Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Lone Housing applicants set to lose out as SF Motion defeated

5 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Smithers expressed his disappointment after other parties on Dublin City Council refused to back a Sinn Féin emergency motion that would have amended what he described as a "shameful" inequality in the Council's housing allocation system.

The Ballyfermot councillor said: "There are 7,800 lone applicants on the housing waiting lists who are being discriminated against in the most shameful manner. Under the current system of allocation a lone applicant gets 5 points. If the lone applicant declares a partner, he or she gets an extra 20 points. Lone applicants without partners are thus left behind to slip further and further down the waiting list as partner‚s get an extra 15 points.

"This is in direct violation of the Equal Status Act of 2000 as it is discriminatory to award 20 points for a partner compared to five for the applicant. Following a case taken under the equality legislation the Council indicated as part of the mediation process it intended to change the provision by awarding the applicant the same number of points as his/her partner. Regrettably, we have seen no progress on this matter and I am disappointed that the other parties failed to bring this matter to a positive conclusion last night.

"The refusal of the other parties in the Council to back my motion, and their decision to instead waste time by referring it to Committee, simply allows this ingrained system of inequality to continue, with the almost 8,000 lone applicants destined to lose out."

Cllr Smithers went on to ask lone applicants to urgently contact the Ballyfermot Sinn Féin office at 01-6259320 or by email [email protected] "We need to maximise the pressure on the Council", declared Smithers. "The failure of Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael to support lone applicants means we need them to join us in taking action against the Council‚s discriminatory practices." ENDS

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