Housing list in Louth soars as council land banks lie empty – Imelda Munster

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster, has hit out at the latest homelessness figures, saying that “the figures released for the month of August show how the government has failed to get to grips with the causes of homelessness.”

The comment comes as the Department of Housing released the official homeless figures for August which show 10,338 people living in emergency accommodation, 170 of whom are in Louth and 111 in Meath.

Deputy Munster said:

“The figures published this morning by the Department of Housing show an unacceptable number of people who are homeless in Louth and Meath.

“The figures show that child and family homelessness is on the increase across the state. For the seventh month in a row the number of people officially classified as homeless across this state has remained above 10,000 with a total of 10,338.

“There are over 50 acres of council owned land banks in Louth which are still lying barren of any social and affordable housing, all because the government has refused to roll out the funding to build hundreds of homes on this land to help ease the crisis.

“The government has already collated the data around land banks across the state and they know exactly where they are.

“The housing waiting list in Louth is head towards the 5,000 mark – the highest it has ever been. Yet these land banks lie idle.

“It’s high time, if the government is serious about even making a dent in the housing waiting list that they fund the roll out of an affordable and social housing building programme on these council-owned land banks.

“Sinn Féin has called for an increase in investment in social and affordable homes built on public land and faster delivery time for these homes.”

“We are calling on both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to drop their opposition to the Focus Ireland amendment as this is the best way to keep families from becoming homeless as it restricts the landlord’s ability to seek vacant possession notices to quit.

”I have been pleading with the government to change their policy and prioritise social and affordable housing to give these people and families a chance at a stable, normal life.”