GOV LATEST QUANGO WILL NOT SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS – MUNSTER

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Meath East Imelda Munster has said that the proposed Land Development Agency is a case of ‘the Government reverting to mistakes of the past, where the housing market is Private Developer Led and Private Developer Driven.’

Deputy Munster said:

This latest stunt highlights the government’s point blank refusal to provide funding for the roll out of a proper social and affordable house building programme. As Fine Gael and Minister Murphy give ‘state owned lands’ to private developers telling them that they only have to provide a mere 10% for social housing, there are almost 100,000 people on the social housing waiting list nationwide as well as all those who will never be in a position to own their own home.

In Louth alone there are 4112 families on the housing list many of whom have been waiting for upwards of a decade to be housed. Meanwhile the government has consistently refused to fund Louth County Council to enable them to build social housing on the 50 acres of council owned land banks held throughout the county.

And who will the proposed 30% in affordable homes serve? It certainly won’t be the 50% of our population who earn less than €28,000 per annum. The price of an affordable home was put forward yesterday as being in the region of €320,000 meaning that the purchaser will need to have €32,000 in savings for the deposit before they start; then they will have to follow that up with a mortgage of €288,000 for which they will need to be earning a minimum of €82,000 per annum in order to afford an ‘affordable home’.

The Housing crisis will never be solved by this government. Instead they are reverting to mistakes of the past where the housing market is private developer led and private developer driven. They are ideologically opposed to funding the building of social and affordable housing.

Local Authorities should be funded to develop the sites and council owned land banks to build social housing, affordable rental and affordable homes.

That’s the only way to tackle the housing crisis.

Housing crisis in Louth: Adams TD

Commenting on the recent homeless figures Gerry Adams TD pointed out that; “There are now more citizens homeless in this state than the combined populations of Ardee, Castlebellingham, Dunleer, Jenkinstown and Tullyallen”.

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has challenged local TDs, irrespective of their party allegiance, to support Sinn Féin’s motion of no confidence in the Housing Minister Eoin Murphy when it comes before the Dáil in the next few weeks.

The Sinn Féin Louth TD said:

“The government’s housing policy, supported by Fianna Fáil, is failing the tens of thousands of households on the waiting list, the almost ten thousand men, women and children who are homeless, the many more who are paying exorbitant rents, and those who want to buy their own home.

Minister Murphy is out of touch with the needs of households who need a safe and secure roof over the heads.

While there has been a very slight drop in the number of homeless in Louth the government’s policies are failing to dent the housing crisis in this constituency and across the state. The number of homeless dropped by just two between June and July.

There are now more citizens homeless in this state than the combined populations of Ardee, Castlebellingham, Dunleer, Jenkinstown and Tullyallen.

This is an outrageous situation. Consequently, Sinn Féin will be tabling a motion of no confidence in Minister Murphy in the next few weeks. We are seeking support from across the political spectrum.

I am calling on all local TDs to place the housing needs of citizens first and to join with Sinn Féin in demanding that Minister Murphy goes and the government adopt effective and urgent policies to end the housing crisis. My appeal is especially directed at Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach whose party’s support for the government is keeping it in power. Fianna Fáil is complicit in this housing crisis. Fianna Fáil TDs have the power to demand that the government change its disastrous housing policy but thus far they have refused. The Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Minister presents Teachta Breathnach and others with an opportunity to put the people first.”

 

Homeless crisis in Louth deepens – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the homelessness figures for June as “deeply disturbing and evidence of a government and of a Housing Minister failing to properly address the crisis in housing and homelessness.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Minister Eoghan Murphy has now been in office for a full year. Despite claims of progress the housing figures for last month are evidence of a Minister failing to do his job.
 
Last June there were 115 homeless adults in the North East region of whom 110 were in Louth. There were 14 families and 40 children.

12 months later the number of homeless in the North East region has jumped to 129, of whom 125 are in Louth. There are now 24 families and 54 children.

This is a significant increase which would have been greater but for the Minister’s instruction to Councils to exclude some categories of homeless on spurious grounds.

Across the state there are now 9,872 homeless persons – an increase of almost two thousand on this time last year.

June has seen increases in the numbers of families and children accessing emergency accommodation in Louth and in the state.

The reality is that without the right kind of action this crisis is not going to end. The government, for example, should move to amend the Residential Tenancies Act to prevent buy-to-let landlords who benefit from tax breaks from issuing vacant possession notices to quit when selling a property.” 
 

Louth SF at National Homeless Protest

Louth Sinn Féin Councillors Joanna Byrne and Ruairí Ó Murchú joined a huge Sinn Féin contingent in Dublin on Saturday afternoon to support the National Homeless and Housing Coalition’s (NHHC) mass housing protest.

The national day of action, organised by the NHHC, was supported by organisations such as Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust, the Simon Communites, along with a number of activist and trade union groups, actors, musicians and political parties – including Sinn Féin.

Saturday’s protest saw people come out in their thousands to demonstrate against record homelessness figures and the fact our country is facing a national housing emergency.

Speaking after the protest Cllr Joanna Byrne and Chairperson of Louth County Council’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee said:

“A mobilisation of this size has to send a clear message to the government to make housing a right, not a privilege. The latest figures show that there are nearly 10,000 people in this country that are homeless, including 3,755 children. Month by month these figures are rising, it is gone beyond frightening at this stage and these people are the reason we are here today, these are the people we are standing in solidarity with today. This needs to be recognised as a national emergency and dealt with accordingly. The government need to increase investment in homelessness prevention and tenancy sustainment and provide more protection for tenants at risk of homelessness to even try and get a handle on this crisis.”

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, Sinn Féin’s General Election candidate for Louth stated that “until there is a change in government policy this crisis will continue to get worse. The government’s over-reliance on the private rental sector to meet social housing needs, combined with rising rents and no rent certainty has played a major part in this crisis, this needs to change. Focus needs to be on building social and affordable homes, mixed-tenure public housing estates on public lands, funded by central government and built by local authorities.”

Joanna Byrne and Ruairí Ó Murchú joined Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald, along with the parties spokesperson on Housing Eoin O’Broin behind the banner leading the Sinn Féin section of the protest.

Elected Reps and activists from all around the country followed behind making the huge Sinn Féin presence felt and were the largest Political Party supporting the event.

 

 

Delays in Affordable Housing Scheme is compounding housing crisis – Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth, Imelda Munster, has today called on the government to set up an Affordable Housing Scheme as a matter as a priority. The last government announced the scheme in Budget 2016, however it has yet to be set up.

“The state has completely reneged on its duties to provide secure and affordable housing. The homelessness crisis is a national emergency, a fact that the government has not recognised. More families and individuals than ever are homeless.”

“Young people and those on low and middle incomes cannot afford to buy homes. Meanwhile, the private rental sector is seriously under-regulated and only benefiting landlords as tenants are priced out of the market.”

“In my own constituency of Louth and East Meath housing waiting lists have spiralled, with many families waiting up to nine years for a house. There is a chronic shortage of affordable private rental accommodation and the government has yet to open the Affordable Housing Scheme, despite making a commitment to do so two years ago.”

“The government is paying lip service to the housing crisis. They need to fund a proper social housing programme, and to allow those who wish to purchase their own home to do so under an Affordable Housing Scheme rather than relying on the dysfunctional private rental market.”