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Matthews welcomes new housing committee role

Date: 22 September 2020

Green Party TD for Wicklow Steven Matthews has been appointed Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Discussing the role, Deputy Matthews said,

“I was honoured to be selected to Chair the Housing, Local Government and Heritage Committee. Housing in particular is such an important issue in Ireland and the challenge is to increase supply at levels that are affordable, provision of social needs, and addressing homelessness. The urgency with which we need to tackle the housing crisis has only increased in light of the pandemic. I am contacted on a weekly basis by people across Wicklow who can’t access social housing, are being crippled by debt due to high rents and can’t save to buy their own home. These are the practical realities we need to tackle.

“I have met with Minister Darragh O’Brien and his Department officials to discuss the key areas that the Housing Committee will seek to address. I have also contacted all the members of the housing committee to open a cross party dialogue on the key areas that the committee will focus on.

“The Programme for Government sets out some clear commitments in relation to housing, but the solutions don’t need to be party political and I plan to facilitate open and frank discussions in the Housing Committee from people from all sides of the political spectrum. Ultimately, the public aren’t interested in political point scoring, they want to see results.

“I also look forward to engaging with all stakeholders including various NGOs and housing bodies who work so hard in this area and supporting their work. These are the experts on the ground and their insights will be invaluable in directing the committee’s focus and informing our debates.

“Planning and Local Government is intrinsically linked to housing issues, and my experience as a town & district councillor, on Wicklow County Council, and on various Planning Policy Committees over 13 years gives me a good understanding of the issues and challenges facing local councils”, Deputy Matthews concluded.



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