Sinn Féin Republican Youth are calling on the Construction Industry Federation to release land banks immediately so that it can be used for housing. With the current housing market in a state of emergency, the disclosure of such space would allow for the building of social and affordable housing.

CIF are deliberately starving the housing market in order to continue using zoned land as a political football to play with Government policy.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney needs to begin immediate talks with the CIF in order to discuss the release of such land banks, given that the number of people in emergency accommodation continues to rise on a daily basis.

The latest homeless figures published by the Department of Housing this week show yet another increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation. December saw 4,643 adults were in emergency accommodation, an increase of 207 people on November.

For the first time since these figures were collated, we now have more than 7,000 people in emergency accommodation. Furthermore, this comes at a time when over 100,000 citizens find themselves on housing waiting lists and private rents continue to spiral out of control.

Senator Fintan Warfield, National Chair of Sinn Féin Republican Youth, said:

“The property market has been stifled for young people between property speculation, out of control rents, vulture funds precluding first time buyers and a rise in unregulated Airbnb lettings. The lack of regulation and state investment in social housing means that young people are being frozen out of the property market.

“Land banking is a form of property speculation that seeks to yield as much profit for new builds and subsequently drive up house prices and out of the hands of young people. We are calling on Minister Coveney to start building large scale public housing now as a matter of urgency.”