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Government’s response to housing crisis a disgrace – Sandra McLellan TD

24 September, 2014

Sinn Féin Cork East TD Sandra McLellan has today called the government’s response to the housing crisis a disgrace.

Speaking during a Sinn Féin PMB on Housing, Deputy McLellan said:

“This government has proudly carried the mantle laid down by its Fianna Fáil and Green Party predecessors. The austerity driven agenda that promotes privatization over socially beneficial and progressive policy has led us to another crisis. A crisis that is detrimental to communities and families all across this state.

“The crisis in housing is demonstrated by real stories of real people living in real hardship. This government’s relative inaction is astounding and, quite frankly, disgraceful.

“A constituent in my area who was availing of the RAS scheme, was asked if she wanted to remain within it. She had been living in her home for four years and her two children were going to school in the local village.

“When she expressed her intent to stay under the scheme, she could not receive a guarantee that she could continue living in the house as the landlord wished to sell it. She was told that she may not be able to stay in the village as they were finding it difficult to acquire similar accommodation. Uprooting two children and being forced to move out of the community is not an acceptable or sustainable practice.

“The government would consider this person to have been adequately housed. This interpretation of ‘adequacy’ is damaging and is essentially a redefinition of what social housing is to suit the government’s own agenda.

“Unfortunately these are no isolated cases. Many, many families find themselves in similar situations.

“The state is in the midst of the most severe housing crisis in its history, with 100,000 people languishing on housing lists.

“Local authorities should build an adequate supply of housing that is maintained and owned by councils at an affordable rent to the public.”

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