Seamus McDonagh

WP Meath representative Seamus McDonagh

The Workers’ Party have said that Housing Minister Simon Coveney and his colleagues can bring in bills on various aspects of housing rental until the cows come home but none of these will have any significant effect on the housing crisis as long as the government refuses to mount a major public housing construction programme.

Meath Workers’ Party representative Seamus McDonagh said that the latest move by the government, in which Dublin and Cork will be designated “rent pressure zones” amounted to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and would merely cause prices in other areas to equalise upwards in line with the larger cities.

“The government is desperately trying one failed initiative after the other”, said McDonagh, “but they refuse absolutely to try the only initiative they know is sure to work – the construction of high-quality, affordable public housing – because it would discommode Fine Gael’s landlord friends and hit their profits”.

Mr. McDonagh said that as long as there is a drastic shortage of affordable public housing those in need of housing will continue to be easy prey for the landlords and speculators.

He said, “Limiting rents for a short term in designated areas is no solution.  What is required is a massive housing construction programme.  Past performance has shown that the private sector is not interested in creating affordable housing, only quick and enormous profits. For that reason the state itself must build these necessary homes through a state construction company, learning from the mistakes of the past and building homes to the highest quality and at affordable and realistic rents”, said Seamus McDonagh.

“How many more press conferences will this government hold to launch this programme or the other?  How many more false dawns will be offered to those on housing waiting lists such as that in Meath?  The answer is simple, build genuinely affordable houses directly, but it is an answer this government does not want to contemplate”, said the Workers’ Party spokesman.