Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Housing Plan

Archive Statements > 2016

Housing Plan - A Missed Opportunity
21st July 2016

The Government's action plan on housing is a major opportunity missed because it has continued the failed policy of pumping enormous amounts of taxpayers' money into the hands of private landlords and developers. The promises to construct thousands of houses every year for the next 5 years would be welcome if they were in public ownership. Instead the plan is to continue to force thousands of people into private rented accommodation with enormous amounts of money being paid to landlords in the form of Housing Assistance Payments, RAS payments and Rent Allowance. There will be no security of tenure for these tenants as landlords could sell up anytime and therefore tenants will always be insecure and anxious about the future.

It would have been far better if this huge amount of money was used to re-establish Direct Labour House Building Units in every County Council. This would allow the Councils to employ blocklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and labourers giving them secure employment while constructing high quality public housing. These houses would be available to let to people unable to secure a home of their own and the rents received would provide much needed revenue for the Councils.

It's not rocket science and was the way we used to do things until the 80's when the practice of large scale local authority house building was abandoned. This was a huge mistake and the option to correct it was not taken by this Government and we will all live to regret this missed opportunity in the long run.

Cllr. Joe Behan

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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