Government housing strategy shameful - Gerry Adams TD
Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday June 13th Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams urged the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to look at the positive example of Louth County Council’s approach to vacant homes as a way of addressing homelessness across the state.
Teachta Adams said:
“Minister Murphy’s one year in office has been marked by abject failure in respect this tackling the housing crisis”.
“The Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael-led governments of recent decades have contributed to the worst housing crisis in decades.
"Some 10,000 citizens are in emergency accommodation, homelessness among pensioners is on the increase, and a total of 3,689 children are homeless. Child homelessness has increased by 7% under Fine Gael-led governments. Almost 150,000 people are on waiting lists, including over 4,000 in Louth.
"On Tuesday the RTB confirmed rents are still increasing and have reached new peaks, including in Louth. Behind these statistics, families struggling to keep a roof over their heads are desperately trying to put together the money to find a home they can afford.
"Thursday marks the anniversary of the Taoiseach's first year in office. He has listed his successes. He did not - he could not - include the provision of homes for citizens. The stresses and strains on tens of thousands of families are enormous. Everyone should have the right to a home. Mar a deirtear i nGaeilge, níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin.
"The Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon, described this crisis as a shame. It is the Government's shame and also the shame of the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, whose one year in office has been marked by abject failure in respect this issue.
"The Government has failed to tackle the housing crisis at any level, failed to produce a review of the Rebuilding Ireland policy, failed to produce a vacant homes strategy and is failing to build the social homes that are urgently required. The number of social houses to be delivered this year will be lower than last year.
"In my constituency, Louth County Council has rightly acquired vacant homes through compulsory purchase orders, on which I commend it.
"The Government promised to bring forward a vacant homes strategy but ten months later there is still not sign of it. There are currently 124 people in emergency accommodation in Louth. Approximately 8% of houses in Louth council areas are vacant. A vacant home strategy, properly resourced and financed, could make a significant contribution towards ending the scourge of homelessness in Dublin, Louth and many other local authority areas”.