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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 13 Jul 2022

Vol. 1025 No. 4

Raise the Roof: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin on Tuesday, 12 July 2022:
I move:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party Government has been in Office for two years;
— during this time rents have increased by 15 per cent, house prices by 22 per cent and homelessness by 19 per cent;
— in the last year alone child homelessness has increased by 41 per cent;
— there are 5,054 single people, 3,028 children and 1,366 families officially recognised as homeless;
— there are 3,278 adults and children with leave to remain trapped in Direct Provision;
— there are hundreds of adults and children in Tusla funded domestic violence refuges and homeless hostels not funded by the State;
— there is an unknown number of people sofa surfing or living in overcrowded and inadequate accommodation;
— travellers, people with disabilities, older people and migrants continue to live in unsuitable accommodation at the margins of our housing system;
— the latest Economic and Social Research Institute report on housing tenure and pension income adequacy indicates significant risk of increased pensioner poverty for those unable to buy their own home and dependent on private renting;
— Census 2022 identified 48,000 long-term vacant homes and 35,000 vacant rental homes;
— the targets set out in the Government's housing plan are not sufficient to meet the ever-growing housing need;
— the failure to deliver an adequate supply of public housing to meet social and affordable need is driving the housing crisis;
— the failure to provide an adequate supply of affordable student accommodation has led to an ever-deepening student accommodation crisis; and
— this ever-deepening housing disaster has led to the relaunch of the Raise the Roof Homes For All campaign led by the trade union movement, housing and homeless organisations, housing rights activists and political parties; and
agrees that Budget 2023 must deliver a radical shift in housing policy, as demanded by the Raise the Roof Homes For All campaign, including:
— a major focus on the delivery of large volumes of genuinely affordable homes for those locked out of the private rental and owner occupier markets;
— an increase in direct capital investment in public housing to deliver at least 20,000 social and affordable homes per year, including 4,000 affordable Cost Rental homes;
— a greater focus on bringing vacant homes back into use through the public housing programme and the introduction of a vacant property tax;
— an increase in the percentage of Part V units allocated for social and affordable housing;
— a ban on rent increases and measures to cut rents in the private rental sector;
— an emergency ban on evictions to halt the rise in homelessness and legislative change to restrict grounds for eviction;
— a new student accommodation strategy, in partnership with colleges and students' unions, delivering genuinely affordable accommodation for students on or near campus and greater protections for those students in digs-style accommodation;
— full implementation of the recommendations from the report of the Traveller Accommodation Expert Review Group;
— implementation of the Irish Refugee Council proposals for providing emergency accommodation to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war;
— an end to all pro-developer subsidies including the Help to Buy scheme, the "First Home" Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme and the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) Scheme;
— an introduction of measures to tackle the issues of speculative investment in land and land hoarding;
— an end to the outrageous tax reliefs on rent and capital gains for institutional cuckoo and vulture funds; and
— the holding of a referendum to enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:
"notes that this Government:
— published its housing plan, Housing for All - a New Housing Plan for Ireland (Housing for All), in September 2021, with record levels of funding in place to support the delivery of the plan, and unprecedented guaranteed State investment of over €4 billion each year to support Housing for All, through an overall combination of €12 billion in direct Exchequer funding, €3.5 billion in funding through the Land Development Agency (LDA) and €5 billion funding through the Housing Finance Agency;
— has committed to ensuring that over 300,000 homes will be built over the next decade across the categories of social, affordable and Cost Rental, private rental and private ownership, and, on average, over 33,000 homes will be built per annum, rising to 40,000 by 2030;
— is funding the largest ever social housing build programme, with a target of over 90,000 social homes by the end of 2030, including an average new-build component of over 9,500 social homes by the end of 2030;
— will deliver 54,000 affordable homes between now and 2030, with 2,000 Cost Rental homes and 4,000 local authority Affordable Purchase Homes on average to be provided each year;
— recognises the challenges of rising homelessness numbers and is taking action, and the Housing for All plan has a strong focus on homelessness with specific actions under the plan, including incorporating Ireland's commitment to the Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness, which includes a commitment to work to eradicate homelessness by 2030;
— has increased the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) discretion rate, from the current 20 per cent to a maximum of 35 per cent for all local authority areas, and as this will apply to both new and existing tenancies, it will secure more tenancies and prevent new entries to homelessness;
— has provided additional flexibility in HAP by allowing local authorities to apply a couple rate to a single person household, where required, in recognition of the shared one-bed need and the particular challenges faced by single persons in securing accommodation;
— has established a National Homeless Action Committee, which has representatives from Government departments, agencies and bodies, including representation from the homelessness services non-government organisation sector and this Committee is focusing on activating measures to prevent homelessness;
— has delivered over 700 'Housing First' tenancies up to the end of 2021, with a goal of over 1,300 new 'Housing First' tenancies by 2026;
— recognises the positive impact of the Voids Stimulus Programme in 2021 in bringing 2,425 units back into use and further plans for 2,200 units this year under a new Voids Stimulus Programme for 2022 with an emphasis on a quick turnaround and re-letting of vacant social housing stock to those on social housing waiting lists, including those in emergency accommodation;
— will publish a new youth homelessness strategy in Q3 of this year;
— is supporting local authorities to acquire homes for social housing for priority purposes, including acquisitions which support a household to exit or to prevent homelessness;
— has approved the bringing forward of new arrangements in relation to short-term letting, aimed at strengthening the pre-existing regulatory controls in this area, which will ensure that non-principal private residences in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) will not be advertised or accept bookings on online platforms or other media for short-term letting purposes without the necessary planning permission being in place in respect of the property concerned or the property concerned being otherwise exempted;
— has extended further the required termination notice period that tenants must receive, a measure designed to give greater security of tenure to tenants, and, in addition, the amendments provide for a new requirement on landlords to simultaneously copy the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) with all Notices of Termination given to a tenant;
— has tasked the RTB with reviewing Notices to Quit which involve the sale of a property, to ensure that there was compliance with the law and to take action where needed;
— is funding Threshold's National Tenancy Protection Service, which is instrumental in preventing homelessness in the first instance and supporting people to remain in their homes and is funding Threshold's Own Your Rights campaign for a second year, which aims to promote and increase general awareness of tenants' rights and is due to launch in September;
— has capped rent increases at a maximum of 2 per cent in RPZs and provided for tenancies of unlimited duration;
— is building on the success of the Mortgage to Rent scheme in 2021, when 678 borrowers availed of the scheme, and in 2022 the scheme will be expanded and it is expected that the scheme will deal with 1,000 cases, which is the commitment under Housing For All;
— is progressing actions on housing for older people, people with a disability and Travellers through Pathway 2 of Housing for All, including through sectoral specific plans such as the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027;
— recognises that increased housing supply is vital and, at the half-way point of the year, indicators suggest that we are on track to deliver the target of 24,600 new homes in 2022, with planning permission granted for 8,463 new units in Q1, up from 7,272 in Q1 2019, while commencements in the first five months of 2022 totalled 12,089;
— has recently launched the 'First Home' Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme, an affordability measure, to support first-time buyers in purchasing newly built homes nationwide, and the scheme will support 8,000 homeowners with affordable purchases up to 2026;
— has brought forward the delivery of the first Cost Rental homes, which are now beginning to come into the market, advertised at rates that are 40 per cent to 50 per cent lower than market rent;
— has legislated for affordable housing for purchase and for rent, and welcomes that homes for affordable purchase are now being made available under the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme;
— has increased the percentage of Part V to 20 per cent for social and affordable or Cost Rental homes on private sites;
— has introduced a new Local Authority Home Loan for those on modest/low incomes who cannot get sufficient funding from commercial banks to purchase or build a home;
— is enabling the delivery of residential units, which will help to revitalise urban centres, through the provision of State land to the LDA, and has agreed the transfer of State lands to the LDA with potential to produce 15,000 homes;
— welcomes progress by the LDA, who have lodged planning applications for a total of 2,358 homes for the year to date, and a contractor has been appointed to begin building 597 social and affordable homes in Shanganagh from September;
— welcomes the progress by the LDA on Project Tosaigh, which aims to accelerate delivery of 5,000 homes on non-State lands where planning permission has already been granted, but not yet activated;
— has introduced both fiscal and regulatory measures to address certain activities by corporate investors that may be detrimental to the market, including through the introduction of the 10 per cent Stamp Duty rate on bulk purchases of houses;
— has implemented an owner-occupier guarantee, which requires each local authority to ensure home ownership as a tenure type is provided for and estimated in their housing strategies, and notes that recently published analysis of the impact of planning guidelines that issued in May 2021, aimed at preventing multiple housing and duplex units being sold to a single buyer, shows that almost 16,000 residential units have been ring-fenced for individual buyers and that bulk buying or multiple sales to a single purchaser have been restricted;
— has launched the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) Scheme to deliver up to 5,000 additional apartments for individuals seeking to buy a home in the five cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, and it will also support the Government's objectives of compact growth and creating vibrant liveable cities for people who want to live close to work and urban amenities;
— will shortly launch the Croí Cónaithe towns scheme to support refurbishment of vacant houses in our towns and villages, a measure which directly underpins the objectives set out in the Town Centre First policy;
— will fund projects to address vacancy and dereliction in rural towns and villages and which aim to redevelop buildings to provide essential infrastructure, including remote working facilities, community facilities and libraries under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund;
— has made the Vacant Homes Officer position full-time across all local authorities;
— intends to bring forward a vacant property tax in Budget 2023;
— has reformed the Nursing Homes Support (Fair Deal) Scheme to remove disincentives for the sale of vacant properties, and under the changes to the scheme introduced by the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Amendment Act 2021 from October 2021, the three-year cap on contributions applies to the proceeds of a sale of a home, in the same way as it applies to the value of a home that is not sold;
— is progressing a comprehensive review of planning legislation, led by the Attorney General, and a new process for Large-scale Residential Developments of 100 plus units has been introduced to bring supply forward quicker;
— is bringing forward a new system of land value sharing that will be legislated for in 2022, which, along with the introduction of urban development zones, will underpin the delivery of land and infrastructure, and these measures will play a key role in the delivery of social and affordable housing, in particular, in decisions around the zoning or designation of land and the uplift in value of that land as a result;
— has published new statutory national planning guidelines for the preparation of local authority development plans, to ensure that sufficient new homes can be built in key areas of housing demand;
— has published statutory national planning guidelines to assist with the identification and mapping of lands in scope for the new Residential Zoned Land Tax;
— has funded the first project under the Enterprise Ireland Built to Innovate campaign, which is aimed at improving the productivity of the domestic residential construction sector;
— is progressing work on the new Construction Technology Centre and has established the Modern Methods of Construction leadership and integration group;
— welcomes the increase in apprenticeship registrations and is progressing a suite of actions in order to enable and enhance international recruitment and domestic workforce activation;
— is promoting construction careers among school leavers, potential career changers and those outside the labour force, to encourage them to take up employment or training opportunities in the sector; and
— has established the Housing Commission, which is tasked with examining issues such as tenure, standards, sustainability and quality-of-life issues in the provision of housing, and, as well as examining the potential for independent regulation of the social housing sector, the Commission will bring forward proposals on the referendum on housing referred to in the Programme for Government: Our Shared Future."
- (Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding Raise the Roof. On Tuesday, 12 July 2022, on the question, "That the amendment to the motion be agreed to", a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 80(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 64; Staon, 0.

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • English, Damien.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.


  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Cairns, Holly.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Jack Chambers and Brendan Griffin; Níl, Deputies Eoin Ó Broin and Richard Boyd Barrett.
Amendment declared carried.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.