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Sinn Féin to hold 24 hour 'Build Homes' sleep out to highlight housing crisis

1 September, 2014

Sinn Féin's 8 County Councillors in Meath will hold a 24 hour sleep out and fast to highlight the housing crisis in the county. The 'Build Homes' sleep out and fast will commence at 6pm on Friday 5th September and will take place at Kennedy Road/Navan Shopping Centre. It comes just days before a Sinn Féin motion calling for a state house building programme will be debated at a full meeting of Meath County Council on Monday 8th September.

Speaking in advance of the sleep out the party's Group Leader on Meath County Council, Cllr. Darren O'Rourke said;

"The housing crisis in Co. Meath needs to be highlighted. It needs to be addressed. That is why we in Sinn Féin have organised the 'Build Homes' 24 hour sleep out and fast, and why we have tabled a motion to the next meeting of Meath County Council. Our message is very clear - Build Homes.

"Despite receiving a strong mandate to do the opposite, this Government has completely failed to address the housing crisis. The sum total of their housing policy is a three page document written in 2011. This says it all! Instead of getting better, the situation is getting worse. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state are left without suitable and sustainable accommodation. In Meath alone 3,625 families are on the social housing waiting list. This does not include those families on medium term contracts on the Rental Accommodation Scheme, so the true number is significantly higher.

“Co. Meath’s ludicrously low Rent Allowance rates further compound the problem for those seeking temporary alternative accommodation in the private rented sector. In some cases this forces families to the brink of homelessness. In the first half of 2014, 32 households in Meath were provided with Emergency Accommodation. Similarly, this does not take account of all those who have relied on family, friends, neighbours and voluntary organisations to provide an emergency solution. These are incredible figures and reflect the magnitude of the problem.

"The Government has allowed this situation to arise. They are asleep at the wheel. A major investment of funds for social housing, such as the €1 billion identified by Sinn Féin in the Strategic Investment Fund, is now urgently required.”

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