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Government must take action on Meath social housing crisis – O’Rourke

9 March, 2013

The Sinn Féin by-election candidate in Meath East, Darren O’Rourke, has called on the government to take action on the extreme shortage of social housing in Meath.

O’Rourke said:

“Social housing provision in Meath is at crisis point. Years of Fianna Fáil developer-led policies have left the county in a situation where thousands of people are on the waiting list to be housed.

“The county had the third highest shortfall nationally in social and affordable housing during the boom years, doubling between 2005 and 2008 to over 2,000. Between 2008 and 2011, the figure doubled again, with Meath today having almost the largest waiting list per capita in the state. “In Kells alone the list of applications is almost at the 400 mark.

“The failure to provide adequate social and affordable units has left thousands of people stranded.

“Recent cuts to Rent Supplement rates have made securing affordable housing even more difficult and in some cases led to families being made homeless.

“But there are common-sense solutions to this problem. Recently in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TDs put forward innovative proposals for tackling social housing shortages including ensuring that NAMA housing units suitable for social housing be made available. In Meath alone there are some 84 unfinished housing estates. Such a proposal makes sense and would benefit huge swathes of people who up until now have been stuck on waiting lists.

“The government parties failed to support that motion.

“I am calling on the government to take action urgently on Meath’s social housing crisis. The Sinn Féin proposals make sense. It is time to stop playing party politics and start helping people who need it.”

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