Belfast Telegraph

Homelessness campaigners call for meeting with minister

Protesters in Dublin took over Customs House on Wednesday and demanded a meeting with the Housing Minister.

The protesters who staged a sit-in at Customs House (Aoife Moore/PA)
The protesters who staged a sit-in at Customs House (Aoife Moore/PA)

Protesters in Dublin took over Customs House on Wednesday and staged a sit-in to protest against housing conditions and demanded a meeting with Minister for Housing and Planning Eoghan Murphy.

The campaigners involved have just spent the last week in a derelict home in Dublin’s Summerhill Parade to highlight the city’s rental crisis.

Wearing masks of the minister’s face, the campaigners ordered pizza, sat down and refused to leave until demands were recognised.

A spokesperson from the group said they were sending a message to the department that they had not gone away.

“Since the occupation we’ve had no response from the Housing Minister or the Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar).

“We gathered a number of people, and marched to Custom House to remind them we weren’t going to go away.

“Initially the department said no to meeting us directly, but we eventually organised for them to meet a minimum of one rep per group, it took a while for hands to be turned, but they did agree.

“The minister’s PA eventually came down, and said they are committed to setting up a meeting.

“Our demands are that vacant properties are subject to compulsory purchase orders (CPO) and put into public ownership, and properties are made available for public use.

“We want to see a ban on evictions and a cap on rent, a liveable and affordable cap, at 20% of income.”

A meeting between Mr Murphy and the elected representatives from the seven grassroots housing groups is to take place next week.

The organisers say they have demanded confirmation of an exact date and time to be set by Friday August 17.

Ninety two families became newly homeless in Dublin in June 2018 according to charity Focus Ireland.

There were 9,874 people homeless in the week of June 18th-24th 2018 across Ireland.

The Department of Housing has been contacted for comment.

PA

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