Local politicians have welcomed the Government’s major new plan on housing, with one local Independent TD asserting that the document contains many measures which he had proposed. Deputy Denis Naughten was referring in particular to proposals he has previously put forward with regard to vacant housing.
The Government’s Housing for All Plan promises 300,000 new homes by 2030. Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said: “Housing For All sets out clear housing targets and a realistic and sustainable path to delivering on those targets. It is financially backed by €20bn of investment over 5 years and represents real progress for first-time buyers, for renters, and for lower income families who need additional support to meet their accommodation needs”.
Senator Eugene Murphy of Fianna Fáil noted that the ambitious plan pledges to support homeownership and increase affordability; to eradicate homelessness; increase social housing delivery; support social inclusion; increase new housing supply, and address vacancy and efficient use of existing stock.
Senator Murphy said that the plan will change housing policy in this country “so as to ensure that ‘Housing for All’ actually means that.
“We all know fixing the current housing crisis is complex, there is no silver bullet, but what the Government have announced sets us on a path to achieving the supply we need to cater for all our people. There really is something in this plan for everyone”.
For his part, Independent TD Denis Naughten welcomed the publication of the plan, while adding that many of his own proposals on measures dealing with vacant properties across the country are included in it.
“While the number of homes lying vacant across the country varies between 50-180,000, depending on the source, the fact is that if we can have these occupied – particularly those in our villages – then there is an immediate dividend to both the State and rural Ireland,” stated Deputy Naughten.
“Over the last number of years while all of the experts and public commentary has been focused only on new housing builds, I had continually highlighted the fact that we have many existing vacant family homes, close to schools and services including 1,000mbps broadband outside the door.
“While there is no doubt we must build more homes, right now we should look to our existing 1.75m houses across the country and see how we can ensure that as many of these as possible are occupied, particularly those in our towns and villages”.
Welcoming other aspects of the plan, Deputy Naughten noted its aims of providing circa 300,000 new homes by 2030 and ending homelessness, concluding: “I think the Government, in fairness, has listened to constructive suggestions from all sides and it is in all our interests that it achieves this overall goal”.