Protestors made their way through Dublin city centre in a march organised by the National Homeless and Housing Coalition ending at the Samuel Beckett Bridge, with some lighting flares.
Yesterday: Free Tomorrow?
Seán Kelly (FG) said that rents are ‘leveling off’, (see clip above),yet the figures tell you all that you need to know, just look at the HAP figures listed below! #TonightVMTV @TonightVMTV #FG @FineGael @campaignforleo @MurphyEoghan @LNBDublin @EOBroin pic.twitter.com/nuhBGB4K7b
— Erica Fleming (@EricaHome1) February 15, 2019
The Tonight Show on VMT.
Johnny Keenan writes:
This is real life drama here folks. Not in a car crash way. But in a pure honest heartbreaking way.
This Wonderful Bray, County Wicklow woman [Yoga teacher, Lisa Temple] is facing eviction and is so strong in mind and character to share her story as it happens.
A situation that many of our sisters and brothers are in.
On watching this you will want to go to the first of 4 videos so far to get the whole story. Check out the page of Temple Yoga (below)for updates.
Dublin location unspecified.
Martin O’Donoghue tweetz:
A queue to view an apartment to rent…
Iveagh House, Dublin 2
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy (left) with Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe arriving for the launch of Home Building Finance Ireland….
… the state’s new financing initiative for the residential construction sector, will offer loans of up to €35m to house builders.
HBFI has been established to fill a funding gap for smaller builders. It will lend to developments of as few as 10 houses or apartments. The company’s website, which went live on Friday, states that it is open for expressions of interest.
HBFI will be funded with €750m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif). A borrowing entity must provide a minimum of 20% equity of a building project, which can include the site value. HBFI will provide up to 80% of the project cost.
College of Anaesthesiologists (!), Dublin 2.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy (fourth left) with the Interim Board of the LDA (Land Development Agency) ahead of the first meeting of the Board
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) January 15, 2019
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD launching a mobile billboard on the housing crisis
Mr Ó Broin said:
“Last year, when we tabled our motion of no confidence in [Housing] Minister Eoghan Murphy, we made it clear that both he and the Governments failing housing plan [Rebuilding ireland] had to go if there was to be any chance of tackling the housing crisis.
It now appears that the Taoiseach is concerned than his colleagues’ failures are reflecting badly on him. There are ever growing murmurings from Fine Gael backbenchers and cabinet sources that the Taoiseach’s relationship with Minister Murphy has soured and that the Minister for Housing is set to be moved.
Replacing Eoghan Murphy, but leaving Rebuilding Ireland in place, will change nothing. Rebuilding Ireland is as much Leo Varadkar’s housing plan as it is Minister Murphy’s. Its failures are as much, if not more so, the Taoiseach’s failings as that of his cabinet colleague.”
From top: The National Housing Demonstration in Dublin city centre last December; Dr Rory Hearne.
In an interview on RTE’ Radio 1’s ‘Drivetime’ yesterday, I outlined that it is really important that any discussion of housing taking place at the moment starts by stating that that there is nothing normal about our homelessness crisis.
There is nothing acceptable about it and nothing normal about an increase in child homelessness from 500 children in 2014 to almost 4000 in 2018 – a 600% increase in just four years.
There is nothing normal or acceptable about a generation of people being locked out of affordable housing – contrary to what some people have been saying.
The discussion of developers’ incentives to build such as reducing VAT has to be put in context of a wider discussion about our housing crisis – because this isn’t something that can just be tinkered around with.
The government has already made a number of incentives in relation to house building. One of the very significant incentives was done in 2015 when they reduced the obligation in private housing developments to provide Part V social housing from 20% down to 10% – similarly there were changes were made to apartment standards.
The problem is if you look at it from a policy perspective and how housing systems operate you can give all the incentives in the world but that doesn’t mean that the private sector will build or not. There are a number of issues determining that such as access to finance, access to land and profitability.
Dublin City Council are doing a number of initiatives such as the cost rental housing proposal that offer a solution. Because the problem is we got into the crash in 2007 and 2008 because developers were over incentivised – there was too much credit flowing in and pushed up prices.
We had huge supply but we still had no affordability.
At the core of that problem is that we don’t do what countries that provide successful affordable housing systems like Denmark and Austria do – where the state and not-for-profit housing providers (housing associations and cooperatives) provide a very significant proportion of the supply of housing.
Yet in the first three quarters of last year only 800 local authority social housing units were built by local authorities across the country and only 350 were built in the wider Dublin area.
We need a new form of supply of affordable housing, done by the state and guaranteed. That also guarantees a supply of work for builders and construction workers as well.
The state needs to see that the private approach of incentivisation of the private market hasn’t worked and it won’t work to provide affordable housing .
The cost rental and affordable rental model is a way that the state should be doing it – the way that can guarantee provision and it should be providing 20,000 affordable units per year.
Even Tom Parlon, head of the Construction Industry Federation agrees as he outlined in the discussion on ‘Drivetime’:
Philip Boucher Hayes [host]: “You don’t seem to be in any disagreement with Rory – that getting the state to step in to do the building and you guys tender to do the work?”
Tom Parlon: “Yes, it is a solution.”
There may be a chink of light emerging in this crisis. But we have a long way to go!
Dr Rory Hearne is a policy analyst, academic, social justice campaigner. He writes here in a personal capacity. Follow Rory on Twitter: @roryhearne
Listen back to interview here
From top: Baggott Street Bridge, Dublin 2 on Monday evening; Odessa Club and restaurant on Exchequer Street Dublin yesterday morning.
Despite all the promises from @simoncoveney – Ireland’s rate of child homelessness is the worst in Europe.
— Mick Caul (@caulmick) December 19, 2018
Yesterday; ‘It Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas This Year’
The GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 this morning
If you work in Dublin city centre, and perhaps not even if you do, you walk past them many times a day.
They lie or sit on the street, in a way that travellers to Egypt, or Lisbon, or Turkey, may be familiar with. But it is not Egypt, or Lisbon, or Turkey, and the weather is wet, and cold, and the Dublin wind is vicious.
Their faces are red and mottled and their heads down, conserving their energy for the bigger fight of the night.
They lie sideways to shield themselves from the wind, in front of windows full of mannequins decked out in sequins and rhinestones, against the doors of the city’s institutes of higher education, or on the steps of museums and the GPO.
Some have lost work, others families, by death or divorce. In childhood, or after it, many, if not all have suffered pain during their lives, pain maybe even greater than that which they are suffering now.
Their existence challenges the comfortable universe which we are still entreated to believe exists in this country but which, inside, we know does not, and maybe never did.
To hide our pain and fear, we pretend that they do not exist, and, where this pretense is unavoidable, salve our wounds by blaming them for their misfortune.
When asking ourselves – what has brought them to this pass, we focus on the self-medication they have used to kill the pain, rather than the pain itself, and its causes deep in our society; we focus on their ill-judged disarrangement of their lives, rather than on the people responsible for this disarrangement; not them, but the people who are running this country have created a situation where citizens are being forced out of their homes by men with dogs employed by foreign firms, like something out of the Land League, the Black and Tans.
We pay heavy taxes to what we believe is an independent State to have this State run properly, to have homes for our people, hospitals for our sick, schools or our children, not just so that we and our families can have a safety net if things go wrong, but also so that we can live in a society in which people feel, safe, respected, cared for and able to get on with the wonderful business of living.
We live in a city where, despite all possible reasons to the contrary there are still people uncared for and neglected in this way, even if we ourselves never need this safety net, we are damaged and diminished in an irretrievable way by their pain, and our ignoring of it. Our perception is subtly shifted, places we loved seem tawdry, people we admired look hollow, our joy in life is taken away.
It doesn’t seem like Christmas this year.
And rather than asking: why is it this way, why do I seem so distressed when I have a job, a warm home, when I’m the lucky one, remember that no person is an island, that to ignore the suffering of others is ultimately to take away one’s joy in life, that to deny pain and fail to act out of fear, or to cling to a non-existent dream that all is alright (as RTE do) is to be a serf, and worse still to know it.
We live in a democracy. We are told we have the power. We need to start believing it, and, further, that a democracy is about, not just caring for others, but also for oneself. Because each other person’s pain affects us more than we know.