Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘National Homeless and Housing Coalition’ Category

Protests Spanning Decades – 1969 – 2018 – 2022 : Take Back the City : Cost of Living Coalition Demonstration, Saturday September 24 2022, Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin, 2.30pm

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Des Derwin Michael Taft and Mick O’Reilly squatting on O’Connell Bridge, at a protest supported by Dublin Council of Trade Unions about the Housing Crisis in Ireland – Friday September 23 2018.

Three comrades on a Dublin Bridge : Des Derwin, Michael Taft, Mick O’Reilly

On Saturday September 24 2022 the same people, the same Trade Union organisation, will be at a Dublin Cost of Living Coalition demonstration in Dublin.

From Michael Taft : “A Protest Spanning Decades” :

Des Derwin and I sat down at today’s Take Back The City protest on O’Connell Bridge on the very same spot that Mick O’Reilly sat down in January 1969 when he was participating in a sit-down protest with the Dublin Housing Action Committee. The issue then, as now, was homelessness and housing need.

And we will continue to protest – Des, Mick and myself along with thousands of others – until the Government acts on the most important social issue of the day.”

One of many media reports – this is from Hot Press, one of Ireland’s leading rock music and culture magazines

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Pretty vacant: a gaping hole in the response to the housing crisis.

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Capital Dock January 2021 – nearly half the 190 apartments in the 22-storey built-to-let tower in Dublin’s Docklands were vacant

Guest post by Des Derwin

The figure of 183,000 vacant dwellings in the state dates back to the last census of 2016. The housing crisis would have mopped up many of these. Not as many as you might think. Half of them. Or at least there are 90,000 vacant dwellings now according to the reports below.

To great surprise Richard Boyd Barrett recently drew attention in the Dáil to the fact that the census figures for vacant dwellings did not include derelict dwellings!!!! 

And the first report below tells us that “Furthermore, there were 22,096 residences classed as derelict in 2021, although this has fallen 7.3 per cent since December 2016.” That is, 22,000 further to the 90,000 vacant addresses.

For some reason several components and figures across the housing movement, and media stories too, have recently raised the outrage of the number of vacant and derelict residences in the country. This is both timely and overdue.

Timely because the state and the private sector have both shown, for all the fanfares and ‘returns to normality’, a paralysis about delivering the number of new houses needed. So common sense responds with, ‘Let’s get procuring, refurbishing and making available these vacant residences right now!’

Overdue because, while the housing movement was and is quite right to put at the top of its demands the need for public housing, built by the state and affordable for rent and purchase to working people, it is a bit of an anomaly that the solution to the housing crisis, building thousands of houses, would not be supplemented by an emergency programme of bringing vacant and derelict dwellings into use.

For three obvious reasons. One, the relative speed at which many vacancies – some even brand new, some local council flats and houses – could be deployed. Two, the avoidance of the waste of having these houses, flats, over-shop places, apartments, derelict buildings and sites, lying empty while building extra new-builds instead of utilising them. Three, the reduction in the energy, materials, new infrastructure and resultant emissions, in comparison to exclusively all-new builds, to address the other pervasive emergency, the climate and ecological one. 

I believe that the recommissioning, the compulsory acquirement if necessary, and use of vacant and derelict dwellings – something that has hardly featured at all on some lists of aims and policies – should be bumped up near the top of the priority aims of the housing movement.  

https://www.buzz.ie/news/irish-news/grant-buy-renovate-derelict-properties-26013226?fbclid=IwAR1dQjb88pjKslf3rOx-Tk6ffn1ROtWnNMcGlKk85Oq67OY-oG65fqtt_mg

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40787289.html

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1992243947602641/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1995976103896092/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/416618381831880/permalink/1973460046147698/

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/almost-20m-in-vacant-and-derelict-site-levies-owed-to-dublin-city-council-1.4773831?fbclid=IwAR3dT3Onx3tKjEgPyTCaHCmrArfgbz74yUkw1-mvahQzVSIrAkl5vdVoqg8