Congress Meets with Labour Party on Housing Crisis

4 Oct 2017

Jan O'Sullivan Labour Housing Spokesperson

A delegation from the Congress Housing Committee met today (Oct. 4) with Labour Party spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan as part of the ongoing Congress campaign for urgent action to tackle the housing crisis.

Congress is pressing for a major emergency programme of local authority led social housing construction amounting to 50,000 units over the coming five years, along with penalties for land hoarding, including a Site Value Tax of 6% introduced in January 2018 and the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders on unused, serviced land.

The Congress Housing Committee was established to press for action and policy change to address the spiralling crisis and is comprised of representatives from unions with members across all sectors of the economy.

The Congress delegation was led by Congress President Sheila Nunan. As part of its campaign Congress has sought meetings with all major political parties and groupings, a range of local authorities in areas affected by the crisis and housing and homeless campaign groups. It has already met with Sinn Fein on the issue.

Speaking afterwards, Sheila Nunan thanked Deputy O’Sullivan and noted that the housing and homeless crisis “is now the defining issue for government and for wider society. The impact is felt all across the economy, as incomes and standards of living are squeezed by higher rents and prices, while untold damage is being done to working families who cannot access decent housing.

“Unless this is tackled with urgency, we will pay a higher cost in the long-run in terms to damage to social cohesion and living standards, not to mention future growth prospects,” she said.