Council has lost 2,000 homes in past 11 years

by Emma Nolan

DUBLIN City Council has lost almost 2,000 housing units over the last 11 years – and with more than 1,000 families across Dublin are homeless, a city councillor has called on the Government to act.
Cllr Daithi Doolan (SF), the head of Dublin City Council’s housing committee, has accused Minister for Housing Simon Coveney of “spinning yarns” when it comes to the housing crisis.
He said: “Minister Coveney [should] start championing social housing at the Cabinet table and demand adequate funding for a robust building programme for this city.”
The number of housing units has decreased despite plans to re-generate areas throughout Dublin – areas such as St Theresa’s, St Michael’s Estate, O’Devaney Gardens and Dominick Street.
Other city centre regeneration projects include Charlemont Street flats, Dolphin View House and Mountainview Court.
Despite these efforts, the council’s housing stock shrank from 27,110 units in 2005 to 25,274 in 2016.
Cllr Dolan has said that these “shocking” figures are a “direct result of the lack of social housing”.
He added: “Dublin City faces an unprecedented and deepening homeless crisis. For the first time, more than 1,000 families are now homeless in Dublin – yet we are losing the very housing stock that are needed to accommodate these families.”
The sale of council-owned houses to tenants and the regeneration of certain areas are the two primary reasons for the decrease in the housing stock, according to Cllr Doolan.
“When areas are regenerated, units are always lost. Developments are shrunk to a fraction of their previous size.”
He cited St Michael’s House in Inchicore as an example whereby before its regeneration it consisted of a “whole field that was filled with flats”.
“They were levelled, and 50/60 new units are built, and there’s a big, open grass pitch there. It’s the people that need houses that lose out in the end. We’re losing stock, and we’re deep into a crisis.”
The Sinn Fein councillor confirmed that the council has more than 20 sites waiting to be developed for housing, but said that funding from the Government has been “pitiful and slow in coming”.
He said: “Minister Coveney continues to huff and puff about a miserable €280,000 increase in funding.
“The Minister has allocated €2.28b for housing between 2014 to 2016. Compared to the €2b allocated during the Troika years of 2011 and 2013, it clearly shows the crisis in social housing is not a priority for this Government.
“Dublin City Council has the land and the plans for social housing. We urgently need the funding to turn the tide in this crisis,” said Cllr Doolan.

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