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Urgent need for debate on housing – Cullinane

8 June, 2011

Sinn Féin’s group leader in the Seanad, David Cullinane has stated that there is an urgent need for a discussion on housing as soon as possible.

Noting the 1% drop in housing prices which was highlighted in figures released by the Central Statistics Office, he highlighted the fact that the market had clearly not 'bottomed out'.

Senator Cullinane said:

”I feel a debate is urgently needed on the area of housing generally, in both the private and public sphere. This is an issue which cannot be allowed to disappear off the agenda. Might I remind the house that with the fall in new developments, there is a proportionate fall in applications under part V of the Planning act, which is affecting the stock of social housing. What this in effect means that we have thousands of empty houses, and thousands of people on waiting lists. The government needs to examine this urgently.

“Likewise, we need to re-examine the issues of home adaption grants, capitation grants, which have all but dried up, and also the issue of debt forgiveness and mortgage arrears.

“All of these issues are obstacles to citizens in claiming their right to housing and ought to be discussed.''

He also noted that the publication of the terms of reference of the Taxi Review group was due, and noted that this was equally an issue which the Seanad needed to debate.

“We have seen much coverage of the taxi industry in recent times, highlighting some of the unsavoury practices which have occurred in the industry. However it’s also important to remember the difficult situation that many taxi drivers find themselves in, with the streets simply flooded with taxis, due to the folly that was de-regulation.''

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