[Sinn Fein]

16th September 2002

Sinn Fein welcomes finding of Simon survey on housing and homelessness

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan TD has today welcomed the findings of a survey conducted by the Simon Communities. The survey showed that 71% of the electorate endorsed the right to housing to be enshrined in the Constitution.

Deputy Morgan said: ``The findings in the Simon Communities survey show that Irish people want to see the right to housing enshrined in the Constitution. The vast majority believe that housing is the responsibility of Government and that by enshrining it in the Constitution they believe governments will be compelled to tackle what is a growing crisis. Sinn Fein supports this view and believes that everybody has a right to housing.

``For too long now the Government has tried to wash it's hands of this responsibility and have left under funded local authorities to pick up the pieces. It is not good enough. People must be offered the protection of the Constitution and the Government made accountable for providing what should be a fundamental right. For too long it has been the speculators and private developers that have benefited from government initiatives. It is time to give everybody in our society access to adequate housing not just the rich and wealthy.''

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