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Minister Kelly has serious questions to answer on revelations of spin on housing figures – Ellis

24 March, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said emails revealing the government’s plan to spin housing figures confirm his view that the government’s housing strategy is not adequate to deal with the scale of the crisis.

Deputy Ellis said Minister Alan Kelly has serious questions to answer in relation to this and has requested a debate in the Dáil today.

Deputy Ellis said;

“The government’s housing policy has been an exercise is spin since they took office. They have made countless claims to be delivering housing and tackling the crisis but all the evidence shows that things have only gotten worse.

“Since they have taken office housing needed has spiralled out of control, rents have gone up 34% in Dublin and homelessness and rough sleeping are at record levels.

“The government has produced a housing strategy document but this again was much more spin than anything else. It has claimed to have the potential to deliver 45,000 homes but this has been revealed as inaccurate even in the best case scenario.

“The government has also claimed it will deliver 7400 new social housing units but we have shown that 5000 of these are expected to come from the private sector despite there being a serious shortage of private rental properties.

“The Minister for Environment claimed incorrectly rent controls would be unconstitutional, then claimed to be planning to regulate rents when in fact he plans to give tax breaks to landlords to lower their rates.

“This Minister has also claimed a new Housing Assistance Payment will not be used to force people off waiting lists for council homes when they take up a private rental place but council presentations made recently in Limerick reveal that they will.

“They are also intent on pretending they are spending record levels on housing, claiming an investment of four billion euro despite the fact the figure is actually 200 million less and spread over the next six years amounting to marginally more than the spend on housing in the preceding six years.

“This government has from day one sought to spin rather than deliver on housing from NAMA to these emails nothing has changed at government level while things have only gotten worse for renters and those in need of housing.”

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