Seanad debates

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

10:30 am

Photo of Gerard CraughwellGerard Craughwell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

Yesterday the Minister launched a programme for mental health in schools and Kinsale Community School was in here. Somebody, somewhere should look at that school because it is an example of excellence in education. There is an attitude in the school and when I was a former union leader I tried to figure out what this was. Everybody has their shoulder to the wheel and takes responsibility for all the students. This is reflected in the young scientist exhibition every year so the Minister should send somebody to study it. It is one of the finest schools in the country.

Senator Humphreys spoke about homelessness and housing. I tire of the Minister being hammered constantly over not producing houses because one cannot build houses overnight. We can look at historical facts but we cannot change what we have today. However, we can insist that everybody on the team plays the game and we have a couple of people who are not playing the game, specifically, the banks. Young people are coming to me all the time to tell me they have paid out tens of thousands of euro in rent and they have no way of establishing savings because they spend all their money on rent. When they are provided with a deposit to buy a house or apartment, by relatives or somebody else, the bank will not give them a mortgage because they have no track record of saving. They have a track record in paying rent and very often that far exceeds what they would pay on a mortgage. We have to start looking at who is wearing the green jersey in regard to housing. In my area of south Dublin an entire estate is almost complete but not one house is sold on it yet. Why? It is because the value of property is increasing by the week. We have to do something in this regard too as it is plain, outright greed. We could have people moving into those houses and freeing up other accommodation for the homeless. There is a plethora of estates in south Dublin where that is happening. I do not know how the Minister will tackle that but we have to make everybody play the game and not just one side.


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