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Number of vacant houses unacceptable – Ó Snodaigh

20 August, 2007

Speaking today following the housing statistics released by the Central Statistics Office, Sinn Féin Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh said that the figures released reflected the move towards apartment living and said that the figures of vacant dwellings in the twenty six counties were unacceptable.

The Dublin South Central TD said, "The figures released by the CSO have shown that apartments, flats and bedsits account for 31% of occupied dwellings in Dublin with a quarter of all Dublin people living in this type of accommodation. Out of control house price inflation has all but priced working families and first-time buyers out of the housing market.

"Many of those that can afford to purchase can only afford to do so if they buy an apartment which is very often inadequate in terms of space for their needs. It is essential that the building of apartments is properly regulated to ensure that the units built meet the needs, in terms of space and facilities, of those who intend to live in them.

"The CSO have also stated 15% of the total housing stock in the 26 Counties is vacant. This is unacceptable when you see that there a 6,000 homeless people and 44,000 households on the social housing waiting list.

"The encouragement of property speculation is one of the most obvious ways that housing as an investment opportunity has been given prominence over housing as a social good. Sinn Fein is calling for the abolition of 26 counties tax incentives that effectively encourage unfair competition between investors and first time buyers." ENDS

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