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Government has abandoned social and affordable housing - Crowe

26 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Social Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD today accused the Government of an ‘abject failure in ensuring that social and affordable houses are being constructed.’ Describing a recent pledge from Minister Ahern to tackle property speculation as ‘empty rhetoric’ he reiterated Sinn Féin’s call for a reversal of the dilution of Part V of the Planning and Development Act.


The Dublin South-West TD said: “With original legislation in 2000, developers were compelled to agree to provide 20 per cent social and affordable housing in any new development. However with a subsequent amendment in 2002 this legislation was considerably watered down allowing developers to effectively buy their way out of such commitments. Sinn Féin has consistently called for procedures to be put in place to reverse the dilution of Part V so that Local Authorities are never put in a position where they are held to ransom by private developers.


“It is worrying that according to reports certain local authorities, despite having the cash, are failing to provide social and affordable housing. Local Authorities have a duty to provide housing for those who cannot afford to do so and their failure to do so condemns tens of thousands of people on housing waiting lists to limbo. In addition developers are allegedly using bully tactics to avoid their obligations. Developers clearly feel they are immune from the law and from moral decency, issued a blank cheque by this government for their actions.


“If this Government is serious about promoting social inclusion in housing then it is high-time that Minister Noel Ahern stood up to those developers who are buying or bullying their way out of their obligations to provide social and affordable housing. His recent pledge to tackle property speculators is exposed as nothing but empty rhetoric.


“While this Minister presides over a housing crisis with nearly 44,000 on the housing waiting list and an estimated 5,000 homeless, property developers and speculators, by no coincidence major donators to Fianna Fáil, continue to amass huge profits.”



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