Fianna Fáil Drogheda local election candidate Anthony Moore has slammed Louth Co. Council for its performance in housing since 2014, claiming that it has left many young Drogheda residents in the grip of greedy landlords and under the threat of a brewing homelessness crisis.
“During my election canvass I have been all over Drogheda, and day after day I meet young people, couples with children, single mums, or just singletons who want their own personal space, and who now despair of ever getting a home they can call their own” Moore said.
“Rents are skyrocketing in Drogheda at the moment. A few years ago, € 1,600 a month rent would have been considered crazy even in Dublin. Now in Drogheda, it’s considered normal and renters just can’t afford it. Many of them can barely make ends meet and even a small rise in their rent could tip them into becoming homeless. It is a disgraceful situation.”
“The failure of Louth Co. Council to build the Northern Cross Route is the primary cause of this problem in Drogheda. If that goes ahead, 4,000 homes will be built around it, slashing rents and making homes much more affordable in Drogheda. Yet since 2014, the Council has only applied to government for funding for the Cross-Route once, in 2018.
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“Why on earth were they not banging the government’s door every year looking for it? Why are they not doing it now? At the meeting on housing and homelessness I organised last week with FF Spokesperson on Housing and Local Government, Darragh O’Brien TD, he told us that residual funding is available and that there is no reason why the Council could not re-apply for it even now.”
Moore also criticised the Council’s building programme, pointing out that only 22 local authority homes were built in Louth in 2018. He said that the government and Council needs to end its dependence on the private sector, pointing out that from 2011 to 2018, it spent almost € 4 billion on rent supplements.
He said “The key to solving the problem is to build more affordable housing, which is why FF insisted on € 300 million being allocated to that in Budget 2019. Instead of subsidising landlords, the government needs to give tenants the possibility of owning their own homes by allocating money to county councils across Ireland and get them building houses. This needs to be done in Drogheda as a matter of urgency, otherwise the town will be overwhelmed by a homeless crisis.”