Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Deputy Jonathan O’Brien challenged the government on the state of social housing throughout Ireland.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“The fact is we can talk about rogue landlords who leave their tenants living in tenement conditions but the biggest rogue landlords in the state are the local authorities themselves.
“The increase in rents and the cap on rent allowances are pushing more and more people into homelessness while councils have houses boarded up because they are too unsafe for people to live in.
“The local authorities employ building inspectors to go out and inspect housing, and yet they fail to remember they need to inspect their own housing stock much of which is completely substandard.
“I know of one 80 year old woman in a local authority housing unit who lives 21 steps up. She has severe arthritis and at this point can’t even wash herself because the council do not have the funding to put in a walk in shower.
“Her family have to wash her.
“People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
“Another young girl with two children has had her rent upped by her landlord and with the rent caps is paying so much out her own pocket to keep a roof over their heads, is struggling to put food on the table.
“The government has an obligation to ensure people are housed appropriately and not forced to starve in order to prevent themselves becoming homeless.”