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Maurice Quinlivan to sit on committee on housing and homelessness.
Sinn Féin has nominated Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan to sit on the new all-party sub committee on housing and homelessness.
Speaking today Deputy Quinlivan said;
“The new all party sub committee on housing and homelessness was agreed after Sinn Féin put forward a motion seeking its establishment. That committee should meet this coming week and an interim report should be completed before the end of April.”
"It is essential that all stakeholders involved in the provision of Housing, those affected by the housing crisis and homeless people themselves are allowed to come before the committee and share their experiences and solutions.
"The housing situation in this state has gone from crisis to a national emergency. Nowhere is this emergency more evident than in the city of Limerick and there are issues that must be addressed immediately.
Speaking in the Dáil debate Deputy Quinlivan said: “Historically, in Limerick, the local authority played an active role in building houses which alleviated a lot of the shortages. From the 1950s to the 1970s, local authorities provided good quality, well-built social housing for the people of Limerick. This happened right across the state.
“Sadly and disastrously, Local Authorities stopped building social housing, turning instead to schemes such as the rental accommodation scheme (RAS) and in 2006 and the housing assistance payment (HAP)Unfortunately, often these schemes have also proved to be unreliable as many tenants have been forced to leave their homes when contracts were not renewed. In many cases, local authorities were unable to provide alternative accommodation. The effectiveness of rent supplement, HAP and RAS has always been problematic. It has never proved adequate to assist people to meet rent costs.
“It is clear that the core of an strategy for dealing with the housing crisis in an effectively manner is the implementation of a massive social housing build programme. We need to get people off bloated waiting lists and into homes where they belong.
“We need to compliment such a programme with innovative ideas.
“If there is an opportunity to compulsory purchase housing units back from vulture funds, who are evicting vulnerable families, then that should be given serious consideration.
“The recent offer by the Irish League of Credit Unions to establish a housing fund, where billions of Euro could be accessed, must also form part of the discussion on progressive solutions.
“More and more working people on low to middle incomes are finding it difficult to cope. The number of people sleeping on the streets or in emergency accommodation is shocking.
“We need to see real rent controls put in place and investment in homelessness services. Successive governments, and most blatantly the outgoing government, jettisoned the state’s responsibility to ensure affordable accommodation for its citizens. That must be reversed. It must be made right.
“I am delighted that the Dáil has agreed to set up an all-party committee to deal with the issue of housing and homelessness. It is long overdue. I will work day in and day out to make value contributions on behalf of my constituents.”