Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

Minister should Provide New Houses Not Spin

Minister Alan Kelly has now admitted that only 475 new social housing units will be built in the entire state this year. This government has now been in power for over 3 years.

Tipperary Co Council’s Director of Housing Services Claire Curley told a recent meeting that 750 people presented as homeless in Co Tipperary since January 2013 including 244 so far this year.

There are 2,500 families on the local authority housing list in Co Tipperary at the moment and 90,000 nationally.

In answer to a priority question from me(Question No. 5 of 17 September 2014, Minister Kelly had said: “Overall, I expect some 6,000 social housing units to be delivered across the range of programmes in the calendar year 2014.”(Dáil Report).

But when I asked Minister Kelly for a breakdown in a supplementary written question, it turned out that 2,500 of “the social housing units to be delivered” were in fact the payment of rent allowance to those in private rental accommodation and only 450 were newly built social housing? This spin is totally unacceptable when over half of applicants are on the waiting list for over 4 years and 750 people have presented as homeless in Co Tipperary alone over the last 18 months. Only 750 additional social housing units were provided nationally in 2013

President Higgins has recently criticised the lack of provision of newly built social housing and insisted that the fundamental human right to housing should not be left to the market. I call on the Minister to insist that new and much increased capital funding be made available to social housing bodies and to Tipperary Co Council to tackle this deep human crisis.

Seamus Healy TD