dlrcoo buildingRichard Boyd Barrett TD and People Before Profit councillors Melisa Halpin, Hugh Lewis and Karl Gill will be joining families and individuals to sleep outside Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council tonight prior to the first meting of the new council tomorrow afternoon.

The ‘Sleep-Out’ commences at 7pm this evening.

The ‘Sleep-Out’ has been organised as part of a continuing campaign to demand immediate action to solve the housing crisis.

Those participating in the sleep-out will include families who are on the housing list for 12 and 13 years, families who are homeless and many families and individuals who are suffering from the ongoing housing crisis

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “In 2011 the government abandoned the direct provision of social housing and farmed out housing to private landlords. Now that landlords can get higher rents on the open market they are pulling out of these deals and families are being forced into homelessness. Rents are rocketing and with no investment in social housing the crisis is spiralling out of control.”

Cllr Melisa Halpin added: “We are sleeping outside the council tonight with families and individuals on the housing list to highlight the severity of the housing crisis. The new council meets tomorrow and we want to ensure that housing becomes the number one issue for the new council.”

There are currently 4000 families on the housing list in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and the plan is to build 19 houses in 2014! This situation cannot continue. We want a radically different council – one that starts telling the government what we want and what the people who elected us want rather than just taking orders from Leinster House.”

Attending the protest will be a number of individuals in crisis:

Mandy O Brien: Currently homeless with 3 children. She has been on the housing list for 12 years and has never been offered anywhere to live. She is staying with family and friends because DLRCoCo could not offer her any suitable emergency accommodation.

Terri Kane: Mother of 2, one of whom has severe disabilities. Terri has been on the housing list for 6 years and has recently had to leave her rented accommodation as she could no longer pay the rent. She is living in hopelessly over crowded conditions with her mother which is entirely unsuitable for her disabled son.

Michelle Byrne: On housing list 14 years with 2 kids. Michelle is living in entirely substandard accommodation which is leading to severe health problems.