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McDonald outraged at rise in dublin homeless figures

25 May, 2004

Sinn Fein's candidate in the European Elections Mary Lou McDonald has expressed her outrage at the rise in homelessness in Dublin exposed by the annual report of the Dublin Simon Community. The report states that the number of homeless families is up almost 20% over the last five years and there has been a 15% increase in the number of homeless children.

Ms McDonald said: "These figures are nothing short of outrageous but the facts behind them are even more disturbing. According to the report not one homeless person, not a single one, helped by the charity in the last year was housed by any of the four local authorities in Dublin. The report also exposes how the policy of this Government 'curtails rather than assist homeless people to move into long-term rented accommodation.'"

"Sinn Fein introduced legislation in Leinster House to enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution of this State. The Government opposed this progressive, rights based legislation. Their reponse to the housing crisis has been to eliminate the first time buyers grant and amend planning legislation to allow developers to avoid building social housing.

"In our Manifesto for Dublin, Sinn Fein proposed:

  • The use of Compulsory Purchase Orders at current use value to enable local authorities to secure land for housing.
  • Surpluse State and Church land to be transferred to Councils to allow building of local authority homes
  • The sale of local authority homes to existing tenants to not proceed without being replaced by at least one new home on local authority housing stock
  • No Council house to remain boarded up for more than two months.

"Underpinning all this is the notion of housing as a right. Sinn Fein is at the forefront of campaigning for a right to housing in the Constitution, as is the case with other EU member states and we will continue to fight for this in Councils, in Leinster House and in Europe." ENDS

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