Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment Barry Cowen has backed a statement by the Irish League of Credit Unions which has highlighted the important role that Credit Unions can play in alleviating the housing crisis.

Responding to the statement today, Deputy Cowen commented, “Fianna Fáil has consistently argued that Credit Unions should be engaged to help ease the housing crisis. We brought forward two Private Members Motions in the Dáil last year alone, which called for more powers and autonomy to be given to the country’s Credit Unions.  Both were voted down by Fine Gael and Labour, who refused to listen despite the fact that four families a day are losing their homes.  There are now over 1730 children that are homeless; a situation which is completely unacceptable.

“Last January, the Fine Gael and Labour Government signed directives which significantly reduced Credit Unions’ ability to function competitively.  This was a very short sighted move.  The fact of the matter is that we are in the middle of a national housing emergency and all constructive proposals should be considered.  Decisive measures need to be taken.  Credit Unions have over €5bn in funding available – this should be utilised to provide social and affordable housing for families. The ILCU have made a series of submissions to alleviate the current housing situation and these options must be explored as a matter of urgency”.