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Nothing new in Penrose housing proposals - Ellis

16 June, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Dessie Ellis has strongly criticised the Housing Policy Statement released today by Minister of State Willie Penrose describing it as “nothing more than a rehash of the failed policies of his Fianna Fail predecessor.”

Deputy Ellis said;

“Today’s Housing Policy Statement issued by Minister of State Willie Penrose is nothing more than a rehash of the failed policies of his Fianna Fail predecessor Michael Finneran.

“The document’s claim to herald ‘a fundamental reconfiguration of the landscape of housing support in Ireland’ is quite simply a lie. There are no new policy initiatives contained in it. It is nothing more than a restatement of existing Departmental policies, many of which are failing.

“If Minister Penrose believes that today’s policy statement will help meet the housing needs of the 130,000 households currently on local authority housing waiting lists he will be sorely disappointed.

“The Statement’s detail on RAS, rent- supplement, social leasing and reform of the PRTB were all in train under the previous government.

“It also appears that Minister Penrose is rowing back on Programme for Government commitments to end homelessness. This Policy Statement states that the Governments goal is to ‘alleviate homelessness’. Does this mean that the government is no longer committed to ending long term homelessness? If so this is a retrograde step on a very achievable and important goal.”

“I also call on the Minister to clarify his position on the social dividend from NAMA and make a commitment that any dividend will serve social objectives first and foremost and not be another method of subsidising developers and landlords.”

“A stable and equitable public housing system which meets the needs of the people of Ireland is essential for our prosperity as a society and an economy. This document is a missed opportunity to begin the process of creating such a system and offers little more than rhetoric to the tens of thousands of families living in unsuitable and unstable accommodation.

“We need a renewed focus on the public provision of social housing which has never been more cost effective and is sorely needed.”

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