After voters go to the polls this Friday to select a new Council, making housing affordable must become the number one priority of the local authority. That’s the ambition of Seamus Ryan (Lab) who is looking to regain the seat he lost five years ago. The Lisduggan natives has identified housing as being one of the key failings of the outgoing Waterford City & County Council, and now wants a radical approach locally to solve the issue.
“I have been involved in local politics in Waterford for over two decades, and I have never seen this level of housing insecurity for people. Rising rents, the lack of social and affordable homes and the immense pressure of getting huge deposits together are faced by people all over the South East,” he said.
“Our next Council will have to make the provision of social and affordable housing its number one priority. We cannot have another five years of growing waiting lists, rising rents, and more unsecure HAP tenancies. “Waterford is becoming unaffordable. House prices in Waterford City jumped a massive 10% in the first three months of 2019 compared to a national increase of 2.9%. These increases are squeezing would-be-buyers in Waterford and also making it more difficult for those who rent.”
He said greater regulation of the private rental market and rent increases to be stopped via emergency legislation. The former Mayor is also seeking a halt to the Council’s selling of public land to private developers is also desired.“Building enough public housing will relieve pressure on the private rented market leading to reduced rents, and will also reduce the price of homes for sale as more people are securely housed.”