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Ó Snodaigh slams Gormley’s U-Turn on Social Housing

3 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has criticised Green Party Environment Minister John Gormley for not implementing his party policy in relation to Part 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Minister is now supporting a housing policy that delays the provision of social housing and promotes class segregation which is contrary to current Green Party policy.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said today, "Part 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 was amended by the government in 2002 to allow developers to buy their way out of their obligation to provide social and affordable housing in all new developments.

"This amendment, as Sinn Féin warned at the time, has led to a delay in the provision of urgently required social housing and has promoted class segregation. The Green Party's Housing policy states that in Government the party would reverse this amendment.

"Now in Government John Gormley, as Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, is perfectly placed to apply Green Party policy in housing. However he seems reluctant to do so and is happy for his Junior Minister Batt O'Keefe to outline his Department's support for the current workings of Part 5.

"The Minister is now supporting a housing policy which delays the provision of urgently needed social housing and promotes class segregation. Of course this is completely contrary to current Green Party Policy.

"I would like to know if this detail was decided at the negotiations for Government which took place after the election last year. And if so, did Green Party members know about this when they voted to enter coalition with Fianna Fáil and the PDs?

"I would call on the Minister to stop pandering to Fianna Fáil, think of those who are most affected by this policy and implement promised reforms to Part 5." ENDS

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