4th July 2003
Housing initiative will be worthless if there is no local authority or voluntary housing input
Commenting on the announcement by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern of a new housing initiative, Sinn Fein's spokesperson on housing, Arthur Morgan T.D. said, ``this scheme will be worthless'' if these lands are being ``handed over to private property developers at knock down prices.'' ``These lands must to be given to either the local authorities or voluntary housing schemes to make any real difference'', he said.
Deputy Morgan said
``This Government has shown very little commitment to tackling the housing crisis. In 1999 the Taoiseach together with the former Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Noel Dempsey T.D. announced a range of initiatives in relation to the housing market. One of these was the examination of the potential use for housing of lands in State ownership. Nothing happened and earlier this year we were treated to the spectacle of Tom Parlon announcing the open market sale of state lands. The Government is obviously beginning to feel to pressure and are seeking to deflect the real anger which is set to impact on Fianna Fáil vote in the Local Elections.
``I would welcome any genuine initiative to build social and affordable housing on State land at Inchicore and Infirmary Road. However, the Taoiseach's assertion that there would be no local authority housing as part of these developments suggests that a game of smoke and mirrors is being played. If it is the case that these lands are just being handed over to private property developers at knock down prices to reduce building overheads then the scheme will be worthless.
``These lands must to be given to either the local authorities or voluntary housing schemes to make any real difference.''
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