New builds the only way to solve housing crisis

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BUILDING new homes is the only way to seriously tackle the current housing crisis.

That’s according to Sinn Féin councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh who was told by Limerick City and County that there are only 24 local authority houses awaiting repair before they will be let or re-let to local authority tenants.

“It is apparent that the current public housing stock will not suffice in addressing the current crisis. Eleven of these 24 properties have only recently been returned to the Council so may need some work before allocation. But these figures show that the current supply will come nowhere near addressing the crisis,” he told the Limerick Post this week.

“The government seem content with pumping taxpayers’ money into the pockets of private landlords through the RAS and HAP schemes, rather than actually providing social and affordable housing for our citizens. The 6 per cent annual increase in rents in Limerick has shown that these schemes are doing very little to solve the crisis, merely facilitating the skyrocketing of rents in the city and county.”

He is also adamant that the building of public housing would have a knock-on effect in the private market.

“It would lead to affordable rents and affordable purchase prices, and perhaps this wouldn’t be of benefit to the many government TDs who are also landlords, including former Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

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“I have supported many housing developments including the Hyde Road flats, Edward Street, Southill and many others, and voted to increase the current housing supply, as much as I can as an opposition councillor.

“We have plenty of sites throughout the city and county which could be built on; it’s a matter of the government having the will to build,” Cllr O’Ceallaigh concluded.

by Alan Jacques

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