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Minister needs to wake up to housing crisis - Morgan

19 April, 2006

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has called on the Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern to “wake up to the reality of the housing crisis” and to stop “patting himself on the back for what can only be described as a shameful record on providing social housing.”

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, “There are 43,600 families on the social housing waiting lists at a time of unprecedented wealth yet the Minister of state with responsibility for  Housing Noel Ahern T.D. is boasting about the fact that 6,500 social housing units were built last year.

“There nothing to boast about in the fact that a mere 8% of houses constructed last year were social housing units.  This is a shocking statistic.  The Minister of state regularly talks about the number of houses being constructed while attempting the obscure the fact that only a tiny percentage of these houses are social housing units. The dismal progress being made in respect of the delivery of social housing is a further blow to those families who continue to languish on social housing waiting lists.  There is no target or timeframe for the elimination of social housing waiting lists.  Increasing numbers of families are likely to fall below housing affordability thresholds as the government insists on doing nothing to tackle ongoing house price increases.    

“If Minister of State Ahern is serious about addressing the social housing crisis  then he must ensure that the NESC report recommendations for a net increase of 73,000 units of social housing is included in the new National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 which is currently being prepared.  He must ensure that social housing waiting lists are eliminated and that all those who require social housing are housed without delay.   

“The minister needs to wake up to the reality of the housing crisis and stop patting himself on the back for what can only be described as a shameful record in relation to the provision social housing.” ENDS

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