Government policy at root of housing crisis – Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said that Government policy is at the root of the present housing crisis.
Mr. Adams’s comments come as the Dáil debates a Sinn Féin Private Members’ Bill aimed at providing for a Constitutional Right to housing, also called for the immediate release of funds to local authorities to build social housing.
Gerry Adams said:
“With 5,000 people living in emergency accommodation - 1,500 of them children - the state is now in the grip of a homeless crisis that is unprecedented in recent memory.
“With the obscenity of 130 citizens sleeping rough on the streets of our capital city every night, even the Minister responsible, Alan Kelly has admitted this is a humanitarian crisis.
“However, what is the Government doing? Since Fine Gael and Labour assumed office, an appalling average of just 400 social housing units have been built annually. This is an insult to those suffering as a result of this crisis.
“Fine Gael and Labour cut social housing budgets in their first few years of Government.
“The policy of this Government and it's Fianna Fáil-led predecessors of divesting responsibility for the delivery of social housing to the private sector is at the root of the current crisis.
“In my own constituency of Louth, 52 people have presented as homeless according to the latest figures.
“Many of these people have become homeless as a result of financial difficulties directly caused by the Government's austerity policies.
“The appalling deaths of citizens on our streets because they had nowhere to stay is a terrible indictment of the type of society being created under this Government.
“Every single citizen must have a right to housing and this should be enshrined in the Constitution.
“In the meantime, the Government must immediately release adequate funding for local authorities to build badly needed houses for so many desperate families.”