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Coveney’s move to foreign affairs a “slap in the face” for the homeless families he vowed to help - Eoin Ó Broin

14 June, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Simon Coveney of "turning his back on the people he promised to help" as he moves from Housing to Foreign Affairs.

The Dublin Mid-West TD also accused the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of "not taking the housing crisis seriously" by changing Minister just a year into the Government’s new Housing Action Plan.

Speaking in the Dáil this evening Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Simon Coveney has been Minister for Housing for twelve months. Never has a Minister promised so much and delivered so little. In the initial months as Minister he raised peoples hopes and expectations. In the end however his legacy in housing is little more than a string of press launches and dodgy statistics. Unfortunately after a year in office the housing and homeless crisis is worse than ever.

"Homelessness has increased, as has the cost of renting and buying a home. Meanwhile social housing delivery continues at a snails pace while the number of people at risk of homelessness continues to rise. Thanks to Minister Coveney the housing crisis is worse today than when he took office.

"Minister Coveney's move to Foreign Affairs is a slap in the face to the homeless families he vowed to help. He is turning his back on the people he promised to help including those languishing on social housing waiting lists, those at risk of homelessness or losing their home, those struggling with excessive rents or priced out of the first time buyers market.

"I am also deeply concerned that Taoiseach Varadkar's decision to replace his Housing Minister just twelve months into a six year Housing Action Plan means that he is not taking the housing crisis seriously.

“If the new Taoiseach was serious about tackling the housing and homeless crisis he would have left Simon Coveney in office to finish the job he started. Now a new Minister will have to waste valuable months reading themselves into this complex brief while the number of adults and children in acute housing need continues to grow.

“Incoming Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has a huge job on his hands. Like many I'm surprised by his appointment. During his six years in the Dáil his involvement in debates on housing and homelessness has been minimal.

“I would urge him to listen to the growing number of housing policy experts calling for the Government to abandon their over reliance on the private sector and to significantly increase direct state provision of social and affordable homes."


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