Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster raised the issue of the 54 acres of council owned land banks for housing lying barren in Drogheda and throughout Louth while over five thousand people wait to be housed.
Deputy Munster asked the Minister if he would give a commitment to fund the local authorities in Louth to enable them to build social housing on the land banks that the council have already purchased and reserved for housing in order to deal with the crisis.
The Minister was told of the ludicrous situation whereby the council are currently forced to pay 3 million in interest only on the 54 acres of land whilst it lies idle, and that money comes out of the councils own budget for housing maintenance and extensions for people with disabilities.
Deputy Munster accused the government of handing over our housing crisis to private developers. The Sinn Fein TD discovered through questions that the Minister for Housing had not even contacted local councils to find out what lands they had available to build houses on despite being in the midst of a housing crisis.
Of the almost 54 acres that we have in Louth, we have 20.4 acres in Drogheda.
This land needs to be utilised with the rolling of a government funded social housing building programme in order to deal with the housing crisis which is only set to worsen by government inaction.