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43,600 households on social housing lists nothing to be proud Morgan

12 December, 2005

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Arthur Morgan T.D. has described the minuscule nature of the reduction in the number on social housing waiting lists as further evidence of the inadequacy of the government's response to the housing crisis.

Deputy Morgan said, "At a time of unprecedented wealth and unprecedented revenue surpluses it is an indictment of this Government that 43,600 families remain on social housing waiting lists. Yet we have Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern strutting around behaving as if what amounts to a decrease of around 3% per annum in the number of those on waiting lists is a huge achievement. It is not. 43,600 households on social housing lists is nothing to be proud.

"There needs to be some careful examination of these figures to determine whether people have actually received social housing or whether it has merely been made more difficult for them to prove their housing needs by the introduction of a more complicated and bureaucratic assessment of needs form.

"The Minister cannot give any of the families currently on social housing waiting lists any indication as to when they might expect to be housed. There are still no targets for the elimination of housing waiting lists and the Governments commitments in regard to housing are weighed heavily in favour of so called affordable housing.

"The Government announcement of 23,000 new social housing starts over the next three years falls far short of the recommendations in the NESC report on housing which called for an increase in the social housing stock of 73,000 units in net terms from 2005-2012. The Government commitment is remarkably weak when one considers that a large number of social housing units will be sold under the tenant purchase scheme particularly in light to of the announcement that Dublin City Council is being given the go head to make its flats available for sale to tenants." ENDS

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