Dublin west residents have held a protest to highlight the housing “nightmare” in the Taoiseach’s constituency.
Around 40 people attended the small protest at the Fingal Council offices in Blanchardstown Centre, including Solidarity TD for the area Ruth Coppinger, to protest against idle land not being used for public housing.
The group says 200 children from the Taoiseach’s constituency were in emergency accommodation over Christmas, and parents around the area have had enough.
Mothers from Mulhuddart, Adrieanne McDermott and Lisa Farrell, wrote to councillors in advance of the protest challenging representatives to declare a housing emergency for the area.
Their statement read: “We are local people and parents. We can’t take anymore stress and suffering from the housing crisis in Dublin 15.
“A housing emergency must be declared and emergency action taken by Fingal Council and the Government.
“Nothing short of an emergency programme – that provides social and affordable homes on public land in Dublin 15 – will solve the problem.”
Fingal Council owns land at Damastown, Mulhuddart, and it eventually agreed to build 1,200 homes — but nothing has happened and they are only talking about starting with 70 units.
They said: “Why so slow while families are in overcrowding or being evicted or paying huge rents?
“The incoming government must put funds upfront to develop this immediately to meet need, with a mix of social and affordable homes.
“All the necessary transport and community services should be invested in at the same time as construction.
“Unfortunately, the lack of housing being built leads to families waiting endless years on the list and is leading to a small minority blaming the wrong people and dividing local residents on ethnic lines.
“We totally reject this divisive approach.”
The group has called for representatives to acquire emergency housing while waiting for Damastown to be built, in order to relieve pressure on the housing crisis in the area.
Damastown has been a topic of much debate in 2018, when Solidarity published a plan that would see the area turned into “Damastown Village”.
It proposed a mixed community of 1,135 homes, with 50% reserved for social housing, and 50% to be for affordable sale.