Tuesday 25 April 2017

TDs plan to quiz Kelly on housing

Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Gerry Mooney
Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Gerry Mooney
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Members of the new Dáil Committee on Housing and Homelessness plan to quiz acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly about the ongoing crisis.

Mr Kelly and local authority county managers will be first to appear as the committee meets over the next nine weeks.

Fianna Fáil TD John Curran was elected chairman of the committee, beating Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin by eight votes to six.

Dublin Central deputy Maureen O'Sullivan said TDs on the committee are "all aware of the issues involved" and that, rather than going over "old ground", members should focus on how to address the ­crisis.

AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger said that homeless people should be invited to come before the members to tell their stories - as well as tenants facing eviction due to the purchase of their homes by "vulture funds".

Reluctant

Fine Gael's Catherine Byrne said some homeless people may be reluctant to attend public hearings and suggested that TDs visit those in emergency accommodation themselves.

Mr Ó Broin proposed 10 areas that meetings should focus on, including homelessness, social housing, the private rental sector and the role of Nama.

Fianna Fáil's Barry ­Cowen said "homelessness is an emergency and must be ­treated as such."

He added that the short time-frame for the committee "requires members to be focused and to seek to make real and meaningful proposals".

Irish Independent

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