Speaking in the Dáil during the motion on affordable housing earlier this week, Donegal TD Thomas Pringle highlighted that there are currently 1,600 people on the waiting list for two-bedroom houses in Donegal Town.
The first private members’ business slot of the new Dáil term saw a debate on a motion from Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD.
The motion called on the government to introduce an affordable housing scheme that has a minimum target of 100,000 public homes over five years, defines housing affordability as no more than 30 per cent of net disposable income, and pushes for the delivery of affordable homes that can be bought for €230,000 in urban centres and commuter belts, or €220,000 in non-urban areas and non-commuter belt areas.
The motion also proposes the delivery of affordable rental homes costing between €700 and €900 per month.
“It is a pretty serious situation. There are 1,600 people on the waiting list for two-bedroom houses in Donegal Town,” Deputy Pringle said.
“Donegal County Council is building 20 houses at the moment. At that rate it will take 80 or 90 years to deal with the list.
“That is an appalling reflection on the way housing has been dealt with in this country in recent years and, unfortunately, on the way it probably will be dealt with in the future. That can be repeated throughout County Donegal. I imagine it could probably be repeated throughout the country. That is an appalling and sad indictment.”
Pringle said that after hearing several members suggest the use of renting properties on daft.ie as a way of dealing with the housing list, he searched the website only to discover no properties in the Donegal Town or Killybegs area up for rent.
“In the entire county of Donegal there are 80 properties on daft.ie that are available to rent for less than €2,000 per month and 12 of those properties are outside Letterkenny. That is a county of 138,000 people.
“This is a huge crisis. It is not just a crisis in Dublin, Cork and Galway, but right across the country. Everywhere has been left behind. I do not believe that what the Government is doing will deal with it. That is the sad thing about it. The Minister can prove me wrong in the next five years. I hope he will. That would be powerful.
“I would love to be able to say in five years’ time, if the government lasts that long, that we are well on the way to solving the housing problem.
“Unfortunately, I believe this issue will not be solved in that time and we will be discussing motions similar to this one when that time comes,” Pringle said.
New Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Deputy Darragh O’Brien stated that the government intends to “embed affordability at the heart of Ireland’s housing system, prioritise the increased supply of social and affordable homes… [and] increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000 homes, with an emphasis on new builds.”
Deputy O’Brien said that tackling homelessness would be a key objective, and highlighted that a cost rental model is currently being prepared. He said he wishes to expand the Rebuilding Ireland home loan, strengthen the mortgage-to-rent scheme, and retain the help-to-buy scheme for new properties and for self-build properties.
“My tenure as Minister will see affordability at the heart of the housing system. My immediate priority in this area will be concentrated on introducing an affordable purchase scheme that will help struggling households access affordable homes. I am very much aware of the breadth of the task that is facing us in this area and I am determined to take on this challenge,” Deputy O’Brien says.Tags: