Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: All parties in successive governments share blame for housing crisis

Pringle: All parties in successive governments share blame for housing crisis

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said all parties in successive governments have accepted policies that led to the housing crisis.

Addressing the Dáil recently, Deputy Pringle supported an emergency public housing building programme using the full resources of the State and local authorities’ compulsory purchase of vacant properties.

Deputy Pringle said: “But we all know in this House that’s not going to happen, unfortunately, because it falls on deaf ears when it reaches the Government side.” He said some people fault Government for not doing the right thing.

However, he said: “They’re doing things right as they see it, and that’s the crux of the problem. The government doesn’t see their role as providing housing for people who need it. They don’t see their role as providing housing for people who have incomes that put them above the limit, because if they did they could actually change those limits and they could include those people in the housing need.”

“They are interested in providing money for private developers to build houses and that’s what they do,” he said. The deputy was speaking last Thursday in support of the Labour Motion re Emergency Housing Measures.

Deputy Pringle said: “This Government is failing and this Government is failing miserably. And it’s failing in the most horrible way, too, because it’s in a way that’s affecting people’s lives significantly.”

The deputy said: “This problem has been around for a long time and we know what to do but the Government isn’t doing anything.” He said rents rose by an average of 14.1 per cent nationwide in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, according to — the highest increase since it began tracking rents in 2005.

“Again, the government knew this was happening and the Government did nothing,” the deputy said.

Deputy Pringle said: “It is devastating to see how this housing crisis is affecting parts of Donegal. I have constituents coming to me week after week unable to buy and left with nowhere to rent.”

He said, “There is no doubt at all that Housing for All has failed,” and referred to Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s announcement that the return of 78 vacant homes in Donegal “has a positive impact on communities”.

The deputy said: “These vacant homes did not go anywhere, they are still owned by the council, they were just left inactive which never should have been the case in the first place. But in reality, 78 houses will make no difference when you have 2,600 people on the waiting list.”

He said: “And the reality is that if people who couldn’t afford to provide themselves with housing were included on the list, there would probably be easily 10,000 people on the housing list in Donegal. And that’s the sign of the failure of this Government and successive governments to deal with the issue.”

Deputy Pringle said: “Obviously, the Troika and the Troika bail-out programme accelerated the problem, but it didn’t start the problem. This problem started right through the ‘80s and started with the move out of the direct supply of housing. Every party that was in government since that time has participated in this programme and has allowed it to happen.”