Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West John Curran was appointed to the position of chairman of the new all-party housing committee as it met for the first time yesterday.

The committee has been established by the Dáil to look at solutions to the housing and homeless crisis. It has to present an interim report to the Dáil by April 28th and a final report by June 17th.

“This is a cross-party committee and I look forward to working with all members of the committee to find constructive, workable solutions to deal with the housing crisis. TDs from across the House need to work together to find fresh ideas and a new approach to tackle this crisis.

“Rising rents and an insufficient supply of new housing has resulted  in a housing emergency in this country.  A report earlier this week showed that almost 6000 citizens are living in emergency accommodation, including almost two thousand children.

“Only yesterday we had reports of social housing units being vacant for up to 66 weeks as the turnaround times for councils to handover the properties to new tenants are lengthy & inefficient in some parts of the country.

“The committee will discuss many issues including homelessness, social housing, direct provision and how to increase housing output from the private sector. It will look at how to address the issue of availability and affordability in the rental sector and will examine the legal and constitutional issues relating to property rights in the state.

“The role of NAMA in the housing market, compulsory purchase orders and social inclusion; including traveller accommodation will be scrutinized by the committee too. I will engage with other committee members and work to the best of my ability to deliver functional solutions on housing,” concluded Deputy Curran.