Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Mark Ward recently spoke at the EU Parliament about the stigmatisation of public housing in Ireland.
He was speaking on a panel comprising other local representatives from across Europe in an initiative set up by REALPE.
Speaking after the event, Cllr Ward said Ireland’s attitude is unique: “It was really interesting to speak at this event and to hear the contributions from other local representatives across Europe.
“A lot of the issues I spoke about in relation to the Irish housing crisis had similar parallels of what was happening in Europe.
“Homelessness is big business in Ireland as our Government is again reliant on the private sector to provide temporary accommodation in [housing] hubs, hotels and B&Bs.”
He added: “A recent phenomena is the stigma portrayed on those living in social housing. Listening to my colleagues across Europe, this issue seemed to be unique to Ireland.
“I’m a product of social housing, but I never knew I was in ‘a social house’, I just knew I had a home. It’s time to restore pride in public housing.
“Today, social housing tenants are portrayed as bad, ‘as less than’, as problems by certain sectors of society, including politicians,” said Cllr Ward.