Monday, September 27, 2010

Cork Sinn Féin Housing Campaign Gathers Momentum

Cork Sinn Féin Housing Campaign Gathers Momentum

Cork Sinn Féin’s housing campaign continues to gather momentum, with a public meeting in Mahon Community Centre on Tuesday evening aiming to build on the successful first meeting in Togher. Local councillor Chris O’Leary today called on all those affected by the failure of the council’s housing policy in the Mahon area and beyond to turn up tomorrow night and join the campaign.

Cllr O’Leary said:

“The council’s housing policy is not working, and it is time for those people worst affected by its failure to come together and change the system. Two weeks ago I spoke at a well-attended public meeting on this issue in Togher. I expect tomorrow’s meeting at Mahon Community Centre to be equally well supported, and I encourage everyone in the Mahon area and beyond who has been affected by the failure of the council’s policies to turn up and join the campaign for change.”

“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. This represents a shocking waste of resources in the face of dire need.”

“Everyone should have access to good quality housing at an affordable price. However this is not possible for tens of thousands of people in our city. At the core of the problem is government policy, which has been to gradually withdraw from social housing provision and let the market provide.”

“Sinn Féin wants to see the central role in housing policy given back to local authorities. Local government should be given adequate funding to tackle the waiting lists and improve maintenance. Vacant dwellings in the control of NAMA should be made available to those on the social housing list. Councils should also be empowered to provide genuinely affordable housing for sale in the open market.”

“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.”

“In the coming weeks Sinn Féin will be ratcheting up this campaign even further with a series of direct actions targeting those most responsible for the council’s failed housing policies. Details of these actions will be announced at Tuesday’s meeting, which will take place at Mahon Community Centre at 7.30pm.”

For further information contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087/2794307

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