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Dublin Simon Report an indictment of Government housing policy

24 May, 2004

Speaking following his attendance at the launch of the Dublin Simon Community's Annual Report today, Dublin Sinn Féin T.D. Seán Crowe said that the report was an indictment of the Government's failure to address the housing needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Deputy Crowe said:

"The Dublin Simon Community's Annual Report serves to highlight the appalling failure of the Government to address the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. The Government should be ashamed that not one of the 400 homeless people who used the Dublin Simon Community's Shelter last year was housed by a local authority. This is directly the fault of central government which is not making adequate funding available to local authorities to increase their stock of social housing.

"This Government has made absolutely no attempt to address the housing needs of those people sleeping rough on Dublin's streets or permanently stuck in inappropriate temporary accommodation. Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern has made little contribution, except to cynically attempt to deny that many of these people are actually homeless. Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to make available to local authorities the necessary revenue for councils to commence social housing building programmes so that social housing stock may increase by 30% and to acknowledge the differing needs of groups such as single people who currently find it virtually impossible to secure social housing because suitable accommodation is not being constructed. There is very obviously a gap in policy where only temporary accommodation is considered - there needs to be a proper policy towards housing people on a permanent basis.

"I welcome the Dublin Simon Community's call for a referendum on the right to housing. Sinn Féin tabled a constitutional amendment Bill on this very issue last November, as we believe it would put an obligation on the Government to ensure that everyone has access to appropriate and affordable housing. I am calling on the Government to adopt the Sinn Féin Bill and bring forward a referendum to enshrine the right to housing in the 1937 Constitution." ENDS

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