15 June 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD – who has a constituency office in the same town as Simon Coveney – has accused Simon Coveney of “jumping ship” as he moves from the Department of Housing to Foreign Affairs.
The Cork South-Central TD – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire – also accused the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of underestimating the seriousness of the housing crisis by changing Minister just a year into the Government’s new Housing Action Plan.
Speaking this afternoon Ó Laoghaire said:
“Simon Coveney has been Minister for Housing for little more than twelve months. In the initial months as Minister he raised people’s hopes and expectations. Particularly in his home county where many remain homeless as a result of ineffective policies.
“Homelessness has in fact increased since this Government took office. Meanwhile social housing delivery fails to come anywhere close to meeting demand.
“Minister Coveney presided over a housing crisis that has only gotten worse in his time.
“Minister Coveney in recent weeks indicated a desire to finish what he had started in Housing; however that is clearly proven not to be the case.”
“He is backing down on his word to the people he promised to help including those languishing on social housing waiting lists, those at risk of homelessness or losing their home, those struggling with excessive rents or priced out of the first time buyers’ market.
“If the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was serious about tackling the housing and homeless crisis he would have left Simon Coveney in office to finish the job he started.
“Now a new Minister will have to waste valuable months reading themselves into this complex brief while the number of adults and children in acute housing need continues to grow.