Independent Kerry TD Michale Healy-Rae has blasted government TDs who he accused of “mouthing about houses” when they have personally objected to the development of “thousands of houses”.
Speaking on Upfront with Katie Hannon last night, Healy-Rae said “one individual man who comes to mind” had objected to applications to build 2,820 houses.
You want houses but you don't want them in your constituency! @MHealyRae and @RoisinShortall clash while discussing whether to raise the vacant property tax to 10% on #RTEUpfront pic.twitter.com/Qaf8PBjNdO
— Upfront with Katie Hannon (@RTEUpfront) April 24, 2023
He turned his criticism to fellow panel member Social Democrats TD Róisín Shorthall who he accused of objecting to 331 fast track apartments saying that she had claimed that the “development would negatively affect another estate”.
“How many people would have been housed in those places?,” he asked, adding, “ an awful lot of the places” Shorthall has objected to would have been designated as “affordable and sociable” houses.
He described her actions as “awful behaviour” and “reckless”, adding. “You want houses but you don’t want them to be build in your constituency,”
Healy-Rae went on to say he wanted housing including “local authority houses” and “private houses” to be built in Kerry.
“I won’t object to them,” he said.
Shorthall retorted saying that she did want “plenty” of houses and apartments built in her constituency.
She pointed to a lack of supply of available housing as a reason that she supports the vacant homes scheme.
As part of the Housing for All scheme, which Taoiseach Leo Varakdar said was “the most ambitious housing plan in the history of the State,” the government plans to deliver “more than” 300,000 new homes by the end of the decade.
Varadkar say ,the plan is “showing real progress. Almost 28,000 new homes were completed in the 12 months to the end of September, the highest rolling 12-month total of any period since comparable data were first published in 2011,”.
“We are building more new homes than at any point in more than ten years, and that does not include student accommodation or derelict homes being brought back into use. We expect to see data in the next few weeks that will confirm we exceeded our overall target of 24,600 new homes in 2022.”
“The target for 2023 is 29,000 new homes, and I want us to exceed that as well.” he said.
The Taoiseach continued that the government has legislated to cap rent increases and enhanced security for tenants through deferring no-fault terminations until April.
“We have also introduced a rent tax credit and we encourage renters to avail of that, given it is now possible to apply for it online.”
Varadkar says his government is also “reforming the planning system and promoting the use of innovation, rapid builds and modern methods of construction.”