The crisis in housing does not stop at the front door - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin's newly elected TD for Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, has used his maiden in the Dáil to highlight the dire conditions in which some social housing tenants are living.
Stating that "the crisis in housing doesn't stop at the front door," Deputy Ó Laoghaire said that overcrowding and a chronic lack of maintenance work means that the state is failing in its responsibilities as a landlord.
He highlighted the need for the rollout of a substantial social housing programme as a vital component of a strategy to tackle the housing crisis.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber this evening, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
"The crisis in housing does not stop at the front door.
"The lack of Social Housing is causing overcrowding on an outrageous level. We see seven and eight person households in small 2 bedroom flats. Having three generations under one roof, for long periods of time, is now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
"We hear a lot about bad landlords, but the biggest landlord in Ireland is the state, and it is failing.
"There are thousands of households living in conditions of the most brutal damp and cold. There are homes with blackened and wet walls, rotting doors hanging from hinges, roofs and eaves, practically heaving with neglect, letting water in to the house.
"There are houses and flats that have barely seen any maintenance work for thirty or forty years.
"Even among those who are housed, there is squalor, and squalor is the only word for it.
"There is no question, in my mind, but that this is affecting, in a very serious way, the health and well being of thousands of families in Social Housing, particularly the elderly and the very young, and those with respiratory diseases and illnesses.
"Níl an Rialtas tar éis ceachtanna an stair a fhoghlaim. Tá an géarchéim tithíocht mar toradh ar easpa tithíochta sóisialta bheith tógtha.
"The Government's Housing Policy has cut Part V to ribbons, and is over reliant on the private rented sector to meet social housing need.
"Only a substantial Social Housing Building programme will deliver a solution to our crisis.
"Such a programme would mark a victory for substance over the spin which has dominated the housing policies of the out-going government."