Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government must stopping selling off state land for short term gain

1 September, 2003

Sinn Féin TD and outgoing member of South Dublin County Council Sean Crowe has accused the government of crying crocodile tears in relation to the housing crisis. He called on them to stop selling off state land for short term gain and instead use it for affordable housing. Speaking following a consulation seminar for Local Authority County Councillors organised today by Focus Ireland, Threshold, SVP and Simon, Deputy Crowe said:

"Current government strategy if actually implemented will mean at least 14 years waiting before the lists are cleared under the best possible circumstances.

"In the last 18 months house prices have continued to increase as investors returned to the market driving up prices and pushing already expensive homes out of the reach of first time buyers. It is notable that the increases in construction costs have not been anything as pronounced as the increase in house prices. The average cost of a house in Dublin is now €300,000. The average price of a house in the 26 counties as a whole is over €220,000.

"Sinn Féin believes that government intervention is necessary to deal with rising house prices. This means taking measures to control the price of building land and using available state and semi state land for affordable and social housing. It also means increased and sustained funding for government to provide housing with a target of supplying suitable accommodation within two years for 70% of applicants on the waiting lists.

"Another critical issue which needs to be addressed is the increase in homelessness in the suburbs of Dublin. The absence of any services outside of Dublin City centre is a real problem. We need to see real plans to address homelessness, which are integrated to overall housing plans.

"It is not good enough that the government cry crocodile tears on the housing crisis. They need to lead by example."ENDS

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