Dáil debates

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Social and Affordable Housing Supply: Motion [Private Members]


10:47 am

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank People Before Profit for the opportunity to speak and for bringing forward the motion. Government policy has brought us here, in case the Minister of State is in any doubt. It has not happened by accident. What has been described, quite rightly, by Uachtarán na hÉireann as a housing disaster has been caused by six years of Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael policy. The Minister of State will know the Green Party did not exactly leave the housing market in decent shape when it last exited Government, so it shares some of that responsibility. Unfortunately, people who live in my constituency are paying some of the highest rents in this State and in Europe. They are not only locked out of home ownership but they feel home ownership is getting further and further away from them. Some 180 people are known to Fingal County Council to be on notices to quit, 92 of them in my constituency, and we have nothing to say to them because there is nowhere for them to rent. There is no emergency accommodation for these people to go to so people are fretting.

I do not know if the Minister has ever been in receipt of a notice to quit when he has nowhere else to go, but I am sure he, like me, can only imagine what that is like. Those people are worried. Many are overholding and will not be covered unless the Minister of State makes a change to his legislation. They are very anxious. They are seeking something very basic: security and somewhere to live, raise their family and be able to shut the door in the evening and know they can have peace and quiet. It is chaotic to be on a notice to quit. It is chaotic for your children if you are not able to tell them where they will be living in a couple of months. It messes with your mental health in a way I do not think we will understand for many years. It destroys families. Government policy has brought us here. A change of Government policy is needed, but if the Government will not change policy, I suggest with respect it gets out of the way and makes way for a government that will.


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