Wednesday, 26 October 2022
Social and Affordable Housing Supply: Motion [Private Members]
I thank People Before Profit-Solidarity for bringing forward this motion because it is timely. I have not seen the housing crisis as bad as it is now in Galway city in a very long time. We are having a crisis in all the different strands relating to housing. We are not seeing supply come on stream. People who have been on the housing waiting list for 15 years have had no offer of accommodation. There is nowhere to rent. If the Minister of State went on daft.ietoday to see what he could rent in Galway city, he would find nothing but if he went on a short-term let website to see what he could rent for a few nights in Galway city at huge cost, he would find a lot of places. That is what is wrong in our rental crisis. On top of that, those who have received notice to quit and have nowhere to go have nowhere to go because there is also a crisis in emergency accommodation. It is not good enough for us to ask people to sleep on their friends' couch or live in the spare room or sitting room of their parents' house, as a family with three children. That is not the way things should be. It is absolutely wrong that the crisis is just getting worse.
Galway is a university town with NUI Galway and the Atlantic Technological University, ATU. Students are coming in who have nowhere to go. They are being told to go out to the countryside and see if they can find a place to live. First, that is extremely expensive and, second, there is nowhere there either. Even if they were to find somewhere, there are no buses to bring them into their lectures on time. There were media reports yesterday that there are 30 students in Galway who have been unable to get to their lectures in NUIG on time because a few Government crises have come together: accommodation and transport. The buses that are supposed to be bringing these students in on time are not doing that. It is affecting everyone in Galway: those who have literally nowhere to go; the students who are trying to learn; and everyone in between who is trying to support these families. It is simply not good enough.