[Sinn Fein]

9 January 2001

Housing Minister Bobby Molloy to be called to explain housing crisis action to South Dublin County Council

Housing Minister Bobby Molloy is to be asked to attend a meeting of South Dublin County Council to personally explain how he intends to deal with the growing housing crisis.

The council, the second-largest local authority in the State, backed a proposal by Sinn Fein Councillor Seán Crowe at Monday's monthly council meeting to ask the Minister for a special face-to-face meeting.  Cllr Crowe said:

``This is the second largest local authority in the State and we need to know from the Minister what he is actually going to do about the increasing crisis in housing when we are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of the Celtic Tiger economy. We want to know exactly what Minister Molloy and the Government are going to do about the situation.

``Not only is the number of homeless people increasing and rents in private accommodation spiralling upwards but even young couples where both are working are caught in a Catch 22 situation - they cannot afford a mortgage between them and they earn too much to qualify for local authority housing. It's madness and we cannot allow it to go on.

``Buying a house is beyond the reach of the average PAYE worker and only 8 per cent of all houses are being built by local authorities while waiting lists have increased over the past four years by 43 per cent.

``With Focus Ireland reporting that nearly 46,000 households are on local authority waiting lists, people deserve to be told what action the Government is taking.''

Sinn Fein has called on the Government to implement a `Social Housing Programme', to set targets for 70 per cent of people on waiting lists to be housed within two years, control of land prices to stop speculation, and special grants to encourage use of urban and rural derelict sites for new homes.''

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