Tuesday 10 December 2019

'Housing crisis has become background wallpaper' - Sinn Fein accuses government of social housing failure

Sinn Féin's Peadar Tóibín. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sinn Féin's Peadar Tóibín. Photo: Steve Humphreys

John Brennan

Sinn Fein have accused the government of failing to invest in social and affordable housing and said the housing crisis should be a more prominent factor in the election campaign.

Launching the party's housing plan at Sinn Fein HQ on Parnell Square in Dublin, Peadar Tóibín said the issue needs to be at the forefront of the election campaign.

"Unbelievably in this campaign the housing crisis has become the background wallpaper of this campaign, rather than the standout humanitarian issue that it is," Peadar Tóibín said at the launch.

"This state is only emerging from the wreckage of a Fianna Fáil and Green property crash and yet here we see Fine Gael and labour preside over another ferocious cyclical swing in his area."

The Sinn Fein spokesperson said that it had gone beyond crisis point and it was now a "housing emergency".

Sinn Fein have pledged €5bn between 2016-2021 to see the delivery of 36,500 social and affordable houses.

As well as this, they outlined their plans to make "an additional €30m available to local authorities and homeless agencies to house the homeless in emergency accommodation in year one of the Government."

Mr Tóibín also attacked Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour but denied that the party had been involved in negative campaigning.

"The records of the parties is the basis of trust," he said.

"Fine Gael is at a polarity to Sinn Fein, they are the opposite of the spectrum," he said.

He praised his party leader saying, "there is no doubt in my mind that Gerry Adams is one of the most successful political leaders of this generation.

"If you look at the poll figures and compare them to the general election of 2011 - Gerry Adams has doubled the support of Sinn Fein, while the other leaders at best have tread water."

The party spokesperson also ruled out "propping up" a Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil government saying both party's were "two sides of the same coin".

"The door is open for Sinn Fein in this election and we will talk to people who will implement our programme," he said.

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