List of empty houses evidence of State policy to support landlord buddies – Morris

2016-02-22

Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has spoken of the significance of the opportunity facing the electorate on Friday. He says that after 95 years of 2½ party rule which bankrupted the nation, it’s time to change policy to help the small person, and to stop enriching landlords at the expense of everyone else.

2016-02-16: Cllr Séamie Morris discusses empty houses in Ardfinnan with Kevin Brunnick & Danny Carroll of Cahir Sinn Féin.
2016-02-16: Cllr Séamie Morris discusses empty houses in Ardfinnan with Kevin Brunnick & Danny Carroll of Cahir Sinn Féin.

Cllr Morris said: “During a canvass in the south of our county last week, I was unsurprised to see so many empty houses. It’s the same across Tipperary, so what I saw in Clonmel, Ardfinnan, and Carrick-on-Suir was familiar. In each town and village I saw the same thing. I saw houses empty, partly finished estates, and evidence that Fine Gael prioritise their landlord buddies.

In an estate in Carrick-on-Suir that has no street lighting, there is evidence that the quick buck is still the order of the day. Yet another location is a ghost estate, now subject to vandalism and burning. In Clonmel a whole row of empty houses faced me. Cashel and Ardfinnan have unallocated and vacant housing. There are just on 250,000 empty houses in this country, based on the 2011 census.

We are told that there is a shortage of housing, but clearly there isn’t. So who benefits from this? Landlords who keep pushing up their rents, even beyond the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) levels. The artificially low numbers of houses available is an excuse for a massive transfer of our wealth into the hands of an already wealthy elite.

Since the foundation of the southern State two parties have passed the fortunes of the State and the hopes of the population between them, counting on smaller parties to prop them up when required. This is especially obvious from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, where the boom bust cycle that comes with that stands out clearly. For new voters who have no memory of that, it’s not so clear that this is the same cycle we’re in again now, but it is.

Our housing crisis is as a direct result of this. The State policy on homelessness is simply that there should be homelessness, to keep rents high and to scare up payment of mortgages. But younger voters must understand that a State going bankrupt isn’t normal; that Austerity isn’t normal; that families living for months and years in guest houses and hostels isn’t normal.

0220 PRINT TEAMS ARE STRONGER THAN INDIVI-NationalistWe must break that cycle. But when selecting who to change to, Fianna Fáil isn’t an option because they sold out the State to their developer friends. Labour are just a crutch for the big two, and are so hungry for seats in Cabinet – the ‘top table’ – as Minister for Metering and Announcements Alan Kelly puts it, that they will sell out their every principle and break every promise to get there. The rest do not have the internal cohesion to make a difference. Only Sinn Féin have the team, from councillors to an MEP that can make a difference. Having a TD will strengthen the team even more to improve our county.

We need to realise that the only concrete result of 95 years of this way of governing is bankruptcy and a homelessness crisis. Every citizen has a choice to make on Friday. More of the same, or change to Sinn Féin. This is an opportune year in which to place Sinn Féin in government across the full 32 counties, and in place to bring caring and equitable prosperity to all.

2016-02-16 Cllr Séamie Morris canvassing in Woodview Estate, Cahir.
2016-02-16 Cllr Séamie Morris canvassing in Woodview Estate, Cahir.