The Junior Minister with responsibility for housing, Paudie Coffey has finally admitted that there is an ‘emergency situation’ after a shocking RTA documentary appeared on housing.

Brid-Smith-2a-241x300Bríd Smith, from People Before Profit said, “This government is speaking a different language in the run up to the election than in the weeks beforehand.

“Junior Minister Paudie Coffey has admitted there is a housing emergency but his government has persistently refused to declare an official emergency.

“Such a  declaration would have allowed the government to speed up the social house building programme and impose a special levy on vacant properties that are left idle for speculative purposes.

“The reality is that this government has turned its back on social housing and has invested less in this sector than any government for the past twenty five years.

“Their primary aim is to re-stimulate the property bubble and that is why they prefer to subsidise private landlords than build social housing.

“Over the last six years, just 55 social housing units, on average, have been built in Dublin in each of the last six years.

“Efforts to curb rising rents have also been puny. The two year restriction on rent rises only means that tenants get a double rent whammy whereas real rent control would mean rents are tied to the rate of inflation.

“We need a real change so that housing is not seen as a commodity but as a social right”.