Republican News · Thursday 13 April 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Crowe attacks IBEC's housing propaganda

Isn't it amazing that so many people have the solution to the housing crisis afflicting the 26 Counties. However, equally amazing is that none of these solutions are given an airing when it really matters.

Take for example the recent Partnership for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) negotiations. The talks would have benefited from discussion of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) proposals made this week on tackling the housing crisis.

IBEC decided that controlling spiralling house prices was central to preserving the PPF. ``Unless house prices are reined in, we might as well throw the PPF out the window'' said IBEC director Brian Geoghegan.

IBEC proposes the compulsory purchase of non-zoned agricultural land. Local authorities would zone the land for residential use while also putting in the sewage and other services needed, before selling the land onto builders.

Surely, if this idea was feasible, the local authorities would commence their own house building programme. It seems that the role of government and the public sector in IBECland is provide an easy life for the private sector. IBEC are also proposing that zoned land not built on for five years should be dezoned.

Commenting on the proposals Sinn Féin South Dublin Councillor Seán Crowe said ``IBEC do not seem to have faced up to the fact that some of the contributory causes of the housing crisis are the lack of funding from central government to local authority house building programmes''.

``Why should local authorities having bought, zoned and then serviced land for building, give it away to the very builders who have been profiteering and exploiting households for the last ten years?

``We need more local authority housing projects, properly planned and sensitively developed in consensus with the communities that are going to live in these new estates. We need action on the housing crisis, not propaganda.''

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News