13 December 2001 Edition

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Sinn Féin backs National Housing Authority

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, councillor Seán Crowe has slammed the government for failing to address the housing crisis and abandoning thousands of families in sub standard accommodation. Crowe has backed calls from the National Economic and Social Forum calling for a National Housing Authority to be established.

Crowe said, "It is outrageous that in the midst of a housing crisis local authority house completions last year were lower than in previous years.

"In their report, the NESF highlighted what people throughout this country already knew - that this government have failed to tackle the shortage of local authority and social housing and have failed to meet their commitments under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.

"We support calls for the setting up of a National Housing Authority to maximise the efforts of local authorities throughout the island, by focusing funding and expertise where housing need is greatest.

"Such a body should co-ordinate public, private, co-operative and shared ownership schemes while also providing resources and direction for research and education into the best solutions possible for tackling existing policy failures in housing supply."


Budget zero response to housing crisis

Commenting on the recent 26-County Budget this week, Sinn Fein Dublin West Representative, Mary Lou McDonald, stressed that in no way does it address or even reflect the current accommodation crisis "or maybe, in the government's view there is no crisis".

She was speaking following the launch of a Sinn Féin campaign in the area, highlighting vacant properties that the party believes should be made available to ease Dublin's housing crisis.

"The Government has failed people on housing waiting lists. In Blanchardstown alone there is a queue of 1,200 people waiting to be housed. This budget offers them little hope," McDonald continued.

According to the Dublin West Representative there was no good news for first time buyers either: "the only ones with a smile on their face are property investors who have gained reduced stamp duty rates. While landlords enjoy this bonus, the Government has failed to protect tenants from rising rents and the growing rate of evictions".

The failure to take measures to tackle the accommodation crisis reflects just how out of touch this Government is, she said. "They have had almost five years to act, in that time they have proved themselves unable or unwilling to address the communitys housing needs".


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