DÁIL SPEECH ON THE MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE IN HOUSING MINISTER

As the Minister is aware, something of the order of 5,000 individuals and families in the Dublin Bay North constituency I represent are on the city council’s housing list and a further 2,500 are on the transfer list. When the Fingal part of our constituency is added – I see the Minister of Education and Skills, Deputy Bruton, is in attendance – we have by far the worst housing list in the country, higher than any other county, the whole of Fingal or the whole of south Dublin.

In fact, as the Minister knows, this year Dublin City Council has only delivered 330 new tenancies in respect of a housing list of 26,000. The painfully slow and feeble steps taken by the Minister and his predecessor have done absolutely nothing to alleviate the suffering in my own constituency over the past two years. He is still putting families with children into cramped hotel rooms nearly 18 months after Deputy Coveney promised us faithfully that he would end this practice. The Minister is still putting them into hotel rooms despite the damaging impact on children’s’ development, nutrition and well-being, matters about which we know from so many studies. He has forced families into hubs. There was supposed to be a six-week turnaround. That has not happened.

He refuses to adopt any of the suggestions from this side of the House, including declaring a housing emergency, freezing rents, having a real affordable housing scheme and doing something drastic about the situation in Dublin in particular. The Minister has failed and he should go. I am of the view that those in Fine Gael and their predecessors, namely, their counterparts in Fianna Fáil who embarked on this disastrous housing policy, should be banished from Government for at least a generation.