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Families are hurting because of Government’s broken promises on housing – O’Brien

7 November, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien stated that the government is failing to honour its commitment to increase the stock of social housing.
Deputy O’Brien challenged Táiniste Eamon Gilmore during Leaders Questions on his government’s failure to develop any plan to deal with the housing crisis in Ireland.
He said:
“Tánaiste in the programme for government you promised to ‘increase the stock of social housing’.
But this morning we heard the real human stories of families left by your government languishing on the housing waiting list.
“Mothers struggling to feed their children and pay their bills because they are being forced to live in poor quality and over-priced rental accommodation.
“The number of people on local authority lists continues to rise. Almost 100,000 families are on the waiting lists. Meanwhile, 3,500 council houses are lying empty.
“In my own city of Cork almost 10,000 families are on the waiting list awhile 500 council houses lying empty. The number of people dependent on rent supplement continues to rise.
“Cuts to rent supplement levels are forcing people into financial hardship and in some cases into homelessness.
“Homeless charities are reporting a significant increase in the number of people using their services.
“The reason for this is very simple.
“Your government, like Fianna Fáil before you, is slashing the capital budget for social housing. You have no plan to address the housing crisis. Since you took office you have cut the funding for social housing by more than half!
“This is why the waiting lists are growing.
“So Tánaiste, when will you honour your programme for government commitment on social housing and start to invest in social housing?
“Tánaiste government spin doesn’t build houses. Promises won’t get people off the waiting lists.
“What we need is real investment in building and buying homes for people who need them.
“Your claim to have increased funding for housing is simply untrue.
The figures speak for themselves. Your government has cut €233 million from social housing spend since taking office. Announcing €15 million here and €15 million there does not compensate for these massive cuts.
“Tánaiste under watch the state has abandoned its responsibility to provide social housing for people in need.
“Families are hurting because of your broken promises.”

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