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Solutions are needed to tackle Housing and Homeless crisis – Adams

14 April, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

The Dáil spent several hours on Thursday evening debating a motion to establish a Special Committee on Housing and Homelessness.

Speaking during the debate, Sinn Féin Louth TD and party leader Gerry Adams expressed his concern at the failure to build social housing in County Louth. Teachta Adams said:

“I welcome the approval by the Dáil of a Sinn Féin proposal to establish an all-party housing sub-Committee to bring forward a report on solutions to the unprecedented housing crisis the State faces at this time.

“Our goal must to bring forward a report with practical recommendations and solutions that the next government will implement.

“The construction of social housing has been in decline for ten consecutive years under the outgoing Fine Gael/Labour government, and the Fianna Fáil-led government that preceded it.

“A report by the Department of the Environment has revealed that nearly six thousand citizens are in homeless emergency accommodation. That includes one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one children.

“In my own constituency, there are over five thousand applications for housing on Louth County Council’s waiting list. It has built nine social houses in the last two years. This is unacceptable and is the responsibility of government.

“Citizens need homes. Real homes. Not hotel rooms, not B&B’s, not hostels. Sinn Féin believes in the right of every citizen - man, woman and child - to a home, whatever their circumstances. That is achievable.

“We have identified €2.2 billion investment in housing that could provide 36,500 new homes over five years. We want to see a minimum of 4,000 of NAMA’s 20,000 private houses used as social houses. We want to deliver security and certainty for tenants, and to support homeowners and buyers. We want to stop the profiteering of banks at the cost of mortgage holders.

“We are quite clearly saying, without reservation, that this crisis can be stabilised and brought to an end. And our representatives will be bringing these proposals and more to the new housing sub-Committee as soon as it begins its work.” 

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