Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh has said the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Government is making the housing crisis worse. She said the Housing Bill, by putting recipients of Housing Assistance (formerly Rent Supplement) at the back of the queue for social housing would "add to the growing misery caused by the housing shortage. She said:
"The Fine Gael/Labour Government is making the housing crisis worse. It continues to rely on the private rented sector to meet the needs of tens of thousands of families who need social housing. This has been a total failure, especially in Dublin.
"As rents rise and as landlords exclude people on Rent Supplement, more and more people are being forced into homelessness. Families are being put up in totally unsuitable hotels and hostels. We now find that the Government's Housing Bill will see recipients of the Housing Assistance payment (formerly Rent Supplement) taken off the housing list as they will be deemed 'adequately housed'. This can only be described as a blatant attempt to disguise the true level of housing need. While the transfer of housing payments to local authorities is welcome, this discriminatory element of the Bill must be stopped.
"The bottom line is that the housing crisis can only be effectively addressed by the immediate commencement of construction of social housing on a large scale across the State."