Mulhuddart: Group continue three-week protest for social housing needs

by Sylvia Pownall

A group of protestors has staged a three-week picket that has halted building work on 65 social homes in west Dublin.

The protestors, from a group called House the Irish First (HTIF), insist they are not racist but are “angry” about how the housing crisis is affecting families they know.

A 50-strong group has mounted a 24-hour presence at the entrance to the site at Ladyswell Road, Mulhuddart, since mid-January.

Construction work halted a few days after they began their protest and has not resumed.

The site is being developed by the housing association, Cluid, and will comprise two-, three- and four-bed houses as well as one-, two- and three-bed apartments, 22 of which are described as “age-friendly”.

Fingal County Council (FCC) has denied the group’s claim that a “disproportionate” amount of social housing is being allocated to “non-national families who are not from the area”.

HTIF states: “We are a group of concerned parents from Dublin 15 and surrounding areas, fighting for our rights to housing. We want a fairer social housing list for everyone.

“The list must be fair and transparent; everybody must wait their turn, not be given preference over people who have waited years to be housed.”

Mulhuddart is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the State, with almost 40% of the adult population born outside Ireland, compared with 17% nationally.

The protestors want half the social houses built in Ladyswell reserved for Mulhuddart households on FCC’s housing list, and the other half to be available to the wider council list.

One protestor said: “We watch these houses being built, and none of our children on the [housing] list are getting them. They can be 10, 12 years on the list, and they’re going nowhere. There’s no explanation as to why.”

Cluid says the housing body has no say in who gets the homes as they will be allocated by FCC to people on its housing list.

The council said: “We have long-established policies which are the fairest way possible of allocating housing to those on the list.”

There are 6,959 applicants on the council’s housing list who indicate a preference for the Dublin 15 area, the local authority said.

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