Budget 2016 will not be enough to tackle Kildare Housing Crisis – Réada Cronin
Local Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election Candidate for the Kildare North Constituency, Réada Cronin has today hit out at the Government’s failure to introduce effective measures to tackle the Housing Crisis in Budget 2016.
Cllr Cronin said:
“Kildare has the largest waiting list for Social housing outside of Cork and Dublin and I, along with my colleagues, am inundated with queries from families desperately seeking affordable accommodation.
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that this Government does not have the answers.
“We have over 6,500 thousand families on the social housing waiting list in this county, just a fraction of the over 100,000 families in need of housing across this state. Almost 1400 children are in emergency accommodation and rents have gone up by 35% since 2011.
“The Government’s response of an additional €69 million for housing is miserly, making it roughly just under a quarter of what was cut from housing budget in 2012.
“Any increase in funding is welcome but at these levels they are only attempting to manage the crisis rather than truly beginning to end it.
“Sinn Féin proposed an increase of €300 million in Capital Investment for 2016, over four times more than this government, and we have shown how it could be achieved in our Alternative Budget. This is a necessary level of investment to tackle such a large problem with such severe human costs.
“While the idea of an affordable housing pilot scheme is welcome, the reality is this money was promised in the last Budget but never materialised. I hope this is not repeated in 2016.
“There also needs to be more detail provided on the proposals by NAMA to provide 20,000 houses for commercial sale or rent.
“Given the fact that NAMA struggled for nearly 4 years to provide just less than 1400 units for social leasing, the obvious question is why these properties are not being prioritised for use for social housing?”
“One has to ask themselves why this government has not prioritised the housing and homelessness crisis. Evidently it is because they hope people so utterly disenfranchised by Fine Gael and Labour policies won't bother voting. I hope they'll be proved wrong.”