Fine Gael Kildare North TD, Bernard Durkan, has suggested that the Government should introduce an economic recovery bond to help provide funding for the local authority housing sector.
Deputy Durkan added that this would have a number of knock-on benefits, such as reducing the numbers of the on live register and boosting activity in the construction sector.
He said: “With up to 100,000 families on local authority housing lists the recently expressed fears of a housing crisis are well founded. This is ironic after the building boom, but most of the available houses in the Greater Dublin Area in particular are not suitable for families. This comes after ten years of little or no investment in the traditional local authority house building programme.
“Approximately 30,000 local authority family-sized homes are needed over the next three years to address the issue. Investing in such a programme will have wide ranging and far reaching positive economic benefits. It would also relieve part of the burden of rent support currently carried by the Department of Social Welfare, in lieu of local authority housing.
“A further economic benefit would be the generation of much needed employment in the housing, construction and associated sectors. Such a programme has the potential to bring about a reduction in the numbers on the live register of up to 10,000.
“While it is recognised that we must continue to reduce the current budget deficit, funding for such a scheme could come from a special Government economic recovery bond of suitable duration and return. This would encourage those with savings to invest in the economy, and would provide them with a return far in excess of current interest rates. This mode of using savings for investment purposes could significantly benefit the wider economy, as well as the individual investors.”