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Housing crisis not just Dublin based, all TDs should support SF PMB – Reilly

29 September, 2015

Sinn Féin Seanad Housing Spokesperson, Senator Kathryn Reilly, has said that the housing crisis is not confined to Dublin and that TDs from across the state should support Sinn Féin’s Dáil housing PMB.

Speaking today, Senator Reilly said:

“It is imperative that the government change its housing policy. Their approach to the housing situation over the past four years has only caused the situation to worsen considerably.

“There has never been as desperate a need for the state to build sufficient housing and tackle spiralling rent costs and rent certainty.

“Across the state there are one hundred and thirty thousand citizens seeking a home. This is an increase of forty thousand from four years ago. The housing crisis is by no means confined to Dublin.

“In Cavan, there are currently in the region of 1,146 people on the waiting list for social housing. This has increased year on year and shows no signs of abating.

“On top of this you have 68 council houses lying empty in the county. Some of these houses are empty because they are in need of refurbishment, but yet the refurbishment grant for Cavan County Council reduced by €148,467 in 2015.

“There is a chronic lack of social and affordable housing. The government has built only a fraction of the social housing needed. It has refused to tackle rising rents or rent uncertainty. That amounts to the current housing crisis being government policy.

 “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.

“The government needs to change its housing policy and to initiate an immediate programme of responsibly planned building of social housing across this state, rent controls and a serious review of bank repossessions.

“Sinn Féin is tonight introducing a private members’ motion which will be debated in the Dáil. The bill calls for the housing and homelessness crisis to be addressed with immediate effect.

“In the PMB, Sinn Féin has outlined a series of additional measures in which this crisis can be tackled. In the interests of all those homeless or in danger of losing their homes, we are hoping that all parties will support our motion.

“I am taking this opportunity to call on all TDs from the Cavan/Monaghan constituency, especially the Fine Gael TDs who have a majority in the constituency and who are in government, to support the motion. It is too serious to be ignored. General election sweeteners and announcements are redundant when so many people have no homes.” 

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