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State land should be used for social housing – Morgan

11 July, 2007


Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said British Prime Minister Gordon Browne's plan to allocate state land for the building of much needed housing was an example of how governments can take real action to tackle a housing crisis if the will exists. Deputy Morgan said today that surplus land in the ownership of the State should be used to build much needed social housing as Sinn Fein has long demanded.

Deputy Morgan said, "Today the British Prime Minister Gordon Browne said up to 100,000 homes could be built on around 550 surplus sites owned by the arms of Britain's central government. This is not a new concept. Sinn Féin has continually demanded that the Irish Government use surplus land in state ownership to build social housing. Despite the fact that there are still 43,000 families waiting on social housing lists and that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable in the face of interest rate increases the Government continues in its failure to act. In fact in some cases public land has actually been sold off. I would again urge the Government to bring forward a plan to use idle public land to help tackle the housing crisis.

"There are a range of other measures that the Government should be looking at to secure housing for the people of this state including using Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire land, derelict properties and properties vacant for 12 months or more for social housing. A social housing construction programme as has been demanded by Sinn Féin would also have the additional benefit of countering to some degree at least the slowdown in the Construction sector. Sinn Féin will continue to hold the Government to account on the issue of housing and press for real and innovative measures to address the housing crisis." ENDS

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