28th August 2002
Minister must come clean on housing - Morgan
Sinn Fein spokesperson on Housing Arthur Morgan TD has demanded that the Minister for Housing Noel Ahern explain clearly how the government intends to meet its obligations, under the 2000 Planning Act, to provide 25,000 units of social housing.
Mr Morgan was reacting to the Focus Ireland report which stated that just over 6,000 of the 25,000 housing units promised have been built to date . Deputy Morgan said that comments made by the Minister this morning suggested that this was another commitment going to broken by the government.
The county Louth deputy said: ``Once again we are witnessing the latest machinations of a government trying to renege on promises and steadfast commitments given to the people. Noel Ahern all but admitted this morning that the promise, in their 2000 Planning Act, to produce 25,000 units of social and affordable housing before 2004 was not going to be reached and indeed that there was no strategy to achieve this target.
``It has become quiet obvious since the election that the people were sold a pup when presented with the governments pre-election manifesto. It has proved to be nothing more than a tissue of lies and falsehoods.
``Noel Ahern knows that the housing crisis in Ireland did not just manifest itself out of thin air. It is the product of his government and previous governments failure to tackle the underlying causes. They have allowed the production and availability of housing to be dictated by those whose only interest is in profit not social need. They have failed to plan for the long-term housing needs of a growing population and they have failed to provide adequate funding to enable local authorities to fulfil their responsibilities.
``The double speak must end. Radical action must be taken if there is to be any hope of tackling the chronic housing lists that currently stand at 54,000. Social need must come before profit.''
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