Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Housing for All Update: Statements (Resumed)


7:30 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Minister is a reasonable man, as I know from discussions with him. We are going around in circles and the housing situation is appalling. I met the Simon Community last Thursday and I want to salute it for the work it does. It told me something I had a fair idea was already happening, namely that there was a 100% increase in the number of homeless people in Tipperary between July 2021 and July 2022. We know that. I want to thank Kathy and Máirín in my office who are inundated on an hourly and daily basis with people from the town of Clonmel and surrounding areas, which never happened before. It is a crisis out there.

I know the State has pulled out all the stops to house Ukrainian people who come here as refugees. I am not knocking that, but people are sleeping in tents and bedsits. Why can we not do the same for our own people? This is ongoing, year in and year out. Schemes are being launched, but they really annoy people. There are fanfares, Housing for All and different acronyms. There are rent to buy schemes. There is a scheme whereby people are supposed to be able to buy a house, but they can only buy a new house. They cannot buy second-hand houses. We have a huge problem with dereliction.

I appeal to the Minister of State to do something about the limits. The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister, Deputy Darragh O'Brien, have told all of us the limits are being reviewed. They were reviewed in five counties. Deputy Healy-Rae asked what is wrong with Kerry. What is wrong with Tipperary? The situation in Tipperary has not been reviewed for 11 or 12 years. The limits are way too restrictive for persons with any kind of a job. They will not qualify for a council house, even if the councils were building them. It is an unholy mess. The Minister of State knows that, just as he knows that all of the jargon in the world and all the bluff and blunder from the new Rambo, as I call him - the Minister, Deputy Darragh O'Brien - will not fix it. It is the same old story. I ask the Government to get down and dirty, understand the problems and do something about them.


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