A Sligo TD has told the Dáil that families in his constituency who have been on the housing list for decades are asking where Irish citizens are in the ‘pecking order’ after it was announced that modular homes were being built “exclusively for Ukrainians”.
Independent TD, Mark McSharry, said that “as part of the nation’s welcome efforts to accommodate Ukrainian refugees running for their lives, in an unprecedented development, on Sligo County Council-owned lands, the OPW and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have invoked emergency planning regulations to erect 24 very fine modular homes exclusively for Ukrainian refugees.”
“Some of the over 1,500 families on the Sligo housing list, 2,400 on the Donegal housing list and 700 on the Leitrim housing list, all within my constituency, none of whom have a home, have told me they are beginning to wonder where they come in the pecking order as Irish citizens when it comes to Government action,” he said.
“They have asked me to ask the Taoiseach why emergency planning has not been invoked to provide them with modular homes. Many of them have been on the housing list for over a decade,” the Independent TD asked.
In response, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Deputy MacSharry, said that the development “was a pilot scheme in respect of Ukrainians”.
“We have now, with the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, also said that we want to build rapid-build housing for the social housing list. I believe we have to build more social housing and generally within the housing we are building through our conventional model – what we are saying now is that, in addition to the record number of social houses we have built this year, we will now also consider rapid-build housing.
“Once we look after everybody else, we will look after the people in Sligo,” Deputy McSharry said.