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Limerick’s government TDs do not care about the 6,000 people on the housing waiting list

Noonan, O’Sullivan and O’Donnell put narrow party political interests ahead of meaningful action

Sinn Fein Councillor Maurice Quinlivan has accused Limerick’s government TDs of not caring about the 5,000 people on the waiting list after they voting against range of measures for tackling the housing crisis in the Dáil last night.

Councillor Quinlivan said that Ministers Michael Noonan and Jan O’Sullivan, along with Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, would prefer to see the crisis continue rather than support proposals from Sinn Féin that are both comprehensive and thought-out.

Councillor Quinlivan said:  “These three TDs do not care about the 6,000 people on the housing waiting list in Limerick. They do not care about people that are experiencing homelessness or families who are struggling with negativity equity.

“They went into the Dáil last night voted against a range of measures that, if implemented, would go some way to addressing the crisis. The scale of this crisis is unprecedented. We are now talking about a serious national emergency. It shouldn't matter who the proposals are coming from once they are comprehensive and thought-out. Sadly, the deciding factor for Limerick’s government TDs was the fact that the measures were contained within a Sinn Féin motion. That is pathetic behaviour to be honest.

"Sinn Féin called on the government to contact the EU Commission and have the housing crisis declared a national emergency. This move would have allowed the government to speed up the public procurement process when building social housing and allowed the government to fund the building of social housing off balance sheet.

"Another aspect of the motion urged the Government to work in tandem with the PRTB to introduce Emergency Legislation to cap and reduce rents to reasonable rent levels.

“We also demanded that the government recognise that with approximately 38,000 mortgage holders experiencing severe mortgage distress, there is a need to introduce emergency legislation to cap mortgage interest rates.

“The motion has included recommendations for reviewing planning legislation in order to allow for the timely delivery of social housing, increased funding central government, and facilitating local authorities in accessing off balance sheet housing agency loans.

“It is shameful that Michael Noonan, Jan O’Sullivan and Kieran O’Donnell opted to put their narrow party political interests ahead of supporting measures that would really kick-start a holistic response to the housing crisis. The people of Limerick should hold them accountable for that decision.”