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Timeframes for elimination of housing waiting lists must be set - Morgan

6 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Arthur Morgan T.D. described today's announcement of funding for local authority housing by Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Noel Ahern as "totally insufficient" and demanded that the Minister set clear timeframes for the elimination of housing waiting lists.

Deputy Morgan said, "There are 43,600 families still languishing on local authority waiting lists. Today's announcement of funding will see a mere 5,000 -- 6,000 local authority houses completed per year.

"If Minister Ahern was serious about addressing the social housing crisis he would ensure that the NESC report recommendations for a net increase of 73,000 units of social housing were included in the National Development Plan for 2007 -- 2013 which is currently being drawn up. There is no indication that he intends to do this.

"Social housing waiting lists need to be eradicated and today's allocation is totally insufficient and will barely make a dent in the current waiting list. Sinn Féin is demanding that the Minister set a clear timeframe for the elimination of housing waiting lists. It is not acceptable that he has not done so to date.

"Minister of State Noel Ahern has also shown a complete disregard for the difficulties faced by people due to a lack of funding for necessary repairs to the existing social housing stock. Increased funding must be made available to local authorities to address the unacceptable waiting lists which exist in all local authority areas for such repairs. The failure to make this funding available is causing severe hardship to many people across the state who do not have the means to pay for necessary repairs themselves." ENDS

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