People Before Profit host public meeting to plan campaign for more local authority housing on public and NAMA development sites in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, as housing and homelessness continues to spiral out of control.

housing-mtg-oct-2016Coveney Housing plan will not deliver urgently needed council housing, will cost the state a fortune, and will effectively privatise public land unless radically changed , says PBP TD.

Dun Laghaire-Rathdown is being “socially cleansed” as a result of the failure to provide council housing and the effective privatisation of the entire housing sector in the area.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance, along with local councillors, Melisa Halpin, Hugh Lewis and Dave O Keefe, will host a public meeting tonight, Monday Oct 24th at 8pm in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, to plan a campaign calling for a far higher proportion of local authority housing on public land and NAMA sites currently or soon to be developed in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

The public meeting has been called against the background of the waiting list for council housing in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown now reaching 16 years or more and a dramatic rise in rents in the area. Rents in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown now among the highest in the entire country and are completely unaffordable for those on low and even middle incomes.

The meeting will specifically call for the current development on the former Dun Laoghaire Golf Club site, the soon to be developed Cherrywood Strategic development Zone (SDZ), and the former Shanganagh Prison site to have a far higher proportion of local authority housing than is currently envisaged under the Coveney, Rebuilding Ireland plan.

According to People Before Profit, unless current plans are radically changed, these large development sites, which have the potential to solve the social and affordable housing crisis in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, will deliver a “pathetically small number of council houses and ensure the crisis continues and worsens across the entire county.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said a process of “social cleansing is already well underway in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, with less well-off younger families and individuals, being driven out of the area by the totally unaffordable cost of accommodation and the disastrous lack of local authority housing stock.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said, This process of social cleansing in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown will accelerate over the coming number of years because of the catastrophic failure to provide council housing and the utterly unaffordable level of private rents in the area.” 

Deputy Boyd Barrett concluded:  “The Convey plan simply will not work to solve the country’s dire housing and homelessness emergency because it depends utterly on the private market to deliver the majority of the hoped for social housing through HAP’s, RAS, Leasing and Public private partnership schemes. 

If this is true in the country at large, it’s doubly and trebly true in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown because rents and house prices are multiples of what they are in most other parts of the country.  

All Coveney’s plans are based on sourcing social and affordable housing from private developers at a discount on the market price, but the market price of rents and purchasing in this area are so far out in the stratosphere, that even at a discount, it will still be totally unaffordable.  

Against this background, the plan, under Rebuilding Ireland, to allow private developers to dominate the development of these three large sites at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, Cherrywood and Shanganagh is total insanity. 

The level of human misery and suffering being experienced by families and children from low income households in this area is simply unbearable. People think because some wealthy people live in this area that somehow everybody is better off. In reality, for those on social welfare or low wages, it is actually much worse to be without housing here because the cost of accommodation is so much higher. You don’t get higher social welfare or a higher minimum wage because you’re from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. The consequence is that families and communities, that have lived here for generations and who’s children go to school here, are being ripped apart and driven out of the area. 

We are determined to fight the social cleansing of our area and demand that more of these development sites are used for actual local authority housing, rather than being handed over to private developers.”