Ireland has begun the biggest social house building programme in a generation, the Taoiseach said.
Leo Varadkar claimed Fianna Fáil’s housing policies were “bankrupt”, “empty” and lacked substance as he promised 10-11,000 new social properties for those who cannot afford their own accommodation.
The country also needs to provide developments for private sale enabling people to buy homes near where they grew up, the Fine Gael leader added.
He said: “I believe that public lands should be used for the benefit of all the public.
“We also need private housing for people to buy.
“People want to be able to buy a place near where they grew up.”
Recently Mr Varadkar turned the sod at a €40m development in Cork, the first affordable purchase housing scheme in the country but said he was also aware of the wider challenges.
He added: “This is the biggest social housing programme in a generation.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin told the Dáil the Government was blaming everybody but themselves for homelessness.
He said: “People are suffering out there because of the lack of housing in this country.”
He said parents agreed that their young people had no prospect of owning a home and warned homelessness was rising.
He characterised the Government’s attitude as: “We will blame everybody else but ourselves.
“That is your approach to housing and the other key issues facing this country.”
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has warned an agreement reached by a group of Dublin city councillors on regenerating O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin cannot be implemented due to funding and legal concerns.
The Taoiseach said he hoped the council would get on with the mixed development as soon as possible.
He added: “People need these houses.”
The former apartment complex near Stoneybatter has been lying derelict since the foundering of a previous agreement to overhaul the area a decade ago.