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Housing Plan fails to address most urgent aspects of housing crisis - Adams

20 July, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Leaders Question in the Dáil this afternoon, has said Minister Simon Coveney’s Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness fails to address the most urgent aspects of the housing and homelessness crisis.

Teachta Adams said:

“Yesterday, the Department of Environment released the State’s latest homelessness figures, which show that last month, 6,358 people were living in emergency accommodation - a shocking 2,206 of whom were children.

“These figures do not include those living in overcrowded housing, or those sleeping on floors, or on people’s sofas, or those on waiting lists to get into emergency accommodation.

“Minister Coveney launched his Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness yesterday as well. It has some merit and Minister Coveney is making some effort to try and tackle the housing crisis, but what is not in the plan is as important as what is in it, and crucially, it fails to address the most urgent aspects of the crisis. 

“It is not ambitious enough and not enough social houses will be built. Gone is the dedicated court to tackle mortgage distress - a significant row back on the commitments in the Programme for Government, and there are no proposals to tackle spiralling rents.

“And crucially it commits a mere €150 million of extra capital spending for social housing in 2017. This will deliver, at best, an extra 833 social houses next year.

“The plan promises to meet the needs of 131,000 families over six years, yet 94,000 of these will remain in the private rental sector subsidised by the state through HAP, RAS and leasing.

“The Dáil’s Housing and Homelessness Committee’s number one priority recommendation was increase the housing stock by 10,000 units, per year, every year. The Government are 40% short, despite its own TDs signing up to it.” 

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