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Housing crisis must be declared a national emergency - Michael Colreavy TD

29 September, 2015 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo/North Leitrim, has called on the government to declare the housing and homelessness crisis a national emergency.

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Colreavy said:

“When there is a visit of a foreign dignitary or the outbreak of a disease that might put our livestock at risk, government is at hand with a plan of action as to what they will do and how they will tackle the crisis.

“Even though we will live with the legacy, a government was able to bail out the Irish banks literally overnight, putting billions of public funds in doing so.

“The government has failed to build public housing, or provide funding for the refurbishment of existing public housing.

“There are however, a number of vacant properties in each county that are available for public housing, if the government showed the inclination to tackle this problem.

“For example there are 121 vacant public housing units in Sligo and 74 vacant public housing units in Leitrim.

“This is not a number to be sniffed at as it could house over two hundred families in these two counties alone.

“If these properties and others like them were given funding to make them liveable, then this would help ease the pressure that is currently felt on the housing waiting list.

“It is time for the government to make the housing and homelessness issue a national crisis and take all the appropriate action to house these families.

“The work of charitable organisations, community groups and housing agencies must be commended for the work they have done in providing shelter for people, but it is the responsibility of the state to step up to the plate.”

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