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Sinn Féin to move Dáil motion on housing and homeless crisis

25 September, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Dessie Ellis TD, today published Sinn Féin’s private members' motion which will be introduced in the Dáil on Tuesday. The bill calls for the housing and homelessness crisis to be addressed with immediate effect.

Deputy Ellis said:

“Anybody in elected office knows that housing and homelessness has reached crisis point. Our constituency offices are inundated with people who are desperate to be housed, from people who have been on waiting lists 13 or 14 years, to people who are on the streets seeking emergency accommodation.

“Homeless people are being denied shelter; families are under increasing strain to keep a roof over their heads. And it is getting steadily worse. Almost 5,000 people state-wide are living in emergency accommodation; some 2,298 people living in emergency accommodation in Dublin, including 1,275 children.

“It has come to this point because of years of underinvestment in social housing by Fine Gael/Labour and previous Fianna Fáil led governments. We also have to factor in years of bad planning, bad governance, property speculation and an over-reliance on the private sector to deliver our social housing needs.

“Rent supplement levels are totally inadequate – since this government came to power the spend has reduced by almost half. The Mortgage Interest Supplement has been cut from €77,246,000 to €11,930,000. Not only have supports been slashed - this government has made it easier for the banks to evict people in mortgage arrears resulting in more homelessness and housing overcrowding.

“Sinn Féin has outlined a series of additional measures in which this crisis can be tackled in our private members' motion. In the interests of all those homeless or in danger of losing their homes, we are hoping that all parties will support our motion. It is too serious to be ignored.”

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