Sinn Féin calls for ‘sea change’ in housing policy

Published date20 September 2022
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
The party's housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said if in government his party would deliver 2,900 more social homes and 4,500 more affordable homes than the Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael coalition which has a combined target of 12,600 homes in 2023

Mr Ó Broin said the housing plan would cost €1.4 billion in capital expenditure and one fifth of the 20,000 social or affordable homes would be refurbished vacant or derelict homes.

He said the party would also reform the current Department of Housing system for approving public housing projects, which he said was delaying developments by up to two years in some cases.

Mr Ó Broin said Sinn Féin would discourage developers from building aparthotels or luxury build-to-rent housing, by scraping tax reliefs. He said this would free up construction workers to instead work on building social and affordable homes.

Sinn Féin reiterated its call for "emergency legislation" to introduce a ban on rent increases for three years. It also committed to a refundable tax credit "to put a month's rent back into renters' pockets", which the alternative budget said would cost €302 million.

Sinn Féin called for a significant expansion of the current tenant in-situ scheme, where local authorities buy private rental properties when tenants receiving social housing support payments were served eviction notices and facing homelessness.

Tax breaks

Mr Ó Broin said the majority of landlords currently leaving the market were "accidental landlords", or those who had bought property to later sell to bolster their pension. In both cases he said these cohorts were selling the properties as house prices were high. The Sinn Féin TD said landlords already...

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