[Sinn Fein]

18th December 2002

Government's Traveller Accommodation Programme is `in tatters'

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs Seán Crowe TD has described the government's Traveller housing policy a shambles after a response to a parliamentary question revealed a complete system-wide failure of the State to tackle the issue of Traveller accommodation.

The Dublin South-West TD said:

``The government's plans to provide decent housing for the Travelling community are left in tatters. Local authorities estimated they needed 3,785 units for Traveller housing as part of their five year programmes.

``A mere 328 units were built in 2001 and there are plans for only 172 in 2003. Five years after the Traveller Accommodation Act was passed the government's record on the issue is one of complete and abject failure.

``Last week we saw the government surrender policy development in housing to the developers as the removal of 20% social housing provision came before the House. At a time when there is a housing crisis the likes of which this state has never seen, this government can do no more but look after the interests of their friends in the building industry instead of the 48,000 households on the waiting lists, the 6,000 homeless and the almost 4,000 households on the Traveller accommodation list.''

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