many they see home ownership as an impossible dream.”
“Action must be taken and it must be taken now and that means supply-led solutions,” he added.
The Donegal TD asked the Government to implement Sinn Féin’s proposal, backed by the ESRI, to double the capital investment in housing in the next Budget.
WATCH: @PearseDoherty tells it like it is. This government simply doesn't get it because they created this housing crisis.
Sinn Féin, the Central Bank and ESRI are all telling them the same thing - double the amount of investment to build more affordable homes.#HousingCrisis pic.twitter.com/iWnWTdM4fF
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) June 17, 2021
In response, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Government has already dramatically increased investment in social housing and that it will continue to do so.
“Social housing benefits everyone,” he said. “It gets people off the housing list into social housing, it frees up more properties for older people to rent thus bringing down rents, and it means that there’s less competition for first-time buyers and people who are upgrading.
“So social housing is a good investment. It benefits everyone in society, and not just those who receive social housing.”
Mr Varadkar said that the majority of people in Ireland wanted to own homes and that a variety of interventions were needed to assist them.