25 November 2004 Edition

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State housing plan in tatters

The state has "completely and utterly failed over 48,000 families who continue to languish on local authority housing waiting lists", says Sinn Féin Meath County Councillor Joe Reilly.

He was speaking after it emerged that only 315 homes in the state were built to provide social and affordable housing under the Planning and Development Act 2001, which stipulated that up to 20% of all private housing developments had to cater for social and affordable housing. The figures were provided between January 2002 and June 2004.

"This is unacceptable," said Reilly. "Thousands of families remain in limbo, whilst this government pretends that this state has no housing crisis.

"In my own county Meath, a mere 16 social and affordable homes were built in the space of 18 months. Up to 1,000 people are currently on the housing list in the county.

"What is required is a re-focusing of the legislation and a strict adherence to the criteria where 20% of all private housing developments must cater for social and affordable housing units. This government has a duty to provide housing for the most vulnerable people within our society. Sinn Féin will continue to prioritise housing as a fundamental human right."

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