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Ó Caoláin to outline detail of joint Sinn Féin Labour Party motion on social housing and homelessness

15 December, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD will tomorrow outline the detail of a joint Sinn Féin Labour Party private members' motion on homelessness and social housing which will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow evening.

Deputy Ó Caoláin will address the media at 12noon at the Kildare Street entrance to Leinster House.

Speaking today ahead of the debate Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "Sinn Féin will join with the Labour Party tomorrow evening to jointly put forward a motion dealing with homelessness and the social housing crisis.

"Figures released by Minister of State Michael Finneran last week demonstrate two stark facts.

"The first is that housing need in the state is increasing every year and has now reached crisis proportions. In March of this year 59,000 households were living in housing need, languishing on local authority waiting lists. More than 40,000 children live in these households.

"The second is that government housing policy is failing. This is demonstrated by the fact that since 2005 housing need has increased by 30% and has doubled in the past decade.

"The simple fact is that the government is not spending enough money on social housing and as a consequence local authorities are not able to provide sufficient social housing to meet local needs.

"The level of homelessness continues to be at a serious level with an estimated 5,000 experiencing homelessness at any one time. And there are growing concerns at the increase in the number of repossessions, illegal evictions and problems facing people in rental accommodation.

"The joint Sinn Féin Labour Party motion aims to rectify this by mandating the Government to approve the construction of an additional 10,000 social housing units each year for the next three years. I would urge all TDs, including Government backbenchers who no doubt have to deal with the housing crisis in their constituencies on a regular basis, to support this motion." ENDS

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