Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Housing Minister twiddling his thumbs as house prices continue to rise

10 May, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has accused Minister of State with responsibility for Housing, Noel Ahern T.D, of twiddling his thumbs while house prices continue to rise unabated. Deputy Morgan was speaking following the publication of the Government's Housing Statistics Bulletin for 2003.

Deputy Morgan said, "The Government's Housing Statistics Bulletin for 2003 published today shows that in 2003 house prices increased by 13.4% and 16.3% for new and second-hand houses respectively. The increases in Dublin were 13.9% and 19.5% for new and second-hand houses respectively.

"Noel Ahern has been ignoring the ongoing crisis in terms of house price increases. The Minister of State had, up until recently, not even conceded that house prices were still increasing. It is inexcusable that Minister of State Ahern has stood by twiddling his thumbs while house prices soared and large sections of the population were priced out of the housing market. I have challenged Minister of State Ahern on his contention that there is no problem with affordability of housing in this State. The real problem is that the Government does not have any overall strategy to deal with the housing crisis in the state and indeed does not even prioritise the housing issue.

"Housing is becoming more and more unaffordable, homeless numbers and numbers on local authority waiting are not decreasing. Given rumors of the Taoiseach's new decisiveness in dealing with renegade members of his parliamentary party let us hope that he has developed similar backbone the tackle Fianna Fáil's fellow travellers, the developers and speculators who are creaming off huge profits at the expense of communities who cannot house themselves.

Sinn Féin is calling for a national housing strategy with concrete targets for the elimination of housing waiting list and homelessness and which includes measures to tackle hoarding and reckless profiteering by developers and speculators." ENDS

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