Sinn Féin supports Home Sweet Home Emergency Housing Plan – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has backed the emergency housing plan launched today by the Home Sweet Home campaign, most of which was contained in recommendations of the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee report published last June.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The emergency housing plan is a sensible approach to tackling the housing crisis. Many of the measures articulated in the plan are not on unheard of or unreasonable. We must stem the tide of homelessness, which has increased again in November.
“A crucial anti homeless measure proposed by Focus Ireland and blocked by the government and Fianna Fail before Christmas would have helped thousands of families facing eviction in buy to let properties. I am happy to see it included amongst the five recommendations listed in the emergency plan aimed at preventing homelessness.
“Sinn Féin has stated at length that the Minister has to be more ambitious in its real social housing targets. A key recommendation of the cross party Housing and Homelessness committee was for a minimum of 10,000 new real social units to be delivered on an annual basis. This is also a listed as a key target in the Home Sweet Home plan. Ramping up the delivery of additional social housing units would take the pressure off the private rented sector and reduce demand for private sector accommodation for social housing tenants.
“The Minister for Finance has a prominent role to play in tackling this crisis. Unfortunately, to date, Minister Noonan has not shown any inclination to tackle the crippling housing crisis over redeeming NAMA debt. Sinn Féin will continue to push the Minister on this matter when the Dáil resumes. Therefore we support the call in the emergency plan, for Minister Noonan to use his powers to direct NAMA to provide residences and emergency accommodation to all those in need.
“Also included in the emergency plan are the demands of the secure rents campaign. The campaign demands of linking rent increases and decreases to the CPI and of strengthening the security of tenure for tenants were legislated for in a Sinn Féin Bill before Christmas. The Secure Rents and Tenancies Bill 2016 was voted down by the government and Fianna Fáil and instead the government implemented weak legislation guaranteeing landlords rent increases of 4% a year in Dublin and Cork City while leaving the rest of the state to the mercy of the market.
“The Minister keeps stating funding is not an issue when it comes to tackling the homeless crisis. Therefore his government must prioritise investment in housing for its citizens in order to prevent more families moving into emergency accommodation. The Home Sweet Home campaign and the occupation of Apollo House would not be necessary if the government as adequately providing for the housing needs of the people.”