An action group has called a public meeting in Dublin 15 in a bid to offer a helping hand to anyone facing “housing distress”.

Blanchardstown Housing Action (BHA) wants to support tenants and communities in pushing back against illegal evictions and slum-like living conditions.

Independent

The group, which is independent of any party politics, comprises renters, mortgage holders and community members who believe a collective approach is needed to tackle the housing crisis.

BHA spokesperson Aaron Downey told Dublin Gazette: “We believe there is strength in numbers, and we picked Ongar because there are a lot of new builds and a lot of new people moving into the area.

Landlords

“A lot of developments have units being bought in blocks by landlords which is driving up rents and depriving first-time buyers.

“We want to hear from anyone who is affected by the intensifying housing crisis.”
The action group recently picketed an auctioneer’s office in Tyrrelstown over the sell-off of 30 apartments in Tallaght.

Members also helped tenants organise and deliver their demands to the letting agents.

The public meeting will be held in Cu Chulainn’s pub on May 9 and BHA is anticipating a large turnout.

Dublin 15 has the highest proportion of rental properties in the capital, according to recent figures from the Central Statistics Office.

In 2017, Ireland’s biggest private residential landlord, Ires Reit, bought a site at Hansfield in Clonsilla with planning permission for 99 new homes and it has since expanded its D15 portfolio, snapping up more units for the private rental market.

‘Housing issues’

Aaron said: “We want ourselves and the wider community to identify the housing issues affecting us so we can form a plan to campaign on them collectively and win what the people of D15 deserve.

“We’ve been active on and off for the past three years, but we’ve had a bit of a relaunch this year running a support group for those affected.

“The housing crisis is definitely getting worse. The rents we’re seeing now in Dublin 15 are astronomical compared to what they were a decade ago.

“People are paying €2,200 for a three-bed and €2,500 for a four-bed.

“It needs regulating. We think there also needs to be mass public housing built, because the social housing list isn’t getting any shorter and rents are getting higher and higher.”