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369 vacant council houses in Galway and Mayo while thousands on waiting lists – Ó Clochartaigh

29 September, 2015

*Irish version below

Sinn Féin Senator Ó Clochartaigh is calling for government TD’s in Galway & Mayo to finally admit their failure on housing and support Sinn Féin in the Dáil, calling for this ‘National Crisis’ to be dealt with immediately. The Sinn Féin Dáil PMB is urging the government to address its "abject failure in dealing with housing crisis."

Speaking today the Galway West-South Mayo Senator said;

“It is a damning indictment of this government’s failed policies on housing and homelessness that we have 369 empty local authority units in Galway and Mayo, while thousands languish on the housing lists.

“According to newly released statistics there are 59 units in Galway city and 165 in the county as well as 145 across Mayo, that are vacant at present due to a lack of funding from the government to make them available.

“We have had plenty of hype and press launches from the government on how they will address the situation, but the reality is that we are not seeing houses becoming available. We are seeing people being forced out of homes as rents increase and mortgages are foreclosed on. This is totally unacceptable and Enda Kenny and his government colleagues Derek Nolan, Brian Walsh Seán Kyne, John O’Mahoney, Michelle Mulherin and Michael Ring should hang their heads in shame.

“There has been a concerted effort on the part of government to shift the blame for the housing crisis, and the responsibility for addressing it, onto local authorities. This is farcical. The responsibility for the crisis lies squarely with central government. The responsibility lies with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Alan Kelly and it lies with government TDs and Senators from Galway and Mayo, no matter how much they attempt to run from it.

“It is clear that Fine Gael and the Labour Party are not taking the crisis seriously."

A Sinn Féin PMB motion on the housing crisis will be debated in the Dáil on the evenings of Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

“Sinn Féin is up to challenge of tackling the housing crisis head-on. This means implementing measures such as reviewing legislation to allow for the more timely provision of social housing, increased funding from central government to build social housing units and also the facilitating of local authorities in accessing off-balance sheet housing agency loans.

“The people of Galway and Mayo deserve much better than this. This is a defining moment for this government and all their talk of recovery rings very hollow when we see so many people losing their homes or in need of emergency accommodation on their watch.”

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