Fianna Fáil local candidate in Killarney Cllr Anne McEllistrim has welcomed the publication of the party’s new National Housing Strategy to help address the serious shortage of available housing units and the record numbers waiting on social housing lists.
The policy aims to increase the housing stock, boost job creation in construction, speed up the transfer of vacant NAMA units for social housing and make it easier for local authority tenants to buy their own homes.
Councillor McEllistrim said: “The lack of social housing a major issue across CountyKerry. A vicious combination of harsh social welfare cuts and escalating rents has driven more and more people onto social housing waiting lists and has significantly increased the level of homelessness.
“One of the main problems we have at the moment is that there simply are not enough family homes in the right locations to cater for demand. The reality is the housing supply is under huge pressure from the collapse of the construction sector and government policy is making matters worse.
“Significant intervention is needed to help families stuck on social housing lasts for years on end to find a home. Fianna Fáil’s National Housing Strategy plans for a new Home Building Programme, specific targets for social housing in all new developments, implementation of Tenant Purchase Schemes, and a new National Database of rogue developers.” The Fianna Fáil proposals include:
A new Home Building Programme drawn up by the Department of Environment in conjunction with each local authority;
- Part V Teams to ensure that 20% of all new developments are used for social housing;
- The development of the housing association sector, to ensure that housing associations have access to credit and maintain the highest standards of delivery;
- The establishment of NAMA transfer units at each local authority;
- The implementation of Tenant Purchase Schemes to empower families to buy their own homes;
The Vacant Home Refurbishment Scheme to open up the large number of vacant homes to families on social housing waiting lists;
- Development plans to facilitate the responsible construction of homes where sustainable demand is confirmed;
- The establishment of a National Database of rogue developers to inform planning decisions;
- The establishment of a National Planning Portal so all citizens can access planning information in each local authority; and
- The reintroduction of Housing Adaption Grants to allow older people and people with disabilities to live independently at home.