Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ard Fheis 2004 - Housing crisis is getting worse

28 February, 2004

Sinn Féin representative for Ballyfermot Tony Smithers, speaking to Motion 93 in the Housing section of the Clár and also supporting Motions 95, 98 and in support of the amendment to Motion 100.

Regarding Section 1 of the motion, there are approximately 1,600 people on the housing waiting list for my own area of Ballyfermot. Since January 2003 around 100 families have been housed. At this rate it will take several decades to clear the waiting list! This is the extent of the housing crisis in Ballyfermot alone.

The situation, rather than improving, is actually going backwards. The current government and the incompetent Minister responsible for housing, Noel Ahern, has plunged this city back to the bad old days of the Tenements with families again living on top of each other in dreadful conditions through no choice of their own.

When given the opportunity of relieving pressure on the waiting list through state property and land becoming available, such as Clancy Barracks, this government was more interested in placing profit before people and has sold off such lands to speculators. It is these same speculators and their friends in the political establishment who have destroyed this city through bad planning and who are appearing in front of the various Tribunals on a daily basis.

In relation to Section 2 of the motion I believe that the people of Dublin need to be told what the City Council is trying to do in relation to its responsibility for housing provision. City Council officials are on record as stating that their policy is to get rid of its Housing Stock and to end its involvement in house building and housing maintenance. This is an outrageous proposal and should never be allowed to happen. Let there be no doubt that all of the councillors who will be elected for Sinn Féin in this city next June will fight this policy tooth and nail and we will stop it!

Regarding the proposed amendment to Motion 100, the City Council are refurbishing boarded up houses but the problem lies in the amount of time taken to do this. This is due to the under-resourcing of the Dublin City Council Maintenance section. The Amendment proposes a 3-month limit, which I believe, is long enough to get these houses back on stream and ready for families to be housed. Please support this amendment and vote in favour of Motions 93, 95 and 98.

Go raibh maith agaibh.

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