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  • Northside East

City council responds to housing criticism

Thursday, 9th August, 2018 8:00am
City council responds to housing criticism

Boarded up houses are waiting to be brought back into use.

City council responds to housing criticism

Boarded up houses are waiting to be brought back into use.

A LOCAL councillor has hit out at the number of homes boarded up in a Northside suburb while thousands of people languish on the housing list. 

 However, Dublin City Council has responded to the criticism by pointing out that ‘voids’ (houses waiting to be brought back into use) are at less than 2 percent of its stock at any given time.

 On July 27 People Before Profit councillor John Lyons, who represents the Beaumont-Donaghmede Local Electoral Area (LEA), said he came across eight empty houses in the space of 10 minutes.

 “With record numbers nearing 20,000 on Dublin City Council’s housing list and 1,338 families with 2,886 children living in homeless accommodation in the Dublin area, it is quite shocking to seek so many boarded up houses in one small area of my constituency,” said Cllr Lyons.

 “I walked around Darndale (on Friday, July 27) and found eight houses lying vacant. 

 “I have requested information from Dublin City Council regarding the current status of these houses and what plans we have to turn them around.

 “I do know that two of them were due to be ready for new families to move into in January and February this year but to date, it’s six months later and these houses remain vacant. This isn’t good enough.” 

 Cllr Lyons said there are many families in the area and beyond currently living in overcrowded situations who would be very keen to be renting these houses and transforming them into family homes.

 “There are currently 5,555 applicants on Dublin City Council’s housing list for Area B, by far the longest waiting list in the city of Dublin,” he said.

 “Five hundred and thirty eight of those applicants have been on the list for more than a decade, so to see any of our existing stock in the area lying idle and empty is unacceptable. 

 “We need to see a much quicker turnaround of these voids, and better value for money with less work being contracted out.”

 Cllr Lyons said that at the next housing committee meeting of Dublin City Council in September, he will be calling on officials to begin a process for recruiting more tradespeople in the months ahead and to outline a plan for accelerating the turnaround of all voids in Dublin. 

 “The current rate and framework for transforming voids into family homes is too slow and costly.”

 In a statement to Northside People, Dublin City Council said there are over 900 houses located in the Darndale estate. 

 “Currently there are nine houses in Darndale undergoing necessary remediation/refurbishment prior to them being re-let to families on the waiting lists,” the spokesperson said.  

 “The work on three of these houses will be completed this month (August) and the other six houses will be completed and ready for letting before the end of September. 

 “With a total housing stock of 26,000 dwellings there will always be a certain amount of voids for various reasons. 

 “In recent years we have managed to keep the level of voids in the city at less than 2 percent of the total stock at any given time.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here