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New Fold initiative proves need for Council housing trusts – Dessie Ellis TD

27 February, 2014 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the Minister for Housing to work with Local Authorities to develop strategy for establishment of housing trusts under Local Authorities.

Speaking after the opening of a new housing initiative by Fold Housing where former local authority housing was renovated using private finance not available directly to councils, Deputy Ellis said:

“The new Fold housing in my own constituency is very welcome and sorely needed for local older people. There has been a severe lack of new housing in Dublin particularly housing suited for older people.

“That said this should have been possible under public ownership had Dublin City Council taken the initiative of founding a semi-independent housing trust which could borrow money in a similar way to housing bodies like Fold.

“Voluntary bodies do great work but the local authorities must step up to the plate and deal with the housing crisis now. This requires new thinking and a dedication to providing public housing. It is not easy to take new steps like this but it is absolutely necessary.

“That is why I am again calling on the Minister to work with Local Authorities to develop a strategy for establishing housing trusts. This could be a vital part of cutting the housing waiting lists and dealing with spiralling homelessness if councils are supported to go down this road.

“We cannot afford to allow local authorities to stop building social housing and to shirk their responsibilities on to voluntary bodies because of a lack of imagination and ingenuity when it comes to financing and organisation.”

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