Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD has said Fine Gael’s ongoing failure to prioritise capital investment in housing is unsustainable and is an approach that will take years to remedy or stabilise.
The Deputy was commenting having obtained information this week which reveals that the State has spent almost €4bn on private sector housing since Fine Gael has come into power.
Deputy O’Brien stated, “The data I have received indicates a major change in Government policy; a shift away from building homes and instead pouring taxpayers money into the private housing sector.
“It’s pretty stark to consider that €2.5bn has been spent since 2011 on providing rent supplement to private landlords across Ireland.
“To put this in context, prior to 2011 the State prioritised capital investment. In 2008, roughly €2.50 was put towards building homes for every €1 spent on short term housing supports. A total €1.5bn was spent on building housing units while providing HAP, RAS and rent supplement cost just €625m.
“This once prudent and sensible practice has been reversed under Fine Gael and the policy they have adopted will likely take years to catch up on.
“By injecting close to €1bn more into the private rental sector as opposed to properly investing long term capital over the past 7 years, Fine Gael evidently does not recognise the importance of sustainable capital investment. Their capital spending this year is already 30% behind 2008 levels.
“The forthcoming Budget must be one that puts housing first and which places an emphasis on building affordable homes up and down this country,” O’Brien concluded.