SIPTU has today (Friday, 1st August) launched a ‘Discussion paper on Ireland’s housing crisis’ (attached) which sets out a four year plan to deal with the shortage of adequate social housing in the State. SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, said: “We propose that the task of resolving the housing crisis over the period between now and 2019 should be embraced as the major societal project in the context of commemorating the centenary of 1916.“We urge the parties in the Government and indeed all of the political parties represented in the Oireachtas to provide the leadership to promote the task of resolving the housing crisis within the timeframe envisaged."He added: “Towards that objective, the National Executive Council of SIPTU is publishing this discussion paper, authored by SIPTU economist Marie Sherlock, to promote the idea of adopting the resolution of the housing crisis as the core social project of the 1916 Commemoration.”The SIPTU plan is based around the provision of 25,000 social housing units over the four year period 2015 to 2018 while generating 65,000 jobs at an overall estimated cost of €3.7 billion.The document proposes that the funds can be raised, off balance sheet, from accessing the NTMA guaranteed funds facility, loans from the Council of Europe and the European Investment Bank and through the establishment of a social housing real estate investment trust (REIT).The plan also contains measures such as the introduction of temporary rent controls, accompanied by a range of other of planning, regulatory and tax changes.