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.”

Slum conditions show need for better supports for tenants – Ellis

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has described as “damning but not surprising” reports that nearly 90% of flats reviewed by Dublin City Council in the last six months do not meet basic standards.
He made his comments following the release of figures by the council from their current intensified inspection campaign which found 1,384 out of 1,499 failed the test.
Deputy Ellis continued:
“To anyone working with people on low incomes this is no surprise. I see people everyday living in very poor conditions and I am constantly raising issues with the authorities from DCC and the Department of Environment.
“A walk around the older parts of the city will enlighten anyone. There are blocks of very old buildings with often five to eight buzzers on the doors.
“These are Dublin’s modern slums which have long been outside of acceptable standards and turning great profit for landlords.
“Inspections like this must continue and problems identified and dealt with. The unfortunate reality is though that Dublin has a housing shortage. The state is not building enough social housing and demand is already at an all-time high.
“The government need to get serious about providing decent housing for people who otherwise will fall to the prey of slumlords. It must also properly fund the Tenancies Board which has had to cut staff numbers and outsources it services in recent times with absolutely no government grant for its vital work. If this is not done then conditions will only worsen.”