There Goes The Neighbourhood


Above: two adjoining houses at St Lawrence’s Road, Contarf, Dublin purchased by the Housing Agency for €2 million to “provide accommodation for 13 families who are currently homeless and in commercial hotels”. 

… the hairs “stood up” on the back of her neck when she was given the “good neighbour policy” by representatives of the homeless agency at a meeting with concerned residents.

This document sets out as an example the house rules for those who will live in the building.

The document states that there will be daily collections of unsafely disposed-of injecting equipment in the locality and that residents are “discouraged” from begging, “tapping” or requesting money from other people….

READ ON: Anger at €2m purchase of pair of Clontarf properties for homeless (Irish Times)

(H/T: Glass Dublin)

49 thoughts on “There Goes The Neighbourhood

  1. jungleman

    What a complete joke. Why would they go out and select two very high value houses like this. Aside from the fact it would rightly annoy the local residents, it would surely be more economic to build a block of modern apartments somewhere..

      1. Fact Checker

        The property is quite well located with regard to public transport and retail. This is essential for homeless families who tend not to have cars.

        That end of Clontarf has a transient population from a lot of private rental anyway.

    1. ironcorona

      Why would it rightly annoy the local residents?

      They’re not putting violent criminals in these houses. Whether it’s a good use of funds or not is another question but the residents shouldn’t be rightly annoyed that they’re going to put homeless people in these houses.

        1. Anomanomanom

          Ah sure its grand, only snobs worry about needles or people begging. Its just snobbery if you don’t want people like that living near you.

  2. MoyestWithExcitement

    “daily collections of unsafely disposed-of injecting equipment in the locality and that residents are “discouraged” from begging, “tapping” or requesting money from other people….”

    What a disgusting view we have of poor people in this country.

    1. Rob_G

      Well, the document was put together by a housing agency, so they probably have a good idea of the complex set of problems that homeless people often have.

    2. Jonickal

      “What a disgusting view we have of poor people in this country.”

      Do be so naive.

  3. bertie "The Inexplicable Pleasure" blenkinsop

    If Ivor Callely living there didn’t damage property values, nothing will.

    1. Rob_G

      hehe – he doesn’t live there, he lives in West Cork, remember? He has the vouchable receipts to prove it , too…

      1. Bertie "the inexplicable pleasure" Blenkinsop

        Yeah, he got great mileage outta that one :)

  4. Rob_G

    Meh – it is definitely NIMBYism, but I would probably be a bit put out if they opened homeless accommodation on my road, too. Guess they need to be housed somewhere, though.

      1. Compassion Cash

        Won’t be a problem for Moyest, he will never be able to afford one on his Topman wage. Rumbled!

  5. Vote Rep #1

    I like how the residents not being keen on a homeless shelter is the issue rather than the fact that €2m was spent on this one property. Two million quid.

    1. Willie Banjo

      On two propoeries which were previously a joint B&B and therefore already carved into seperate residential units. Makes perfect sense. I’m sure the Irish Times readers of Clontarf will welcome their new less fortunate neighbours into the bosom of their community.

      1. Vote Rep #1

        So no different to any of the pre 63 flats for sale for far less? For the same price you get more which could house a lot more but then I guess you wouldn’t get the smug satisfaction of there being annoyed residents in Clontarf all of whom read the IT for some reason.

  6. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    The needy what did he say about the needy Fathee?

  7. Yeah, Ok

    How is the homeless industry getting away with being so horrifically inefficient? How many NGOs are keeping themselves in cushy jobs by being almost entirely ineffectual on this issue?

    Homeless charities squander over €700m a year. What do they have to show for it? Coveney’s housing ministry has a budget of €1.8B. What are they doing with all that money? Undoubtedly Peter McVerry and the likes have their hearts in the right place, but at what point does someone put their hand on his shoulder and delicately point out that he’s not permanently fixing anything?

    In a small country like Ireland, with a relatively small homeless problem, €2B+ a year should be exponentially more effective than it is. There are estimated to be 8000 people in Ireland homeless or in emergency accommodation. We piss away so much money on that number of people every year. Do the maths – it’s a scandalous figure. 8000 into €1B is €125000! Bananas.

    1. Fact Checker

      Your numbers are a bit off the mark.

      About €50m is indeed spent on emergency accommodation by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.

      There are no doubt inefficiencies and perverse incentives. Presenting as homeless – especially with children – and sitting it out in an B&B or hotel seems to smooth the path to a permanent offer. I presume because you are costing the local authority so much in the meantime.

      Everyone agrees that this would be better spent on building or buying new social housing units. But local authorities are obliged to provide emergency accommodation to those who present to them. So the short-term need pushes out the long-term solution.

      Charities who cater to rough sleepers do seem to be very heavily staffed too. I don’t know if this is necessary or not. I guess dealing with people with such complex needs is very labour intensive. But these organisations are in the business of attracting state funding. And you don’t tend to do so by boasting about employing fewer staff.

      But anyway, simply dividing €2bn by 8,000 is not appropriate.

      1. Yeah, Ok

        I know it’s not as simple as just buying everyone a house and the problem is solved. And I realise that much of the inner city/urban homelessness at least is as much a result of addiction, mental health issues and other factors as anything else.
        But how is it not a useful metric to say that for our 8000 homeless people we are spending upwards of €125000 per person per year at a fairly conservative estimate?
        If the government stopped noodling around and fiddling with the housing market and built some damn houses with some of that money we’d be far better off. The figures I refer to aren’t even taking into account the money spent by government and charities on addiction support and mental health services, so there’s actually even more money going to our homeless population than I’ve mentioned.
        There will always be a certain number of homeless people, and there will always be a requirement for spending on drug addicts and mental health related homelessness.
        It is entirely appropriate that people should question the value for money we’re getting from a 6 figure sum being spent annually on each and every person who is homeless in Ireland without the homeless figures ever reducing. Is it a case of too many people standing to lose out if we solve the problem in a meaningful way?

        1. gerry

          It was a B&B so I expect they each get a room and share bathrooms and kitchen if they have access to one. The building is made up of two houses and there are 13 families. How much space do you think they’re going to get?

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Just lose your job, your ability to pay your bills, accept the feelings of shame, depression and loss of dignity that come from losing everything you have and you’re good to go. *sigh* I wish *I* were homeless. What a life!

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          It’s a common theme in many situations where families find themselves homeless.

      1. Andrew

        ‘lose your job’ Indeed.
        Who are you kidding? Most of these ‘homeless’ have never had a job and have no intention of ever getting one.

  8. mahoney

    as someone who has seen the estate I grew up completely destroyed by social housing placements (drug dealing, illegal dumping, gangs of up to 40 “youths” going on rampages, motorbikes & quads flying up and down 24/7) all I can say is if you have the opportunity or ability you fight tooth and nail to oppose any placements like that from your locale, you can still virtue signal online about how you sympathize with them and how the people opposing them are nazi’s but by god do not let them in, you’ll regret it.

  9. phil

    Ah sure they will relax once its up and running , we had a similar issue in our area when the council built a load of Social housing , when the ‘poor’ people moved in, minds were put at ease for a few months , recently they have started to agitate again , now the talk is that these people weren’t poor enough to receive social housing , that they are well able to afford their own house , that there is some sort of conspiracy afoot, friends of the political class getting flavors…

    TBH I find the whole thing entertaining, we really are a peasant people ….

  10. Joxer

    always wanted to live on St Lawrences road ….as a kid wandering up through there i would admire the houses. but feck that i think i will let the dream die now….. a million quid for a redbrick? feck that….

      1. Bertie "the inexplicable pleasure" Blenkinsop

        Yep, it’s gorgeous and right beside the sea too.

        Would love a house there if my bid for Gorse Hill falls through.

  11. Andrew

    Whatever about NIMBYISM etc. Why did the Housing Agency spend 2 million quid for these houses in a fairly up market area? Their/Our money could have gone a lot, lot further in another area.
    I suppose when it’s not your money it’s easy to write the cheques.

  12. andy moore

    I used to spend time on Lawrences Rd during the 70’s in my Granny’s bedsit & never liked the fact that there were never other Kids about the place or out on the road to spend the time with ??

  13. Social Experiment

    Can someone please provide a reasonable case for housing a family in a room in a B&B, regardless of their circumstances? If this is just a homeless shelter, there should be a fair amount of full time staff on site to help with the likely social problems that seem to come with homelessness. But is sounds more like a tenement by another name. 13 families, each in a single room with an old en-suite shower room, and they all have to share a single kitchen and dining room ? Is that really the current model for a shelter for families? Who is making these decisions on our behalf?

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