Government will do all it can to ensure generation not left behind – Eamon Ryan

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Government Will Do All It Can To Ensure Generation Not Left Behind – Eamon Ryan Government Will Do All It Can To Ensure Generation Not Left Behind – Eamon Ryan
Eamon Ryan, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Michelle Devane, PA

The Government will do everything in its power to make sure a generation of young people are not left behind and can afford to buy a home, the Green Party leader has vowed.

Eamon Ryan admitted the current housing market was “broken” and needed radical change, which he promised he would help steer from within Government.

The Environment Minister made the remarks during an exchange over housing with Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty who said Mr Ryan is part of a coalition government that is “shattering the hopes and ambitions of an entire generation with bad housing policies”.

 

During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Mr Doherty said the Government was delivering more of the same on housing.

On Wednesday the Dáil passed the Government’s plan to increase stamp duty on investment funds in an effort to deter funds bulk-buying properties.

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Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman read into the Dáil record the testimonies of a number of people struggling to buy a home, including a man who the Donegal TD said had been on the housing list for 10 years who could not get a mortgage, yet had paid €97,000 in rent.

Mr Doherty said: “You’ve surrendered this city to international investors and consigned a generation, many of them who voted for you, young people, to extortionate rents well into the future.”

He added: “The Green Party is now up to its neck in this housing crisis.”

Mr Ryan said housing was an issue for people across the country and that it was most acute for those in the centre of Dublin.

 

“In my own constituency I can see the dilemma, particularly for a new younger generation,” he said.

“We will not leave them behind. We will not leave them out. We will do everything in our power to make sure they have the ability, as my generation did and previous generations, to be able to afford a home.”

He added: “The current market is broken, the market is not working. You will not fix this. There has to be a radical change and we will help steer that radical change from within government.”

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The Dublin Bay South TD said housing needs to be put centre-stage and that the Government would apply the same “rigour, urgency and flexibility” that had been applied to the Covid crisis to both the climate and housing crisis.

Mr Ryan said the cost rental approach could be used as a solution to the crisis to bring down high rents in addition to the Affordable Housing Bill.

But he warned: “It takes time. We have to be honest with young people.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall questioned how people were supposed to buy homes in Dublin when almost all apartments are being bought by investment funds and the Government had omitted apartments from what she described as its “meagre measures” this week to tackle the issue.

“Why are you and your party facilitating this planning bonanza for cuckoo funds? Do you accept that this Government is declaring the city centre in Dublin as a no-go area for first-time buyers and isn’t the case that young people who want to live in the city centre cannot aspire to home ownership?” she asked.

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The Minister said the Government needs to make homes affordable by making significant investment in social housing.

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“The coming months are going to be critical because the strategy and plan has to be changed,” Mr Ryan said.

“We’ve to change tack and do better, and the funding has to go in that direction.”

He also said that the Land Development Agency plans for public lands would be key “to help unlock this at scale”.

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