Dublin City Councillor Deirdre Heney has blamed ‘political ineptitude’ for the unprecedented housing crisis in Dublin.
According to Cllr Heney, this Government has built an average of just 85 new housing units each year since coming into power. That’s compared to an average of 417 new social housing units built every year in Dublin for the previous 5 years.
The Dublin Bay North representative, whose area has the highest social housing waiting lists in the country, has accused the Government of burying its head in the sand as Dublin suffers its biggest housing crisis in history.
“This crisis has been allowed to escalate out of control due to a series of political decisions and a complete lack of understanding of the realities facing Dubliners. In 16 years as a Dublin City Councillor in the Clontarf ward, social housing was traditionally never a major issue in my area. But in the last two years it has become the single biggest crisis in my district and the areas I represent now have the highest waiting lists in the country.
“The lack of interest from the Government on this issue has been astounding. They have ignored every single warning from local officials, Councillors and charities. TDs are ignoring their own constituents. We are now in a situation where families, couples and individuals who would never have been traditionally at risk of homelessness are now finding themselves with nowhere to go. They cannot afford the exorbitant rents in Dublin, or they are stuck in mortgage debt and the banks won’t deal with them. Others don’t qualify for a mortgage and can’t pay rent, so are forced to live with relatives or friends if they are lucky.
“The inexcusable lack of action on the mortgage crisis, the dramatic slowdown in social housing units becoming available, the decision to ignore the inflated rental market in Dublin and lack of investment in tackling homelessness in the capital have all led us to this place. We have heard only empty words from Minister Alan Kelly – words that he has failed to back up on every occasion.
“There are now 42,000 people on social housing waiting lists in Dublin and this is increasing every single day. There is no excuse for this. I am urging the Fine Gael and Labour TDs in Dublin to start standing up for their constituents and ensure that their Minister, Alan Kelly, finally starts taking this seriously.”