Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan TD, has today claimed that the government’s recent announcement of €15m towards the housing crisis is more of an insult than a solution.
Speaking during the Dáil debate on housing, Deputy McLellan said:
“We all agree that there is a housing and homeless crisis facing this country. The numbers sleeping on our streets is growing, the housing lists in all our local authorities are lengthening and the bills for emergency accommodation are spiralling.
“In my own town of Youghal there are over 160 families on the housing list, Cobh over 500. People can wait up to 6 years in Middletown for a housing offer. I have had cases where people are waiting up to 10 years before any offer of housing is made.
“We have 3 generations of the one family living in over crowed conditions. This in itself is bringing added problems of stress, strain to a difficult situation.
“Sinn Féin proposes to tackle the housing crisis head on. We have identified €1 billion of unused money in Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund.
“Current cost projections from the Department of Environment state the average cost of building a new social housing unit is €151,477 and the cost of renovating an unused social housing unit is approximately €15,756 .
“Using this money we have identified the government could provide an additional 7450 homes on top of their current targets. If initiated now we could be on track to deliver a minimum of 12,450 new social housing units before next summer.
“Sinn Fein is dedicated to offering realistic and achievable solutions to the housing crisis. We are not interested in plucking numbers out of our imagination or accepting the status quo where over 100,000 people are not adequately housed and more and more are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”