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Minister hiding from opposition questions on housing – Ó Broin

12 May, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Minister Simon Coveney of “hiding from opposition questions” on housing. On the first anniversary of his appointment as Minister for Housing, Minister Coveney was nowhere to be seen in the Dáil chamber this week during Promised Legislation or Topical Issues to take questions from the opposition on the rental crisis.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“It has been a year since Simon Coveney was appointed as Minister for Housing. Despite announcement after re-announcement of different initiatives the Minister’s plan is failing. The figures speak for themselves. Homelessness is up 20% since the Minister took office. His July the 1st deadline to ensure that no homeless families will be living in hotels and B&Bs is looming and we have yet to see any detail as to how he plans to achieve this.

“Social housing delivery is moving at a snail’s pace with the promised rapid builds failing to materialise on time. How many private homes have been completed is anyone’s guess due to the inaccurate figures depended on by the Department of Housing to count completions. 

“Some good initiatives that we welcomed that seek to turn around vacant homes are inadequately funded. The schemes combined only target 3% of the total vacant units over six years in the state, which currently stands at 183,000 properties. 

“The rental crisis is worsening, despite the introduction of rent pressure zones, rents are continuing to rise. In Dublin, the number of properties available on short term let on Airbnb is five times the amount available on for long term rental. The Minister has not yet brought forward regulations to deal with this phenomenon. 

“All things considered it is not an anniversary for Minister Coveney to celebrate. Sinn Féin has offered workable solutions to the housing crisis and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, Minister Coveney wasn’t around yesterday to hear what we had to say during a topical issues debate yesterday afternoon. As his second year in office commences, he must urgently review his action plan and bring forward real solutions to tackle this growing crisis.” 

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