Labour leader Ivana Bacik has criticised the government's Housing for All plan, which she called "devastating," while Fine Gael has said it is working and can be built upon.
Over 32,000 houses were completed in 2023, marking the highest level of house building in 15 years, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator John Cummins, Fine Gael’s Housing spokesperson said: “The figures show 32,695 new homes built around Ireland last year. This represents an increase of 10% from 2022.
“In October, November and December of last year, over 10,000 new homes were completed, which was an increase of 13% on 2022.
“This clearly shows that Housing for All, the government’s long-term plan to deliver more homes for people of all backgrounds is working.”
Mr Cummins added that the state has not seen this level of house building since 2008, and that first-time buyer activity is at its highest since 2008.
Home-building has indeed increased from 5,000 homes per year in 2013 to almost 33,000 in 2023.
However, Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has said that the Housing for All progress report, which she dubbed "Housing for Some," does not address the reality of the crisis, and that we are "simply not building enough homes."
“Yes, Government are meeting some targets but all expert advice indicates that in order to accommodate our growing population, Ireland should be building 50,000 new homes per annum,” Ms Bacik said.
“Despite all the spin and bluster, home ownership is but a pipe dream for too many people in Ireland. What’s more, this Government continues to pursue housing policies that serve to benefit couples over single adult households. It’s an archaic approach,” she added.
Senator Cummins accused the opposition parties themselves of wanting to set back house building by abolishing both the Help to Buy Scheme and the First Home Scheme.
The latter of which he said “bridged the gap for eligible purchasers between their maximum mortgage and the cost of their new home.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Bacik called the government’s approach “half-baked,” forcing two-thirds of young adults to remain living in their family home, along with “record breaking levels of homelessness.”
“Nowhere is this Government’s failed housing policy more evident than in the failure for Minister O’Brien to focus on the delivery of social and affordable homes,” she said.
“The delivery of social and affordable homes is crucial to protecting those at the hard edge of the rental market.
"We need to see more focus and funding given to local authorities to get back to building and providing social and affordable homes if we are to meaningfully address the housing crisis. Government is failing to do so,” Ms Bacik added.
Fine Gael’s Senator Cummins said his party acknowledges there is still work to be done but that the government’s plan is “undoubtedly making positive progress.”