Full support for call to action on housing
The subject of the housing crisis reared its head again when Cllr Johnny Mythen put forward his motion to support an open letter by the Master of the High Court to the Minister of the Environment.
The letter asks for an immediate call to action regarding the housing crisis and recognises the urgent need for social housing as soon as possible. The motion also stated that it would be 'both incumbent and legally appropriate' to acquire houses from vulture funds through compulsory purchase orders.
Cllr Mythen's motion was supported by councillor Deirdre Wadding, who said that action on the issue is 'long overdue' and should be identified by all as a 'national emergency'.
'If you go to the courts twice a month, you will see people in danger of losing their houses,' she said. 'It defies logic to allow this and then to allow these people to seek social housing.'
Cllr Mary Farrell also supported the motion.
'There were 53 houses repossessed this morning. Where are these families to go?'
Councillor Paddy Kavanagh said that councillors had to be realistic as they are 'all looking for all of the things' to be fixed.
'Everyone has a wish list but Santa doesn't come to everyone.'
Cllr Mythen said that he is aware that vulture funds had been the driving force in several suicides in Wexford. However, Cllr Kavanagh said that this statement was 'dramatic', saying that there are many other problems which may also result in suicide.
Though he said he was aware that people were 'eager to get to the football match', Councillor Davy Hynes took the time to chime in on the subject.
'We are talking about real people,' he said. 'If you have the will, there's a way. If you're not interested, there is no way.'
'Everything these days is slowed by bureaucracy.'
CEO of Wexford County Council Mr Tom Enright said that the Taoiseach and Minister Simon Coveney have made it clear that housing is a priority of the new government, adding that they have made a submission to the government along with other authorities. He said that they expect to receive a response in the near future.
'There is no doubt that there is a crisis but it can't be solved overnight,' he added.
The motion was carried following overwhelming support from all of the councillors.