City Council Put on Notice – Change is Overdue
Nearly 80 people turned up in Togher Community Centre last night for the first in a series of public meeting on housing which Sinn Féin is holding across the city.
Speaking at the meeting, local councillor Henry Cremin said:
“Tonight we are putting the council on notice that change is overdue. Housing policy is broken, and we cannot wait any longer for it to be fixed. Council tenants and those on the social housing list are being denied basic respect. People must wait years for a house, wait for maintenance, wait even for the common courtesy of a reply to their queries from the housing officials in City Hall.”
“After tonight, we will be holding further meetings like this across the city and organising a series of protests at City Hall. We are committed to this campaign, committed to getting people their rights, and we are in it for the long haul.”
Outlining Sinn Féin’s policy proposals to the meeting, Cllr Chris O’Leary stated:
“There are over 8,000 families on the waiting list for social housing in Cork City. Meanwhile there are an estimated 300,000 vacant houses across the state. More than one in six private houses built is vacant. We are calling for these vacant houses to be made available to the people who need social housing.”
“For this to happen there needs to be a change in government policy. In the meantime there is a lot the council can do by itself. Sinn Féin wants to see a transparent, points based housing list so everyone knows where they are placed and why decisions are taken. We want tenants whose homes need maintenance to be able to carry out the work themselves and have the cost deducted from their rent. We are looking for a charter of rights for tenants to guarantee them a basic level of service from the council.”
Many of the large crowd indicated they were on the housing list or waiting for maintenance requests or transfers. Speakers from the floor expressed their frustration with the endless delays and with their treatment by City Council. Council officials were invited to attend the meeting but failed to turn up.
The next meeting will take place in Mahon Community Centre on Tuesday 28th September at 7.30pm.
For further information contact Cllr Henry Cremin @ 086-2662874 or Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307.