The Building of Homes Should Be Deemed Essential - Tóibín
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government to use common sense and allow small scale safe house building to return.
An Teachta Tóibín stated;
“It is incomprehensible that after the length and depth of the housing crises in Ireland that the building of homes is deemed non-essential. Hundreds of people have died in Homelessness over the last number of years and hundreds more will lose their lives in the future if this government does not get serious about building homes. The building of homes has been disrupted badly by Covid-19 and construction has been practically non-existent in 2021. Every week the sites are closed 800 homes are not built. The cessation of construction will decimate supply of properties to an already under-supplied housing market. Failure to reopen construction will lead to an increase in rents, an increase in house prices, an increase in homelessness and all the misery that entails. There is already an undersupply of all forms of housing, the government’s blanket lockdowns will only serve to exacerbate that undersupply. Speaking to workers in the sector, there is an abject fear that jobs and livelihoods are going to continue to be lost in the coming months.”
“A wholesale ban on private construction is disproportionate and reckless. The government needs to get forensic on this. Ireland has had workplace closures way longer than any other EU nation. Our work places have been closed 4 times longer than Germany’s yet both countries have had similar mortality and morbidity levels. A brickie, a plasterer or a chippy can work outside or in well ventilated windowless houses pretty much on their own or in wells distanced small teams. Those with underlying health issues or vulnerable people at home should be allowed to stay at home”.
“We, of course, must be conscious of the threat of Covid-19 which nobody in the construction sector is taking lightly, but ignoring the warning signs in the housing sector will have consequences for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael whose record on housing is, and was, shameful to begin with. The government should instead implement forensic controls and allow construction to return safely. The government has the resources, the personnel and the authority to both fight Covid-19 and tackle the housing crisis. It can and must do both.”