Scandal of 230,000 vacant homes during housing crisis

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Dessie Ellis TD has condemned as scandalous that 230,000 homes lie vacant across the state despite the fact that nearly 100,000 people are on housing waiting lists and 5,000 people are homeless.

He made his comments following the release of new figures on vacant housing published yesterday in The Roof Over Our Heads which is part of the CSO series of reports on the findings of Census 2011.

The deputy continued:

“The report found that despite such a great need for housing in the state no shortage exists. The report found 61,628 vacant apartments, up nearly 50% since 2006, and 168,427 vacant houses across the country. Dublin, which has the highest number of homeless people, has 16,321 empty apartments.”

“What is stopping people from being housed is the real lack of units available for them in public stock. Homelessness advocacy groups have called for a Housing First policy which has fallen on deaf ears with the government which is cutting spending on housing dramatically and shirking their responsibility. These vacant homes could in many circumstances be used to house people in the absence of a real investment in a social housing build but the government has failed to even make a considerable move on delivering the 2000 units promised from NAMA last year.”

“The government needs to wake up to the crisis in housing and to put in place a serious strategy to cut waiting lists and progress on their promise to end homelessness.”

Sinn Féin welcome boost for Local Area as planning for Gaelscoil

Sinn Fein representative in Ballymun Noeleen Reilly has welcomed further details of the new permanent school buildings to be built for Gaelscoil Bhalla Munna describing it as a major boost for the area.

“The students were in prefabs for the last 17years and I congratulate the parents and the Board of management for their work in securing a Government commitment to provide permanent school buildings. This will be a major boost to the local community and to the growth of the Irish language in areas like Ballymun”

“The new school will cater for 183 Pupils in 12 Classrooms in a two storey building which will also have a library and a large assembly area.”

Ms Reilly welcomed the fact that the School height is in keeping with height of Houses and Apartments in area and that the development will include a new Increased Car Park for Staff and Visitors which should alleviate any possible traffic management issues.

“Given that the area is one of heavy traffic it is imperative that a traffic warden is provided for the area to ensure the safety of children going to and from school”.