26th March 2003
Ó Caoláin confronts Taoiseach on Housing Sinn Fein Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin confronted the Taoiseach on the ongoing housing crisis, which he said was a result of the Government "failed housing policy". The Cavan/Monaghan TD was questioning the Taoiseach in the Dail on Wednesday (26 March).
Deputy Ó Caoláin said that despite the economic slowdown "there has been no relief in the housing market and people are still being fleeced by property developers". He pointed out that the price of homes in a new development in Tallaght were gazzumped by the developer from ¤198,000 to ¤214,000 in the space of three days during the past week. Deputy Ó Caoláin asked the Taoiseach: "How can people even on above average incomes be expected to afford a home when such gross profiteering goes unchecked and how is the Government going to address it?"
Deputy Ó Caoláin said that even if current housing output targets are achieved the local authority housing waiting lists will still probably reduce by less than 1,400 per year nationally, due to more people coming into need:
"This means that it could take approximately 30 years to clear the lists and that tens of thousands of men, women and children will be forced to live on the streets or in low standard accommodation. People are suffering terrible living conditions, high rents and massive mortgages directly as a result of this Government's failed housing policy.
"Figures released by the Department of the Environment showed a 23.5% increase in the number of households on the housing waiting lists between 1999 and last year. How can the Taoiseach then justify the savage cut of ¤57 million in the allocation to the Dept. of Environment and Local Government for local authority and social housing programmes for 2003?" For immediate release: 26th March 2003
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