Homeless campaigners to sleep outside SDCC offices to protest rent hikes

by Padraig Conlon

Local homeless campaigners are set to sleep outside South Dublin County Council’s offices to protest a rent hike for OAPS and council tenants.

Dublin South West Housing Action, a community-based housing group, say they are calling on councillors to reverse the decision for the increase which was made at the annual budget meeting in November.

The budget was proposed by the chief executive and supported by the ruling alliance of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, the Green Party and two Independents. It includes a rent increase of €3 per week for all council tenant households, and the removal of the rent discount of €10 for those in receipt of the state pension in households with any other income except the state pension.

Dublin South West Housing Action spokesperson Patrick Nelis explained why the group are sleeping out on January 24 from 8pm until 8 am.

“We are doing this because the increase is cruel and it is an attack on our most vulnerable, it will affect those on limited incomes,” he said.

“The council can’t attack the most vulnerable in our society, so we are urging councillors to reverse the decision on raising the rents. We deal with some of these families and individuals that struggle with bills and food and this is going to be another struggle to add to what these families can’t afford.

“There are now over 10,000 on the housing list in SDCC and based on current trends housing need will continue to rise year on year from now to 2021.”

Nelis says DSWHA have sent a letter to every SDCC councillor calling on them to reverse the increase and also inviting them to join the sleep out.

“We are also urging everyone to support our sleep out on the 24 outside South Dublin County Council for a number of reasons,” he said.

“As well as highlighting the rent increases and the ongoing housing crisis, we also want to draw attention to the shocking lack of urgency from both this Council, and Government, to build 100% social and affordable housing on public land.”

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