Brid Smith TD has expressed her alarm at suggestions that a site that Dublin City council had only recently zoned recreational for the development of a proposed park and children’s playground might instead be used for Rapid Build housing units.
Deputy Smith pointed out that the City council had only recently zoned the site for recreational use after a local community campaign.
That campaign pointed out that the area around the Bridgefoot Street site has one of the highest densities of population in the state with very few public spaces and one of the lowest level of green spaces in the city. Several areas in the immediate catchment are categorised as Very Disadvantaged (The Pobal Index), while the entire area is badly in need of a public space that could encourage community and shared living experiences in a widely diverse and densely housed part of the city.
Deputy Smith said she supported the local community’s campaign and would resist this site being used for Rapid Build Units. “We have a huge housing crisis as result of the actions of developers and financiers and the complete refusal of the state to fund and build proper council and public housing. The same Minister and his colleagues have been in Government for over five years and watched as the state built the lowest level of social housing in its history even as the crisis worsened.
“This proposal is not the solution, nor are the other so called rapid build proposals. Instead of throwing incentives at developers in the hope that we can make them a sufficient profit to build, we need real investment in proper housing for our citizens. We don’t need, and won’t accept that railroading units into already deprived and densely populated areas with no green spaces is any form of a solution. I really fear that this crisis will be used to fast track planning and bypass any objections. What we need is real funding for proper local authority house building; piecemeal rapid builds or small part V schemes will not solve this crisis”.