21/05/2014

Sinn Féin Launch Social Housing Proposals

Sinn Féin has launched its proposals on tackling the "social housing crisis".

The party said that its approach to housing policy is underpinned by four fundamental principles:

• Housing is a basic human right and the state has a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access secure, adequate housing. This right should be enshrined in Bunreacht nahEireann and enforceable by the courts as was

recommended by the recent Constitutional Convention in its report on social and economic rights. We welcome that recommendation and call on the government to set a date for the necessary referendum as soon as possible.

• Adequate housing should be defined as housing with suitable privacy, space, security, accessibility, lighting, ventilation, basic infrastructure, and location with regard to work and basic facilities.

• Everyone has the right to protection from homelessness

• Every person has the right to security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment or other threats, regardless of the form of tenure: whether public or private rental, co-operative, lease, owner-occupied, emergency or informal accommodation.

Launching the set of proposals, the party's spokesperson Dessie Ellis said:

"The problem with the government’s response to homelessness is not the content of their plan but the lack of resources allocated to it.

"Sinn Féin’s plan involves a significantly greater investment and will deliver a significantly greater number of social housing units than those announced by government today.

"In addition to providing the much needed housing for the homeless our proposals would also have a positive impact on the rental market making rents more affordable for everyone.

"We are also advocating the introduction of rent controls to tackle spiralling rents and keep the rent supplement bill under control."

The proposals can be read here (PDF).

(MH/CD)

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