Sinn Féin Dáil motion on social housing shortage launched

February 15, 2013

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has called on the Minister for Housing to take immediate action to deal with the continuing crisis in social housing with nearly 100,000 people on the state’s housing waiting lists and deteriorating public housing leading to health concerns.

His made his comments as he and finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, launched the Sinn Féin motion, to be tabled next week in the Dáil, dealing with the shortage in social housing and mortgage distress.

Deputy Ellis continued:

“This motion is an important step in raising the many problems that continue in social housing in this state and takes the government to task on their inaction in dealing with the crisis.

“There are 98,000 households on waiting lists for Local Authority Housing in this state. These people are living in cramped unsuitable conditions and in the current system will be waiting a very long time to be housed appropriately.

“There are 94,000 people receiving Rent Supplement and 23,000 in the Rental Accommodation Scheme. These cost the state nearly half a billion euro a year but bring us no closer to a long-term sustainable provision of housing.

“The government’s only proposal has been to pass responsibility for social housing onto the private market and give greater workload to the overburdened voluntary sector. They have hailed social leasing from NAMA as a great solution but it will cost the state considerably and has only delivered 179 homes in three years.

“We need the state to make a real commitment to providing social housing and recognising the people’s right to housing. We have outlined already how funding could be secured for the building of thousands of homes which would create employment and give a decent home to tens of thousands of people. The minister must listen to our proposals and treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves.

“Funding is laid out in our Jobs Creation document released late last year.”

Issues with Greyhound

Please see below response regarding issues we raised with National consumer Agency about the service Greyhound are providing.

In relation to Greyhound Waste Collection, the NCA is currently engaging with the waste collection sector as a whole in relation to several issues. With regard to Greyhound Waste, we have received a commitment from the company that it will amend certain terms in it’s standard consumer contract which the NCA thinks are unfair to consumers. This commitment was made in an Undertaking to the Agency signed on 19th December, 2012 (a link to relevant information on our website is attached below). This Undertaking committed Greyhound to refunding those consumers who have already had credit balances forfeited. From 18th January, 2013, the company’s new terms and conditions state at 10.5 that “Any credit balance in the customer’s account will be refunded in the event that the contract is terminated , by either party within the 12 month period”. However, it should be noted that no timeframe for refunds is mentioned.