Ellis hits out at government’s social housing policy

Deputy Dessie Ellis

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD has described the government’s response to the shortage in social housing as nothing more than a charade.

He made his comments during a Dáil debate on a Sinn Fein motion tabled by Deputy Ellis dealing with social housing and mortgage distress.

He said: “The government in its Housing Policy statement and in its speeches to housing bodies across the country have engaged in nothing more than a charade peppered with meaningless platitudes. They have not put their political will behind providing secure and adequate housing for the many people in need in this state .

“NAMA was heralded a great help in providing housing but this is simply a leasing scheme which out of a promise of 3,900 has only delivered 179 since it was founded in the winter of 2009.

“We have 100,000 people on waiting lists, 94,000 in Rent Supplement and 23, 000 in the Rental Accommodation Scheme. This state is in a continuing housing crisis which is leaving the worst off in our society sleeping on couches and raising their children in unhealthy, damp and crowded conditions.

“The government is turning a blind eye to this, more interested in paying someone else’s bank debt than providing for the rights of its people.
The state must use the Pension Reserve Fund, the European Investment Bank, incentivised investment from the private pension sector and social housing bonds to raise funds to start to end this crisis finally.

“Sinn Fein have set out how to do this. Fine Gael and Labour now need to listen to new ideas and start delivering for the people who need help.”