Like everybody else, I am are exasperated by the fact that we are back in the Dáil speaking about homelessness and frustrated by the sight of people walking into our constituency offices, including with children in prams, because they have been served with notices to quit and their landlords are selling the properties in which they live.
There is no tangible response from the Government on these matters. The Minister stated the Rebuilding Ireland is leading to homes being built but in the region of five of every ten homes built are being bought by investors.
We do not even have the official figures for the number of homes and estates on top of this being bought by real estate investment trusts. Rebuilding Ireland may be delivering homes but they are being bought by speculators and will not be used by people who need homes in which to live.
The level of building is not sufficient to deal with the number of people becoming homeless. However, these properties are still being grabbed by vulture funds and investors. Unless these fundamental matters are dealt with, men, women and children will continue to face this nightmare of homelessness.
I refer to today’s report from the Ombudsman. It is very disingenuous of the Minister to make reference to the report. We know that this has been happening for so long. It has been going on for years now, and the situation is not being resolved. Seventy-five per cent of council tenancies are now HAP tenancies. This is an incredible figure, and the Minister calls this putting people into homes. There is no security of tenure.
We know there are enough public lands in the country to build social homes using the cost-rental model.
The Minister has failed, his Government has failed, and in some ways many people here on the left have failed because we have not held them to account. I am really looking forward to a general election to challenge the Government on these issues!