Government trying to disguise cut to housing grants for the elderly – Ellis

Sinn Féin Housing Dessie Ellis spokesperson has condemned the government for attempting to misrepresent a cut to elderly housing grants as a reallocation of funds. He made his comments as Age Action, an organisation which promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people, criticised the cut.

Deputy Ellis said;

“This is a cut plain and simple. It is a well-worn tactic of this government to claim they are reallocating funds to disguise an overall cut. Funds may be reallocated but not back into housing as is so desperately needed.

“The adaptation grant scheme in Dublin had to close last summer due to lack of funds. Now they are making it harder for older people to even be eligible by raising the age to 66, raising contributions and reducing the maximum grant by a fifth.

“If the government and the Minister can’t stand over their cuts then they should reconsider them. For the sake of many older people living in inappropriate conditions I hope they do.”

Fine Gael and Labour failing those in need of housing – Ellis

Sinn Féin spokesperson has said today that government policy is failing to deliver anything for people in need of housing. He made his comments during a speech on the Housing (Amendment) Bill 2013 in the Dáil.

Deputy Ellis continued;

“We have waited so long for a Housing Bill from this government. Over two years now housing remains a major problem in this state. It is a problem which this government has failed to tackle, allowing need to grow, rents to rise, conditions to deteriorate and savvy landlords to make profit in the absence of public provision.

“This government has failed tenants, homeowners and those seeking a home and this Bill will do nothing to change that.

“This government, like the last one, have pursued the old policy of depletion of the public housing stock, the over burdening of the voluntary sector and the drive to subsidise private landlords and developers to provide often below standard housing at a very high price.

“Dublin and it is probably not alone in this regard is going back to the days of the slum and the slum landlord. This is not 1913, in this day and age these conditions will not be accepted.

“The government cannot get away from the fact that the private sector doesn’t want to and cannot provide the housing needed.”