Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Justice Niall Collins TD says the dramatic upsurge in home repossessions is a direct result of flawed Government policy. His comments come following new figures which reveal that almost 1,000 repossession orders were granted in the courts in the first six months of this year.

The increase in home repossessions has also been accompanied by dramatic increases in rent in urban areas across Ireland forcing families and young people out of their homes and, in some cases, into emergency accommodation. Meanwhile, council housing lists have reached record highs in many counties.

Deputy Collins stated, “These latest figures are further confirmation that the Government’s policy in relation to repossessions is seriously flawed.  The dramatic increase in repossessions is a direct result of legislation introduced by this Government in the form of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013, which Fianna Fáil opposed in the Dáil and Seanad. This legislation ushered in a much easier mechanism to allow for repossession than had previously existed.

“Fine Gael’s record in the area of housing is appalling. What we have witnessed over the past four years is a deliberate Government policy to reduce home ownership, drive up rents in urban areas, and provide minimal funding for social housing. This has served to improve the banks’ balance sheets relating to mortgages and distressed loans. While this may have repaired the banks’ balance sheets somewhat, it has left thousands of people without homes, with nowhere to rent and has led to spiralling housing lists, which will take years to bring under control.

“In Dublin alone, the housing list topped 21,000 in May of this year while the similar figure in Limerick was over 3,900. Meanwhile rents in Dublin have soared an unprecedented 30% in the past five years.

“The Government’s rehashed housing policy will fail to reverse the massive problems which are a product of this flawed legislation. Fine Gael and Labour’s record in this area is shameful and serves to prove that efforts to protect the family home are not a priority for this coalition”.