Thursday, 26 June 2014
I share the Deputy's concern about the housing issue. It has, in part, been aggravated by the collapse of the economy and the decimation of the construction industry caused by the previous Administration. At the height of the boom, some 25% of economic activity was related to construction. A more appropriate figure in that regard would have been between 10% and 12%. As the Deputy is aware, the level actually fell below 5% at one point, from which we are now trying to recover. An additional problem arises in the context of persons who cannot afford to pay the market rate for houses. The Minister of State with responsibility for housing, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, is attempting to develop and improve the current response to the very grave crisis in housing provision.