Sunday 25 August 2019

Government accused of making rental market worse by failing to agree on a package

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

The Government has been accused of making the situation in the rental market worse by failing to agree on a package to tackle issues in the housing market.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to say whether ‘rent certainty’ as proposed by Environment Minister Alan Kelly will form part of the plan due in the coming days.

“It beggars belief how poorly you have dealt with the housing crisis,” independent TD Mick Wallace said.

“How has the Government failed so miserably to deal with the problem.

“You’re talking about taking the homeless people off the streets for Christmas, but you talked about the same thing last year.”

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams raised the same topic during Leaders’ Questions, arguing that people were “suffering directly” as a result of government policy.

“Your policies are making the lives of citizens worse. Families can’t afford to live in a home, they are being evicted, forced from their homes and into emergency accommodation,” Mr Adams said, adding that the response from the Cabinet was “incoherent”, “incohesive” and “chaotic”.

Mr Kenny said that the construction sector collapsed completely under the last administration and was being resurrected from a very low base.

“It’s a challenging situation,” Mr Kenny told the Dáil, adding that the supply of houses was the critical issue.

He hopes that the Mr Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan will reach agreement on a housing package this week.

“We’ve got to deal on the one hand with the supply side, on the other on what changes can be made now immediately,” he said.

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