Robert Dowds, the Labour local election candidate for Clondalkin, has called on the government to provide extra funding for the re-building Ireland home loan scheme. It is essential that as many people as possible can benefit from this scheme. The existing situation where many couples, and indeed single people, are paying rents far in excess of mortgages is intolerable. At the same time so many of those people cannot get mortgages because, with the rental pressure, they have no chance of getting a deposit together in order to obtain a mortgage.

At the same time, Fine Gael, as the government party, is not being helped by the action of many of their local councillors. In South Dublin, for example, the Fine Gael councillors opposed the Clonburris Strategic Development Zone housing which is to provide over 8,400 homes with infrastructure provided as well. While these councillors didn’t succeed in blocking the plan, they have contributed to delaying it by an appeal to An Bord Pleanála. This approach is not acceptable in the middle of a severe housing crisis with many young people not knowing where to turn and delaying having families which is not in the country’s long-term interest.