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Ahern completely misrepresents housing statistics – Morgan

24 April, 2007

Speaking following comments by the Minister of State for Housing Noel Ahern that the "social housing targets were being realised", Sinn Fein spokesperson on Housing Deputy Arthur Morgan described the Minister's comments as a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.

The Louth TD said;

"In saying that the social and affordable housing targets in this state are being realised Minister Noel Ahern has blatantly misrepresented the facts. According to his own Department's statistics almost 93,419 housing units were completed in this state last year. It is interesting to note that only 2,198 of these were social or affordable housing units provided under Part V of the Planning and Development Act. While the Minister may want to dress up the fact that this is a significant increase on last year's output under Part V, he is ominously quiet on the statistics that show social housing output on the whole is actually down 5.7% from the previous year.

"It is no wonder he is quiet on that issue. The Minister for State with responsibility for housing should be ashamed of himself. He could have taken the opportunity to make real changes in the direction of housing policy in this state. However, he has unsurprisingly come down on the side of the property developers and not on the side of the 44,000 families on the social housing waiting lists and the thousands upon thousands of people that haven't got somewhere to call a home. It is as astonishing as it is disgraceful.

"Sinn Féin is proposing to build 70,000 new housing units by 2012 to accommodate the social housing need. That's a new build rate of 14,000 houses per years as recommended by the NESC.

"It's imperative that this Government seriously redirect housing policy in this state to cater for those in need, to provide units that are actually affordable for those who wish to purchase, ensure rents are affordable and that Developers and Landlords are not allowed hold the people of this state to ransom any longer."


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