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.

Sinn Féin Visit Staleen Water Treatment Plant & Pipeline Project

Sinn Féin Councillors Kenneth Flood and Joanna Byrne accompanied Imelda Munster TD to take a tour of the construction site of the Staleen Water Treatment Plant and Pipeline Project last Friday.

The visit was to show progress of the works on the pipe laying element of the project.

The new pipeline will help to ensure the delivery of a safe, secure and reliable water supply to Drogheda, South Louth and East Meath. Once complete, the old pipeline which has experienced two significant bursts in the past year can be decommissioned. The new treatment plant will ensure that the water supply is removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Remedial Action List (RAL) for exceedances of THMs (trihalomethanes).

However, during a Q&A session following a briefing from Irish Water Management, in answer to the Sinn Féin team’s questions it was exposed that although the project will bring the outdated infrastructure up to modern standards and will immensely improve the quality of the water delivered, the plant itself will not be fit for purpose to supply the increasing demand that will be expected of it by then.

The plant currently exports 30,000 sq cubes of water per day, 1,250 per hr, and it was confirmed to the SF team that the new pipeline will not export much more than that.

With 5,000 houses planned for construction in the Northern Environs area of Drogheda alone, leading to a population increase of approximately 15,000 people it is obvious that the water demand will dramatically increase in that area alone in years to come, let alone expansion in any other area added to that.

The question has to be asked as to why, when Irish Water planned this project, none of this was taken into consideration? Will the lack of water supply stop the growth of Drogheda?

The Drogheda Sinn Féin Team said, “we will be raising this at forthcoming council meetings and with central government. The council, as the local planning authority, have a responsibility to ensure the infrastructure is in place to serve the houses that they have granted planning permission for. Also, if Drogheda is to attract Foreign Direct Investment, especially anything in the manufacturing sector, including pharmaceuticals, Drogheda must be able to ensure that we can deliver the massive water supply that such industries need. The new pipeline cannot be the end of the water infrastructure investment in Drogheda. The government must commit to a water delivery plan to ensure Drogheda can fulfil its potential and become this states next City.”