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Rather than leasing homes for homeless Government should seek to buy them – Ó Snodaigh

20 April, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the acknowledgement from Government that measures need to be taken to help those who are living in emergency accommodation for years on end. However Deputy Ó Snodaigh warned against the subsidising private landlords and called for a redirection of housing policy towards the public provision of social housing.

Speaking today as the Government announced a plan to lease hundreds of houses throughout the state for long term use by homeless people Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin welcomes the fact that the government is finally admitting that it has to do something to help those who are living in ‘emergency accommodation’ for years on end.

"And while we understand the financial constraints on the government which are of their own making, we do not agree that subsidising private landlords yet again is the way forward and believe that solving the housing crisis and ending homelessness would be far better served through redirecting housing policy towards the public provision of social housing.

"Rather than leasing these houses from private landlords the Government should seek to acquire them at or below the market price. This would prove to be a much safer investment of public money. Buying many of the thousands of derelict or empty home at cost price or below, would also have the added advantage of stimulating the collapsed construction industry." ENDS

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