Protest planned at council by housing pressure group

By Brendan Grehan

SOUTH DUBLIN County Councillors returning from their summer break for their first monthly council meeting on Monday will have to contend with a housing protest organised by a local housing pressure group.

Demand for Public and Affordable Housing intend to protest outside the meeting on Monday afternoon.

They are calling on South Dublin County Council to provide more public and affordable housing. More pointedly they are protesting at SDCC’s plans to allocate 70 per cent of the land at Kilcarbery/The Grange to private housing.

SDCC County Hall

A spokesperson for  Demand for Public and Affordable Housing who is currently living in emergency accommodation is planning to be at the protest on Monday.

The spokesperson told The Echo: “Our group have been up and running for a while. There are over 300 families homeless in the county and over 8,000 on the [SDCC] housing list.

"The plan to transfer public land to private at Kilcarbery is very shameful. The land is 100 per cent council owned. It should be used to help people in need not to make profit for developers.”

The spokesperson also said SDCC could provide nearly 900 social housing units at the site but instead will be providing just under 300. Local Solidarity Councillor Kieran Mahon told The Echo that his party will not be supporting the privatisation of Kilcarbery/The Grange.

He said: “The proposal is to take the public land, do a deal with a developer that will see 30 per cent of the homes used as social housing and 70 per cent  taken by the developer.

"Even on fully private land the council would buy 10 per cent so the loss of social and potential affordable housing here is huge.”

Cllr Mahon reminded The Echo that SDCC did not build any public housing in 2017.

He added: “Given the complete lack of vision regarding housing it is well past the time for Councillors to take matters into their own hands and fight for a real public and affordable housing plan using the massive land banks in the county to provide secure housing for people.”

Cllr Mahon said his party would not be supporting the privatisation deal for Kilcarbery.

He said: “We have, again, put forward an alternative model based on building costs that would see 60 per cent of these homes used for traditional local authority housing with 40 per cent open to those not on housing lists.

"We are encouraging all those affected by the housing crisis to get active and build a movement that makes housing the key issue in Government and on all local authorities.”

The Echo contacted South Dublin County Council for a comment but they did not respond before we went to press.

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