Speaking in the Seanad today on the Affordable Housing Bill 2021 Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said that she welcomed the Bill as it includes all of the elements that NESC has been flagging such as “cost rental, beefing up the LDA so that it can really deliver for us, having mixed tenure and ensuring that we have diversity within our communities”.
O’Reilly went on to say “I’ve spoken passionately about the fifteen-minute city. That means that we have to have diversity within that fifteen minutes. We have to have an intergenerational element and we have to have sustainability. I am delighted that the Minister has accepted that. I also think that some wording changes need to be looked at in this Bill.
She went on to say, “Fundamentally this is a very good piece of legislation, but I did have concerns and I raised them with the Minister around review”.
O’Reilly continued “Everything is in here but when is it going to be delivered. 6,000 adults are in emergency accommodation, 2,400 children are in emergency accommodation. We need to get going on this. We need to actually action what is in this Bill and in the LDA Bill and that means that we have to give people the confidence that we are going to be tracking that it is all happening”.
“We also need to give people confidence on a national level, not just Local Authority by Local Authority but what is the Government doing and what is the Department doing. We can say ‘Here’s a great piece of legislation, we are going to keep following up on it and we are going to deliver for those people because we must deliver, and we must be realistic and pragmatic.”
0O’Reilly concluded “I’m a passionate advocate for the Vienna Model of cost rental. I would love to see cost rental rolled out immediately, tomorrow, all over the country but we have to be pragmatic, we have to get the nearly 10,000 people out of emergency accommodation. We need to make sure that for the people living in their homes, that is not just about the affordability of that home – can they afford to pay the mortgage – but actually can they afford to feed themselves? Is it at a cost that is affordable in terms of their whole life and how their using their money?”