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Affordable homes welcome but more needs to be done on social housing - Crowe

14 September, 2006

Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South West Sean Crowe today welcomed the Governments' plans for providing more affordable housing throughout Dublin through the Affordable Homes Partnership. However, Deputy Crowe pointed out that although this plan is a welcome development for people who wish to own their own homes, the Government is still neglecting its' duties to people that are in need of social housing.

Deputy Crowe said, "This scheme can only be a positive advancement in terms of addressing the housing crisis if the lack of social housing is examined and the Government make a substantial effort to combat this problem. It is unacceptable that there can be 43,684 people on the social housing waiting list and the Government expect a pat on the back for providing 3,000 affordable homes. 3,000 affordable homes are no good to the families that are on disability or welfare benefits or to those that are living in sub-standard rented accommodation that the State is subsidising. The housing crisis in this State is a direct result of consistent Government policies that have failed miserably to provide social housing to those who are in need of it. It is no great coincidence that the Government wishes to address the issue of affordable housing and there is a general election around the corner. It is high time now that they address the issue of social housing.

"If the Government had not allowed and supported the consistent watering down of Part V of the Planning Act we would not be in a situation where the Affordable Homes Partnership would actually have to go into negotiations with builders and developers to get a measly 3,000 homes -- and 3,000 affordable homes is miniscule when looked at in the overall context of those who want a home.

"Last year out of the 81,000 housing units built, only 1,371 of these fell into the Part V category. Part V was intended to provide 20% social and affordable. 1,371 housing units is far cry from 20%. This scheme is a poor effort on the Governments behalf to portray themselves as doing something about the housing crisis but the reality of the situation is that this could not even be described as a half-hearted attempt. It ignores the needs of the 43,684 families that are on the social housing waiting list." ENDS

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