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McDonald - Demand for social housing far exceeds

11 July, 2006


Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald this afternoon said that Housing Minister Noel Ahern has his head in the sand when it comes to dealing with the housing crisis. She said 'the Minister seems to be obsessed with quoting figures but is failing to ensure that sufficient social housing is available. If the government continue to build social housing at the current levels it will take them more than three decades to build the 73,000 permanent social housing units which the National Economic and Social Council believe is required between now and 2013.

Ms McDonald said, "Housing Minister Noel Ahern seems to have his head in the sand when it comes to the housing crisis. He seems to be obsessed with quoting figures but he is failing to ensure that sufficient social housing is available, is failing to deal with speculators who are holding onto land banks and is failing to deal with soaring house prices which are forcing many families out of the housing market entirely.

"The Quarterly Housing Bulletin issued today revealed that only 903 social houses were completed in the first five months of this year. This is 4,000 less than is required to meet the current demand for social housing.

"The National Economic and Social Council said they believe that 73,000 permanent social housing units are required between 2007 and 2013 to meet social housing needs. If the government continue to build at their current levels it will take them three decades to fulfil this requirement -- 5 times longer than that set out by NESC.

"The main people profiting from the current housing boom are the property developers who are ensuring that prices continue to rise. The government needs to stop using statistics as a comfort blanket and get to grips with this crisis." ENDS

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