Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Rent Supplement changes must be accompanied by social housing - Crowe

5 January, 2007


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has described the proposed changes to the rent supplement scheme as 'pointless', without a serious commitment to providing new social housing units. He went on to accuse Housing Minister Noel Ahern of presiding over 'policies that favour the property developers, wealthy landlords and speculators at the expense of the people of no property'.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "Expenditure on rent supplement has sky-rocketed from €80 million to nearly €400 million in the past 10 years. This money should have been spent in the provision of permanent accommodation for low-income families, instead of ending up in the already deep pockets of private landlords.

"The private rented sector is notorious for high rents, poor standards and insecurity of tenure, and there is a current crisis of rent affordability. The continued use by this Government of the private rented sector as a public housing provider is scandalous. This Government has abdicated its responsibility of providing housing for those who cannot afford it.

"Sinn Féin supports the NESC's recommendation of a net increase of 73,000 units of social housing between 2005 and 2012. In order to meet social housing needs approximately 12,000 additional units must be constructed per annum. The Government is failing miserably as Minister Ahern continues to preside over policies that favour the property developers, wealthy landlords and speculators at the expense of the people of no property.

"Unless thousands of new social housing units are provided, and there seems little enthusiasm from the Government for this, the changes in the rent supplement scheme to encourage people into permanent homes will be pointless."

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