Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen says this week’s Dáil Private Members Business represents the last chance for Fine Gael and Labour to deal with the housing emergency.
The Dáil motion tabled by Fianna Fáil gives the Government the opportunity to utilise the social dividend section of NAMA by providing 10,000 houses for use by the state.
Deputy Cowen commented, “The policies pursued by Fine Gael and Labour in Government have given rise to a national housing emergency. There are over 1,600 children and up to 780 families currently living in emergency accommodation. Some of these families have been without a home for up to two years.
“This housing emergency is having a detrimental impact on families. It is forcing people out of communities and away from their friends and family. Children are particularly affected as they are forced to change school on a regular basis. Despite this the Government has not prioritised resources to deal with homelessness. The housing emergency didn’t even feature as an issue at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis.
“This week Fianna Fáil is offering the Government one last chance to deal with this emergency. Currently the Government has only allocated a small portion of the NAMA housing stock for use by the state. In contrast the Dáil motion we have tabled will ensure NAMA is forced to pull out all the stops to address the spiralling housing waiting lists.
“If this Government is serious about tackling this emergency then Minister Noonan would sign a Ministerial order requesting NAMA to provide 10,000 units to the state for social housing. It remains to be seen if Fine Gael and Labour do the decent thing or simply continue to ignore the thousands of people stuck in emergency accommodation,” concluded Deputy Cowen.