Date Released: 21 October 2015
The SIPTU Dublin District Council hosted a seminar on the housing crisis in Liberty Hall, Dublin 1, on Monday (19th October) during which housing activists and academics called on the council to take a leading role in the campaign to end homelessness in the city.
Among those who addressed the SIPTU activists and Dublin city councillors attending the event was TASC Senior Policy Analyst, Rory Hearne, Homeless Action Network activist, John Bissett, and SIPTU Dublin District Council member, Des Derwin.
SIPTU Dublin District Council vice-chair, David Connolly, said: “What emerged from the meeting was a consensus about a number of actions and further research that should be conducted by SIPTU activists in Dublin to further the aim of solving the worsening housing crisis in the city.
“The actions include the need to convene a meeting of activists from all the unions in the city that have a direct role in the provision of housing, from local government officials to construction workers. The SIPTU Dublin District Council has also committed to furthering its engagement with housing activists and support groups who are already engaged with attempting to end the crisis.”
He added: “It was also felt that work has to be done on clarifying exactly what type of new housing units are needed and in what locations. Several speakers also raised the issue of bureaucratic blocks which seemed to be preventing the drawing down of funds to meet housing needs, whether it is in terms of funding new builds or acquiring existing properties. These blocks need to be specifically identified and overcome.”
Rory Hearne said: “Trade unions, civil society groups and housing charities must come together to convince Government there is an overwhelming demand for a change in housing policy. There must be a move to prioritise investment in social housing and making sure affordable and quality housing is available to all our citizens."