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Investment in Louth social housing inadequate - Adams

5 May, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the announcement by the Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly of funding for new build housing units in Louth as “inadequate and derisory”.

Teachta Adams said:

“The announcement by the Minister of funding for local authorities for social housing is part of a planned government funding strategy that has already been announced twice.

The funding allocated to Louth is significantly short of what is required and will not dent the housing waiting list in the constituency.

Louth County Council has not yet been told by the Department how much of this current tranche of money it will receive but we already know that it will be part of the overall €57 million to be allocated to Louth for housing provision until 2017.

Presently there are 4636 households on the Louth housing waiting list. The overall funding package allocated for new house build will, according to government figures, provide at most for 288 new units.

I have submitted Parliamentary Questions to the Minister asking how many new builds he expects to construct in Louth from the money he has allocated today.”

The Louth TD concluded:

“It is clear from today’s announcement and the government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020 announced last year and of the Social Housing Targets for local authorities announced a month ago that at least two thirds and more of social housing is to be provided by the private sector.

The Minister’s reliance on the private sector is at odds with his position only six months ago when he warned that the privatisation of social housing “was wrong and it was more than wrong, it was simply unacceptable and we are going to change that.”

Today the Minister has reinforced again a strategy that is entirely reliant on the private sector for the majority of social housing provision at a time when landlords prefer the open market to social housing tenants. The Minister’s approach to the provision of social housing is deeply flawed.”

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