Major overhaul of social housing needed not just piecemeal investment – Dessie Ellis TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has welcomed news of an investment of 23 million euro in adaptations, extensions and retrofitting of social housing.
Deputy Ellis said that this investment a small measure given the last six years of cuts to housing and that a long term plan was needed to consistent refurbishment of and renewal of existing social housing as well as a significant investment in new building projects by local authorities.
Deputy Ellis said:
"Over the last six years the capital budget for housing has been cut by more than 1 billion euro to less than a third of its peak in 2008. House building by Local Authorities has virtually ground to a halt and regeneration projects have been dragged out. These cuts have also led to a crisis in the condition of existing social housing with councils not able to fund much needed repairs which have left families in unacceptable conditions and home lying idle for months and even years.
“We need a long term plan for funding the consistent renewal of social housing as a well as a commitment from central government to release investment funds to begin building thousands of homes for local authorities. This is the only way to tackle housing need, homelessness, and extortionate rents. This will also create employment.
“Piecemeal announcements are fine and will definitely help some families but the government needs to think ahead and make a real effort to tackle the problems causing the social housing crisis. It is a crisis which can be solved with the right effort and investment."