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.”