‘Should we stop building social housing?’


Sir, – I was astonished to read the claim that private housing associations could be the answer to the homelessness crisis (“Should the State stop building social housing?”, Opinion & Analysis, February 6th).

History tells us that, when properly motivated, governments provide for the housing needs of citizens better than any other entity.

The fact is the State has already all but stopped building social housing and there is a case to be made that private housing associations are a significant part of the problem in that they played a big part in creating the smokescreen that allowed government to walk away from its responsibilities in this vital area.

Given the depth to which they are now embedded in the provision of social housing and their enthusiastic support for the failed outsourcing policy which was pursued over the past number of decades, they must also take their share of the blame for the current housing crisis.

Addressing the housing needs of a nation is not rocket science or in need of charities whether they be “agile, innovative, more single-purpose” or anything else.

All that is required is an acceptance of the proposition that housing is a right which government vindicates by proper planning to ensure that the available stock meets demand.

Citizens should never have to rely on charities or voluntary organisations for the provision of vital necessities

Aside from that, has recent history not thought us of the very real dangers attached to allowing others to act in lieu of the State in providing for vital social and needs? – Yours, etc,