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People need houses, not letters, from Minister – Munster

30 November, 2017 - by Imelda Munster TD

The matter of unused council-owned land banks in Co. Louth was raised again by Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster in the Dáil this week. Deputy Munster asked an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy when they intended to roll out a social housing project in Co. Louth given the council has been in possession of 53 acres of land banks for many years now, and the county is suffering from a housing crisis.

Deputy Munster said:

“There are currently over 53 acres of council-owned land banks in Louth, including in Drogheda, that are lying barren. It might have been assumed prior to now that the government was not willing to allocate funding, but during Leaders’ Questions yesterday, the Taoiseach indicated that money is no object in building social housing, news which is certainly to be welcomed.

“My question now is if money is no object and the council already has ownership of the land, when will a building programme begin? There are over 4,000 people on the housing waiting list in Co. Louth. In fact there are more people on the waiting list than there are council-owned dwellings in the county. Some of these people have been on the list for almost a decade. The government needs to get moving and start building houses.”

The Minister for Housing responded to Deputy Munster, saying that letters are to be sent to all TDs and councillors and to all local authority chief executives regarding social housing targets.

Deputy Munster said:

“People need houses, not letters. People have been waiting for years, while land banks sit there, unused, for over a decade. People are sick of waiting, while the housing crisis continues to escalate. I hope the Minister gets his act together and releases funding immediately.” 

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