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Government culpable for housing apartheid -- Crowe

20 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Social Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has criticised the government for permitting a form of 'housing apartheid' to develop while developers pay off local authorities to buy their way out of their social housing obligations under Part V of the 2000 Planning and Development Act.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "While property developers have handed over nearly €32 million to local authorities in just 3 years to avoid providing social housing, there are still an estimated 43,684 families on local authority waiting lists, some waiting up to seven years.

"This government is culpable for housing apartheid in this state. Part V should be implemented fully to ensure that the low paid are no longer exclusively housed in Council estates. Such estates have suffered from a plethora of social problems over the last few decades where the scourges of drugs and anti-social behaviour have been rampant. Everyone should have the right to good quality housing in communities with adequate facilities and amenities.

"Cash-strapped local authorities are financially pressured into taking money from developers to the detriment of social housing provision. The onus should be placed firmly on the government to ensure that developers carry out their social housing obligations. If the government does not live up to its pledge of promoting social inclusion in the new housing market it will lead to further ghettoisation of those on low income."


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