Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

Future Ireland Fund and Infrastructure, Climate and Nature Fund Bill 2024: Report and Final Stages


4:20 pm

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I support these amendments in relation to the ability to draw down funding. We are in the middle of the worst housing crisis in the history of the State and we will not having the ability to access vital funding. We have the highest house prices, rent and homelessness figures in the history of the State. We have almost 8,000 people on housing lists in Cork. The Government's affordable housing projects are a joke. That is the only way to describe them. Hundreds of people are looking to buy an affordable house in Cork. To be fair to Cork City Council, it has hit the targets the Minister, Deputy Darragh O'Brien, set, but the targets are low. Some people who do not qualify for social housing cannot get a mortgage because house prices are so high. These are the people who are trapped in the middle. We should be building houses and the Government should be investing more and have the ability to access this fund to deliver those houses. As the Minister will be aware, these are the people who are trapped in the middle. They feel let down by the Government. These are the people who, as the previous Taoiseach said, got up early in the morning and went to work, but when they came home at night they did not have anywhere to go, except the back room, living with their parents in box bedrooms. That is where they go. Does the Government have any understanding of how bad the crisis is? Figures were published today for the cost of a new build in the Minister's constituency. They are off the charts. I advise him to look at the figures for the cost of building new houses now. The Minister is a Carrigaline man. A TD could not buy a new house in Carrigaline now, not to mind an ordinary person, with the price of housing.


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