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27/09/2021

Housing rally planned in Carlow where 2,000 houses remain vacant

Housing  rally planned in Carlow where 2,000 houses remain idle

File photo

There are over 2,000 vacant homes in Carlow that could be turned into homes to tackle the housing crisis, according to the People Before Profit (PBP) party which is organising a rally to highlight the housing crisis in Carlow. 

PBP's Cllr Adrienne Wallace has condemned the government’s Housing for All plan as a continuation of the failed policy of relying on the private market.

As part of the National Housing and Homeless Coalition’s local days of action, PBP have organised a rally on Saturday, September 11 outside Shamrock Plaza at 12pm. The rally is calling for immediate action to be taken locally to alleviate the housing crisis. 

Independent Cllr John Cassin will also be in attendance alongside Sinn Fein TD Kathleen Funchion and former councillor Jim Deane.

In a statement Cllr Wallace said: “In the face of another failed plan on housing from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens, the progressive voices on the left are taking action. From Repeal to same-sex marriage to the water charges campaign we have seen the effect people power can have in Ireland. That is why we are uniting on our streets, to give those on the front line of this crisis a voice and to demand genuine change in people’s lives.

 "The Housing for All plan will not deliver the social housing that is needed to drastically cut housing waiting lists. It primarily relies on private developers to provide social housing, which is the same failed policy repeated. It is a scandal that people will continue to languish on these lists for years,” Cllr Wallace said. 

“There is no commitment to impose a rent freeze or even reduce rents. There are also no measures to curb vulture funds and corporate landlords.

"Evictions from the private sector are the biggest source of homelessness, yet there is nothing in the plan to prevent this continuing. The affordable housing scheme proposals mainly rely on a shared equity scheme but the evidence from Britain is that such schemes only lead to price increases in the longer term,” Cllr Wallace said.

There are alternatives to reliance on the private market that would yield actual solutions, he stressed.

“There are over 2,000 vacant homes in Carlow alone that could be made into homes, we need to streamline the CPO process. We need rent caps and to stop evictions into homelessness. We should develop a state-run construction company to build homes at cost price and ensure that they meet proper environmental standards," Cllr Wallace said.

"If people want change, they will have to fight for it, those worried about their futures should join us on Saturday,” Cllr Wallace added. 

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