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Government stance on rent certainty ‘pathetic’ – McDonald

3 December, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD raised with Minister Alex White the plight of many thousands of ordinary families who are at risk at becoming homeless, thanks to the government’s failure to introduce rent certainty.

Speaking at Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy McDonald said:

“Minister, our councils not only have housing waiting lists. They now have waiting lists for emergency accommodation. Families are being forced to sleep rough, to overhold on their leases or move in with family and friends. A huge number of these families who find themselves in this awful position are in work.

“A new survey from Co-operative Housing Ireland tells us that 32% of tenants are living in fear of losing their homes. In Dublin 50% of tenants are fearful of becoming homeless. The only meaningful solution that will allay this fear is to link market rents to the Consumer Price Index – in other words rent certainty

“These families are being made homeless because of the government’s failure to introduce rent certainty. Minister it’s not acceptable for you to stand here and say to families that their predicament is not acceptable, when you have a hand in creating their misery.

“You’re in government now almost five years and your record in terms of social housing build is actually pathetic and I’m shocked at the fact that repeatedly you stand here and sound out that message as though you had revolutionised social housing provision – far from it.

“Last night Minister, your government voted down Sinn Féin legalisation on the issue of rent certainty and the prevention of homelessness. In fact, most of your colleagues didn’t even consider it worth their while to show up for the debate.

“This is your responsibility. Don’t talk to others about leadership when you so clearly fail in that regard yourself."

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