The housing crisis is most acute in Dublin Central, where there have been zero new social, affordable or private homes built by the state since 2011. Low- and middle-income workers can no longer afford to rent or buy in Dublin Central. Young families are forced to move to and commute from the midlands due to the lack of affordable housing in Dublin Central. The Cabra/Glasnevin area suffers huge shortage of social and affordable homes yet there are a great number of vacant, boarded up sites and units which could be renovated rapidly and use to house the homeless, those on the DCC housing waiting list and those priced-out of the private market. If I am elected to Dublin City Council I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors' support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Motion calling for Dublin City Council to formally adopt the “Vienna Housing Model” and co-operative housing models to deliver affordable public housing for people of all ages and at all stages of their lives –Motion seeking approval, funding and support from central government for accelerated and increased provision of public housing in Dublin city –Propose motion calling for constitutional amendment to make access to housing a basic human right –Call for all state-owned lands in Dublin Central to be used to provide public housing –Re-introduction of an affordable-housing scheme for working people in Dublin city –Review and revision of the qualifying income bands for social housing in Dublin city –Introduction of a tax break for owners who renovate and re-let derelict residential accommodation in Dublin city –Accelerated regeneration and refurbishment of all DCC owned residential units/complexes e.g. St Finbarr's Court, Matt Talbot Court, St Mary’s Place, Constitution Hill, Henrietta House including all bed-sit senior citizen units, e.g. Broombridge, Dunard, Canon Burke Flats –Increased investment in the building of high-quality senior-citizen accommodation and buy-back of city council units via the Financial Contribution Scheme –Introduction of a development levy on any new student accommodation and/or REIT developments in Dublin Central. Funds raised from the levy to be ringfenced for provision of public housing in Dublin Central. –Increased action from DCC to address derelict sites, ensure monthly review of all derelict sites, multipliers penalties and tax incentives for refurbishment.
Dublin city council must urgently embrace the "Vienna model" to increase the supply of affordable homes for the huge cohort who aren't eligible for social housing, but for whom renting is precarious and unaffordable. At the heart of the Vienna model is investment in "cost-rental" housing. Put simply, cost-rental would allow the council to use public lands and sustainable financing to build affordable homes for Dubliners. Land costs and the cost of construction is averaged out in the rent over 20 or 30 years, so that the cost of rent is decoupled from market forces. International experience would suggest that cost-rental results in rents that are around 30 percent less than the open market. This removes private interests and profit motives from the construction of affordable housing and recognises that adequate housing is a public good, a human right and a duty of local authorities. It's important to remember that the Vienna model is about more than just cost-rental. It is also about creating carefully and thoughtfully planned socially integrated places that people want to live in.
My area of Dublin is one of the worst hit areas in the rental and housing crisis so social and affordable housing is top of the agenda. My first action would be to address the skyrocketing rents and frequent evictions that are occurring in Cabra Glasnevin and I have listed a few points on how I would do this in the answer to the second question.
The second issue would be to increase and support the supply of new homes through the creation of new public housing schemes and through the revitalisation of the very high numbers of vacant homes we have in the city. Finally I think it's really important to resist the gentrification of inner-city neighbourhoods so that all but the most well off cannot afford to live in the communities where they grew up and where their extended family still live.
New homes and vacant homes: to build housing we need land. We should introduce a site value tax and increase the vacant site tax to disincentivise land hoarding. No county or city council should sell public land to private developers for building projects. The main housing model supported by the state should be the cost-rental model with provides a long-term asset to the public. Procurement methods for housing developments should be updated to support high quality community creation and foster a skillbase within local authorities on housing provision.
Affordable urban communities: the government should create Community Land Trusts to protect urban communities from property speculation by large financial groups. Local authorities should seek to identify areas under threat and those that are becoming unaffordable. In such areas all new development should require 65 percent social and affordable housing for new planning permissions.
I will push for 100 percent public housing built on public lands, preferably by a publicly owned construction company. The Alterlaa district in Vienna is a good example of a high-quality public housing system where over 60 percent of people living in public housing. Public housing should be available for everyone, not just for people with low incomes.
We can put compulsory purchase orders on vacant properties and vulture funds’ properties. We can also stop NAMA selling properties owned by the public to private interests and use them as public housing instead. When we increase the percentage of publicly owned properties, we can force the prices of private housing down to a sustainable and affordable level, benefiting almost everyone in Dublin.
Developing and expanding public housing needs to be seen as an investment by the state instead of a cost. Currently €1 billion per year is paid in rent supplements (HAP, RAS) to private landlords. The state gets no return from this and does not even own the assets. If, however, the properties were owned by the state, we would own the asset and receive an income from the renters’ contribution.
A public-housing building programme of 10,000 units per year is entirely possible. Over the past five years, successive governments have implemented tax cuts targeted at high-income earners and corporations well in excess of €10 billion, and yet they plan to implement more in future budgets. This amount of funding could have built more than 50,000 three-bedroom houses in Dublin, enabling us to clear homelessness lists, and eradicating social housing lists. Solving our housing emergency is a matter of political choice.
Everybody needs a home. Affordable housing is a major issue that affects all people, from every background. For young people especially, the fear of never owning a home and being priced out of their community is huge. Fianna Fáil’s affordable-housing scheme is aimed at those who are above social-housing thresholds but are priced out of owning a home in their local area. There is enough state-owned land that could be used to build hundreds of social and affordable homes. Dublin City Council has to be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to deliver housing on these lands. Discretionary spending limits on how much a council can spend without departmental approval could be raised to allow greater flexibility and allow them to get on with the job. There should be no excuses getting in the way of action when homes are so desperately needed.
Local authorities must get back into the business of building social housing. The Irish League of Credit Unions have offered the government a €5 billion loan to fund the building of thousands of homes. It seems like a no-brainer to use these funds instead of seeking private foreign investment. I would push hard for local authorities to be empowered to borrow for housing provision and then seek to secure a partnership between the Irish League of Credit Unions and Dublin City Council to increase funding available to the council to build social housing. These loans would be remunerated using cost rents and the proceeds of property taxes.
We won’t get out of the housing crisis by following the same approach that got us into it. We must end the financialisaton of the housing market in Dublin as well as any delusion that the for-profit sector can deliver social and affordable homes at the necessary scale. Instead of committing funds to the building of new social housing units, current policy continues to effectively subsidise private landlords and rely on tax incentives to stimulate construction activities. This is inefficient and wasteful, not to mention immoral.
Dublin City Council must ensure the existing social housing is sustainable. I would table a motion to suspend the ability of social housing tenants to purchase their houses. Ultimately, this serves to remove properties from the social housing stock at a loss to the local council. I would push for a review of the Local Government Accounting Code of Practice to bring it into line with international standards of transparency and disclosure for councils’ housing operations. I would advocate for a reduction in property tax redistribution and ringfence the additional funding, along with income from council housing rents, for use on further social housing development.
Finally, I would table a motion to have Dublin sign on to the Municipal Declaration of Local Governments for the Right to Housing and the Right to the City. It’s a symbolic declaration, but it highlights common challenges like socio-spatial segregation, financialization and housing market speculation, as well as the urgent need to put in place sound strategies for addressing them.
Yes, we need to cut out the excessive red tape involved in the provision of social housing from the department. We also need to look at small infill sites that could be used for small-scale developments
We can build more houses that people can actually afford to live in. This was done in the past and if we work together we can do it again. The only way to get this done is if the state builds houses. The government’s policy has failed and the market can’t answer the housing crisis. Everybody knows someone impacted by greedy landlords. Labour’s plan involves €16 billion over five years to build 18,000 social and affordable homes. We will not let the failed market continue to destroy lives. If elected, I will fight for sustainable housing to be built. I want to prevent profit-driven companies from destroying our city with developments that nobody wants.
As a councillor I would:
1) Oppose the sale of any council-owned land for private, for-profit development, and ask all state bodies to impose a moratorium on the sale of public land to private actors;
2) Put forward costed proposals for 100 percent public, mixed-income housing on council-owned land like O'Devaney Gardens and in Ballymun. These new developments would remain owned by the council, and have a mix of both low- and middle-income tenants, many of whom would not necessarily qualify for traditional social housing, but can't afford Dublin rents. Homes would be rented with lifetime security, with rents linked to income – i.e. wealthier tenants would pay more – and with a strong emphasis on open, green space and facilities;
3) Introduce a new zoning category in the city development plan, for "affordable housing", justified by the fact that the current "residential" zoning category is not currently serving its intended purpose of ensuring sufficient supply of affordable homes in the city;
4) Use the development plan to introduce restrictions on for-profit development such as luxury apartments and unaffordable student housing;
5) Push city officials to increase applications for borrowing to invest in the delivery of cost-rental housing (as described above);
6) Campaign for a citywide referendum to nationalise institutional landlords, similar to Berlin;
7) There is much more that needs to be done at national level – nonetheless, councillors CAN stop the sell-off of public land, and this is the key first step to tackling the housing crisis.
In relation to height, the Workers' Party believes medium-height building – not sprawling suburbs – is the way to tackle the housing crisis, and build walkable, liveable neighbourhoods. We support appropriate multi-storey development, and believe Dublin must become a city in which apartments are lifelong homes, for families and everyone else. The "trade-off" to building more apartments must be that those living in them have lots of green space in exchange. However, currently, the housing crisis is being used as an excuse to push for high-rise developments that are either non-residential, or are either luxury apartments or extremely poor-quality, and targetting transient populations. This is not the way to build apartment living in Dublin.
I would insist that we build social and affordable homes on public lands, with increased importance on infrastructure and facilities to create communities rather than developments. Increase the 10 percent allocation of social homes by private developers to a new 10 percent affordable, 10 percent social allocation.
I have been a member of the council's Housing Strategic Policy Committee since my election in 2009. I have consistently argued for increased social and affordable-rental public housing. The main difficulty in getting more public housing built is the ideological opposition to public housing from Fine Gael in government. The mistaken insistence that the private market can resolve our housing emergency is an example of this ideological bias. The ridiculous public-service procurement process also makes it extremely difficult to get homes actually built.
Dublin’s housing crisis will only get worse if the council does not start building housing itself on a large scale. If elected, I will be pushing for Dublin City Council to roll out a major plan of public housing on public land. This will require cross-party support and one I am absolutely committed to achieving. The private sector cannot and will not meet existing and future housing demand which is affordable in our city. If elected, I will be pursuing the following targeted actions within Dublin City Council:
Planning: 1) Set explicit targets for residential housing in the city development plan and local area plan and thereby achieve a better mix between student accommodation and residential housing. 2) No to selling off residentially zoned public land to private developers. Instead this land must be used to develop housing by the Dublin City Council. 3) Push proposals for a change in zoning of under-used industrial estates and support proposals to work with public agencies to develop large tracts of land for housing such as the Broadstone bus depot.
Funding: 1) Local Authorities have been starved of adequate funding for housing and other services from central government for decades. Dublin City Council will need to fight for more funding and a change in how it can access borrowing. Instead of councillors quibbling about the composition of the existing Dublin City Council budget, I will be pushing for collective campaign by the executive of Dublin City Council to seek sustainable and adequate funding for housing.
Derelict sites and vacant housing: 1) Push for more aggressive targeting of derelict sites to go on the Derelict Site Register. In Cabra alone, where there is very significant housing demand, there are a number of derelicts sites that could be used to build hundreds of residential units. 2) Push for more compulsory purchase orders of derelict sites. Notwithstanding the major legal difficulties, Dublin City Council needs to accelerate the pace at which it is taking over derelict houses.
As a young teacher renting in our city I recognise the importance of having affordable homes.
–It is important that Dublin City Council work to ensure that vacant properties in our city are refurbished and made available as homes. We must take steps to address the reasons as to why there are so many vacant properties and ensure that they become available for individuals and families.
–I will ensure that Dublin City Council plan and spend their budget allocation so we can deliver and meet the housing demands in our city.
–I come from a community in Donegal which has successfully introduced a sheltered housing project for the elderly. If we had more projects like this available in our communities it would provide suitable accommodation for those hoping to move into alternative housing and free up larger homes which may actually be unsuitable for those living there.
Rental accommodation in Dublin city has become unaffordable for the average worker and this is totally unacceptable. Unaffordability of residential accommodation is market driven. Failed government housing policies of the past eight years has resulted in an inadequate supply of new homes, zero new homes have been built in Dublin Central. The rent pressure zones were introduced too late and are having only minimal impact. In the absence of increased housing supply affordability will never be achieved. Demand for residential accommodation in Dublin city far outweighs supply and the state must intervene to correct the market and make residential accommodation affordable for working people. Dublin City Council, acting on behalf of the state, must take a lead in reversing this situation and ensuring that Dublin City is an affordable place for working people to live. If I am elected to Dublin City Council propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Introduction of a fast-track system for development of new-build cost-rental apartments which would have affordable rent controls
–Reduced development levy for affordable rent controlled residential accommodation
–Propose and seek all city councillors' support for a motion to Dublin City Council calling on DCC to formally adopt the “Vienna Housing Model” and to seek approval, funding and support from central government for same
–Call on the government to amend our constitution to make access to housing a basic human right
–Call for all state-owned lands in Dublin Central to be used to provide public housing as per the “Vienna Housing Model”
–Support for the re-introduction of an affordable housing scheme for working people in Dublin City
–Review of the qualifying income bands for social housing in Dublin City
–Introduction of a tax break for owners who renovate and re-let derelict residential accommodation in Dublin City and make it available as affordable houing
–Increased investment in the building of high-quality senior-citizen accommodation and buy-back of city council units via the Financial Contribution Scheme
–Introduction of a time-limited, development levy on any new student accommodation and/or REIT developments in Dublin city. Funds raised from the levy to be ringfenced for provision of public housing in Dublin Central
–Increased action from DCC to address derelict sites, ensure monthly review of all derelict sites, multipliers penalties applied and tax incentives for refurbishment and relets as affordable homes
Dublin is suffering from a rent crisis. This will not be news to anyone who rents or who has family members or friends who do. As of the end of last year the standardised average rent for Dublin stood was €1,650, up from €1,530 a year earlier. The rental crisis is a national problem, which can only be solved by the government, but it is a problem that effects Dublin more than any part of the country. Two out of every five tenancies registered nationally are in Dublin. On a national level, we need action from the government on strengthening security of tenure and proper enforcement of the Rent-Pressure Zone legislation.
Recent announcements by the government in relation to restrictions on short-term lets are welcome, but they rely on local authorities taking enforcement actions. It is vital that Dublin City Council are proactive and zealous in using the powers they are to given. According to Threshold, 3,476 housing units are currently potentially removed from the capital’s housing stock due to short-term letting.
The problems in Dublin's rental market will ultimately only be permanently solved by increased supply, but not only supply of privately built homes. The rental sector is currently being used by the government to provide social housing via the HAP [Housing Assistance Payment] scheme. Sixty-six percent of all social-housing provision in 2018 was sourced in the rental sector via HAP. This is only necessary because of the disgraceful under-investment in social housing over many decades. HAP tenancies are a lifeline for those who can source a property, but they are insecure, temporary and often still unaffordable. According to a recent survey almost half of those in receipt of HAP are paying a top-up to their landlord. Twenty percent are spending over 30 percent of their income on rent and 10 percent are paying more than 40 percent.
People on the housing list deserve more. They deserve a permanent, stable home where they can put down roots and build communities.
Nobody should pay more than 30 percent of their disposable income on rent. The current crisis means we need a set of short-term measures to avoid pushing more people into homelessness and then implement a number of longer policies so that people can be confident that they could live in rental accommodation long term and think of it as home.
Long-term secure rental: we must introduce greater tenants support including long term or "forever" rental agreements that cannot be broken through sale of property.
Rentmanagement: We need an immediate freeze on rent increases while the housing crisis is ongoing. In the long-term, the local authority should employ a system of rent benchmarking similar to the German Mietspiegal which review average rents over a four year term.
Public housing not HAP: I would propose an end to evictions for refurbishment that result in homelessness for a fixed period and that in the longer term the state actively seek to move away from the HAP rental model towards the provision of appropriate, public housing with no upper or lower income limits.
We could put a cap on rents and force them down to an affordable level. The current legislation with 4 percent rent increases in pressure zones is not working.
I will push for secure and long-term tenancies and removing loopholes for evicting tenants. I would also like to ban properties from being used for short-term tenancies (e.g. less than six months).
Ireland is a low-paying economy, which makes renting even more difficult. I will push for stronger workers’ and trade union rights so that workers can win higher pay increases, making it easier to pay rents.
The expansion of public housing will also have a downward effect on rents.
If elected to the council, I see it as a responsibility to help ensure that the city of Dublin remains a great place to live with a high quality of life. Friends and colleagues are struggling to make ends meet while forking out upwards of €800 a month each on rent. How can young people save for their futures if half, or more than half, of their income is spent on this basic need? This represents severe dysfunction in a system that is failing young people. Fianna Fáil supports the accelerated rollout of a cost-rental scheme in the city. This means providing lands for building units for rent at a not-for-profit cost.
On the immediate horizon, it is essential that the regulations on short-term letting, like accommodation let through Airbnb, are robustly implemented in order to add stock to the rental market. I would pursue private and public channels to ensure the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government provide adequate funding to Dublin City Council to establish a dedicated team to enforce the new legislation. There are currently over 9,500 properties in Dublin listed on Airbnb. Returning a bulk of these to the rental market will help to reduce rents. But the cost of implementation is not trivial, potentially €750,000, and this would need to come from central government.
I would look to build a coalition of support for a motion to create a Dublin City Council-managed, publicly searchable index of the rents charged by landlords on a property-by-property basis. This would help ensure that landlords can’t flout current rent controls and raise rents significantly when taking in new tenants.
In the longer term, I would support and seek to build a constituency of demand behind any motions that seek to adopt European models of mixed-income renting provided by public bodies. Dublin City Council has recently expressed its full support for a cost-rental model of housing – publicly owned housing for all income brackets with rent that is fair and fixed.
Such models are not new. They have existed elsewhere for the duration of this crisis, and many in Ireland have been calling for their implementation here for years. A 2017 report by the NERI institute, "Ireland’s Housing Emergency – Time for a Game Changer", lays out a roadmap that should be followed. But this can’t be implemented at council level alone and needs the national legislation.
Yes, while we will need stronger legislation from the Oireachtas to ensure this happens, I will do whatever I can on the council to make renting more affordable and easier to access
One part of the solution is to build affordable houses. We also need a well-regulated rental market. I am proud of the role that I have played in developing the Labour policy on housing. Because of my work in this, Labour now supports a mandatory rent reduction. I believe houses should be homes for people, not a source of income for the few.
Radically increasing the supply of publicly owned housing (for both low- and middle-income tenants) is the best way to drive down rents. Most changes to private-rental-sector legislation must come from national government, and I will continue to campaign for measures to drive down rents, and introduce lifetime leases as standard. In addition, in terms of what I can do as a councillor, I would:
1) Increase funding to monitor illegal short-term lettings, and lobby for changes to national legislation to ban them entirely;
2) Amend the development plan to prohibit changes-of-use for buildings from residential to holiday letting/commercial;
3) Introduce a reference to "affordability" into the City Development Plan so that when a new building is applying for planning permission, it has to submit an "affordability assessment" along with its environmental assessment, which shows the likely affordability for an average worker of whatever accommodation is being proposed.
The spiralling cost of rent is a result of the broken plan by government to rely on the private sector to supply homes. We will only have affordable rents when government moves away from relying on this model to councils building more social homes each year to increase supply which will deflate the current cost and demand for the private rental properties. We also need to protect those who do decide to rent with more protections in place. Rental terms should be longer in some cases and give tenure for the life of the tenant with the letting attached to the property.
I’m a member of the Campaign for Public Housing, which is campaigning for affordable-rental public housing using a mixed-income model to avoid ghettoisation.
This will only happen if Dublin City Council starts building houses on a sufficient scale. We know that the price of a site alone accounts for approximately 35 percent so if Dublin City Council build on land they own or is owned by another state agency, that will automatically make the cost of housing cheaper. If elected I will be pushing for Dublin City Council to start building more. With regard to enforcement of holiday letting/Airbnb restrictions, I will put forward motions and work with others to ensure that this can be undertaken as effectively and as cost efficiently as possible.
As a renter in our city I recognise the need for affordable rental accommodation. In order to do this we must take steps to increase supply in the rental sector.
–Ensure that derelict and vacant properties are refurbished and made available.
–Increase the supply of housing by constructing both private and social housing.
–Support the ongoing work in relation to rent-restriction zones.
Homelessness in Dublin city is being primarily caused by the totally inadequate supply of social and affordable housing to rent or buy and the exiting of small private landlords from the private rental market. To reduce Homelessness in Dublin city, if elected to Dublin City Council I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Propose motion calling for constitutional amendment to make access to housing a basic human right
–Housing first. Call on the government to invest in homes instead of homeless, i.e. to prioritise the provision of homes as per my suggestions in sections 1 & 2
–Call for minister for housing to attend city council meeting and report on progress being made by his department to address homelessness at least once a year
–DCC to put measures in place to prevent tenants/homeowners from becoming homeless. Currently, a family or individual can only register as homeless 30 days prior to their notice to quit. This is an insufficient length of time to be approved for homeless HAP and/or to find alternative accommodation. By extending the timeframe it may be possible to house homeless families and individuals prior to their eviction date.
–Where a private-rental tenant, who is on the DCC housing list, is being made homeless because the landlord is selling the property, DCC should make a fair market offer to purchase the property to prevent the tenant becoming homeless and entering emergency accommodation
–Homeless hubs and accommodation should be converted into permanent homes
–Simplify the process of switching between self-accommodating and homeless HAP options
–Liaise with national government on social housing policy to increase supply – see 1 & 2 above
–Liaise with national government in relation to mortgage and banking issues so that DCC can take over properties from qualifying families and they can avoid homelessness
The best way to address homelessness is to stop it happening. Dublin City Council and Dublin Region Homeless Executive are focused on addressing the needs of people once they have become homeless. This is obviously very valuable work and must increase, but more also needs to be done to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. At the end of March there were 1,297 families homeless in Dublin. Dublin must lead the way in prevention.
Dublin City Council and the other Dublin authorities must invest in early intervention to save tenancies, solve issues and source accommodation. Every people who becomes homeless in our city should be a failure of the system designed to prevent it. It should not be just be when the system kicks in.
Much more investment is needed in both primary and secondary homeless-prevention services. Primary prevention services are available to everyone. Secondary prevention services target specific groups at risk of homelessness. The great majority of people who become homeless do so, directly or indirectly, from the private rented sector. In the context of the private rented sector these might be particularly vulnerable groups. This is what makes it an effective and valuable homeless-prevention service.
Currently, the majority of expenditure on homeless prevention is on tertiary services provided to people already experiencing homelessness or exiting homeless. The expenditure on prevention is often less than 30 percent of what is spent on homeless accommodation and in the Dublin region was less than 5 percent of what was spent on emergency accommodation in 2017.
I believe it is really important to make a distinction between systemic homelessness that is a result of government inertia and long-term homelessness due to addiction or mental health issues. Homelessness of the second type is more complex than simply providing affordable and suitable housing as I outlined in previous questions. This type of homelessness is as much an issue of health care and public health policy as it is housing. As chair of policy council for the Green Party, I am very much in favour of our drugs policy that decriminalises most drug use and instead focuses on treatment, support and healthcare.
Services and dignity: where homelessness is a result of more complex social issues I believe that every person should have access to health services that are respectful, appropriate, and tailored to their owns needs. This more often than not means services based in the community, received regularly and at low cost.
Housing First: I support the idea that rehabilitation and healing is best done in a stable and secure environment. This means that rather than existing in shelters or halfway housing those struggling with homelessness should have access to a long-term home as a first step to recovery.
Integrated services: One of the most challenging issues facing those in long-term homelessness is the lack of integration and communication between service providers in Ireland. Clear and appropriate lines of communication between mental health services, health services, drug treatment services and housing providers would greatly improve outcomes.
The measures I mentioned above will help to reduce homelessness.
Furthermore, I would support the Focus Ireland "anti-homelessness amendment" which would prevent landlords who had bought a property with a buy-to-let mortgage, or availed of Section 23 property tax reliefs, from evicting tenants when selling their house. This measure alone could reduce new homelessness by up to one third.
Implement a moratorium on evictions by banks for those in mortgage arrears.
End the practice of removing HAP and RAS tenants from the primary housing list.
I would also support a properly funded advice and information campaign targeted at those at risk of homelessness.
It’s astonishing that the rate of homelessness continues to rise, but this only stands to prove that the problem lies in poor policy. This crisis must be given full political attention, a fundamental shift in attitude and immediate action. If this happens the problem can be solved. There, of course, needs to be a significant increase in new local-authority housing. A Housing First approach that takes a holistic view of addressing long-term homelessness and their complex needs should be at the core of government policy.
I would seek the advice of people who dedicate their lives to supporting people who have, or are currently, experiencing homelessness. To my mind, the real solution to end homelessness is to offer permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Dublin City Council must pursue a “Housing First” approach to ending homelessness.
Beyond addressing the economic drivers of homelessness, by increasing the supply of social housing and reducing rents, emergency steps need to be taken to ensure the current housing crisis does not worsen. I would use my position to call for a temporary ban on evictions by banks, vulture funds and landlords of tenants for monitory reasons. I would also advocate for the expansion of the “mortgage to rent” scheme to provide a broader safety net for the thousands of families in mortgage arrears.
We also have to put in place measures that support people recovering from homelessness to reintegrate back into society. I’m a Director of My Streets Ireland, a social enterprise that empowers individuals who have experienced homelessness to become walking-tour guides of their town through the provision of necessary training and support. I have seen the transformative effect that the programme has had for graduates and I would like to see more initiatives and supports like this established.
Yes, I firmly believe the only way we can solve the homelessness crisis in our city is to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. Restrictions on landlords issuing notices to quit, greater supply of rental accommodation, and greater roll out of the financial contribution scheme for older people should be prioritised.
Building houses and regulating the rental market will help. The biggest cause of homelessness is the private rental market and we need national legislation to stop evictions. [Labour TD] Jan O’Sullivan is doing great work holding the government to account for their failure to properly regulate the rental market. We have some very good homelessness services in the city, but we need more of them. It is wrong that people are kicked out in the morning and have nowhere to go until late at night. Labour is working for union rights and the right to a living wage. My Labour colleague Councillor Brendan Carr highlighted living-wage employers as lord mayor and this is something I would like to see increase. It is wrong that two parents could be working and they are homeless.
Radically increasing the supply of publicly owned housing (for both low- and middle-income tenants) is the best way to drive down homelessness. This is fully within councillors' control, if they stop selling off public land.
There are many different types of homelessness. The current figures are stark and one figure that jumps out to me is 3,821 children! The result of this should have had government call for a national emergency and all planning laws etc. put aside while this crisis is remedied. The number of long-term homelessness citizens is down to a number of societal issues and we should house these citizens in dedicated shared homes with on-site facilities for addiction, health, education and daily needs provided for, of people struggling to deal with regular responsibilities of a regular homelife.
The provision of affordable public rental housing is the solution to the housing crisis and homeless. The vast majority of people presenting daily as homeless are primarily victims of the private rental market, so there should be an immediate ban on economic evictions and the loopholes allowing landlords to evict tenants if they wish to sell or give their property to a family member should be suspended while the crisis continues.
Again, an increase in housing supply that is affordable is the single most important measure that Dublin City Council must undertake the reduce the numbers becoming homeless. Anything other than will ensure that the numbers finding themselves without a home will only get larger into the future. I support the council’s existing work through the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and if elected, will push the housing first approach.
In order to address homelessness, more homes must be built.
–If elected to Dublin City Council I will work to ensure there is an increase in the number of social housing being built and refurbished as homes.
–Implement and support Housing First across our city to enable clients to obtain homes with a range of off-site supports.
–Liaise and work closely with our government in ensuring that the concerns and issues of our local area are represented.
The 2016 census indicated there are more than 4,000 derelict sites in Dublin Central yet there are less than 30 sites on DCC’s Derelict Sites Register. To reduce the number of derelict and vacant properties and sites, if I am elected to Dublin City Council I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Penalties for property owners that allow properties to fall into disrepair, become derelict and lie idle when it could be possible for them to be used for commercial or residential purposes.
–Penalties collected to be ringfenced and used for the building of new homes in Dublin city
–Tax breaks for property owners who renovate and return to productive use derelict sites in Dublin city
–Compulsory purchase and development of all derelict sites where the owner persistently fails to return property to productive use
It has been clear for some time that land-hoarding has been a significant part of the housing crisis. Land is being held back from development while its value increases. Sites are being flipped from one speculator to another. It is particularly galling to see sites formerly controlled by NAMA or other state entities being traded in this “pass-the-parcel” process with little supply at the end of it.
The Vacant Site Levy was a welcome intervention in 2015 but there are so many loopholes in the legislation that it is completely ineffective in activating vacant sites.
There should be a specific tax on land-hoarding. This should be a site value tax (with appropriate but limited exemptions) that is variable by local authorities and is set at an annual rate that exceeds inflation in land values in that local authority.
The Social Democrats have committed to introduce a vacant housing levy for vacant homes (duration to be set by each local authority with appropriate but limited exemptions applying) and set down a higher levy the longer the home remains vacant; reform the Fair Deal Scheme to remove financial barriers to letting a vacant home; and introduce legislation to provide for compulsory letting orders for vacant homes.
There are two main blocks to the efficient use of land in the state at the moment over and above our identification of land and housing as an asset or profit generator. Firstly, the active hoarding of land in order to speculate on future profit and secondly the lack of incentive for building or landowners to return to the market properties that are not in use. Both these conditions can be addressed through a number of actions but we should also try and make active use of accommodation such as "above the shop" that is currently not often thought of as housing.
Site Value Tax and the Vacant Site Levy: I believe that a site value tax would be a fairer and more effective version of the property tax. I also believe it would reduce the profitability of land hoarding.
Vacant sites: I think we should amend the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 to extend the definition of a “vacant site” to include sites below 0.05 hectares. (This would be particularly important in a highly urban area like Cabra Glasnevin.) We should also dramatically increase the levy placed on derelict sites.
Vacant homes and other opportunities: I believe that we should further empower local authorities to CPO homes that have been vacant for over a year and make it as straightforward as possible for them to utilise them as housing. We should also think about underused spaces such as housing units "above the shop" where building owners could be incentivised to refurbish premises for this use.
Imposing compulsory purchase orders on all vacant and derelict properties and sites while retrofitting and building public housing. I will support the introduction of a significant vacant property tax above the rate of house price inflation to disincentivise property hoarding.
We need to regenerate the abundance of vacant and derelict properties. This is a crucial element of any meaningful response to the city’s worsening housing crisis. The Vacant Site Levy was recently reintroduced but for it to make a real impact and reach its potential more vacant properties need to be added to Dublin City Council’s Derelict Sites Register. The owners of vacant property across the city need to be strongly incentivised and encouraged to refurbish the premises or bring it back onto the market to improve the housing supply locally. One potentially useful incentive worth examining to tackle urban dereliction would be to provide tax breaks. We need to do whatever we can to make housing available to people in this city as quickly as possible.
This is an area where provisions do exist, and the question is whether they can be made more effective. I would be in favour of increasing the fine for properties on the Vacant Sites Register and the Derelict Sites Register beyond the proposed 7 percent. We need to ensure that space is not going to waste, and the future of these properties are resolved faster, while still maintaining due diligence and not negatively impacting on home owners in vulnerable situations, for instance, by protecting houses that are part of the Fair Deal. I would also seek to ensure that the funds raised from the levy imposed on landlords of vacant and derelict sites would be ringfenced for social and affordable housing.
Yes, we can do this by increasing the vacant sites levy every second year to encorage landowners to put their sites back into use.
It is not moral for a vacant site to sit on someone’s balance sheet being forgotten about and falling apart until they remember they own it or feel like building on it. If you own a vacant property in the middle of the housing crisis you should be fined and eventually the property should be taken and put to productive use. We need to deal with property rights. It is not a definitive right and there are exceptions to it. We need to deal with this either by legislation or a referendum.
At a local level, I would push for officials to drastically increase the number of properties which are CPOed once on the Derelict Sites Register. I would also lobby for national government to expand the definition of "dereliction" to include long-term vacancy, not just buildings which are causing a hazard, and for the radical restructuring of the vacant sites levy so that it applies to both buildings and sites, and is high enough that no company is willing to pay it in order to be allowed to hoard land. Currently, the levy is lower than the increase in land value, so developers can pay the levy and still turn a profit because the land they hoard increases in value.
I would campaign for a "vacant property clawback tax" under which, when a piece of land or a building is sold following a period of being left vacant, the increase in price since the land was first bought is taxed at 90 percent. This would prevent land hoarding, under which speculators buy and hold on to land simply waiting for its value to increase.
We should have a yearly survey to assess what are the particulars of vacant properties or derelict sites and if needed tax where necessary .
Immediately implement the existing derelict sites legislation and the existing vacant site levy. If this doesn’t improve the situation, the vacant site levy should be increased.
Same as above! I want to see a push for more aggressive targeting of derelict sites to go on the Derelict Sites Register. In Cabra alone, where there is very significant housing demand, there are a number of derelicts sites that could be used to build hundreds of residential units. Push for more compulsory purchase orders of derelict sites. Notwithstanding the major legal difficulties, Dublin City Council needs to accelerate the pace at which they are taking over derelict houses.
It is very important that vacant properties in our city are refurbished and made available to house individuals and families and this is something which I will push in Dublin City Council. This will not only provide housing but it will also make our area a better neighbourhood. Dublin City Council run the very successful Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards and so it is important as a councillor that I push property improvement programmes like this. I will ensure that this work continues.
I support development of an integrated, efficient, reliable and affordable public-transport system. Public transport should connect city communities not divide them. Public transport provides independent city travel and an opportunity for the city to reduce its carbon footprint. To improve public transport, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Public transport services that connect and do not divide city communities
–Local bus services so that the elderly, young and those with special needs can have access to public transport, i.e. not just main-corridor bus services
–Support migration of all public transport to low or zero emissions
–Park-and-rides for out-of-town commuters
–Free public transport for commuters in the city area
–Time-based restrictions for private-vehicle traffic in the city
There are few actual competencies reserved for city councillors in the area of public transport but it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate leadership to our constituents as Dublin evolves from what is still effectively a mediaeval town, to a modern European capital.
This will require councillors to be brave in listening to the fears of their residents around the BusConnects project but not resorting to simple nimbyist responses to the detriment of the city. BusConnects is an ambitious plan that has some designs faults that can be worked out through effective consultation and dialogue between communities and the NTA [National Transport Authority]. Councillors should be honest brokers to these discussions and not seek to take advantage from the anxiety that exists in communities around this project.
To improve public transport I would like to see us redefine what public transport is. At the moment, and even within these questions, there is space to talk about public transport (buses, trains, Luas etc), private transport (motor cars) and cycling. But there isn't always the space to talk about the individual moving around the city. I would suggest that a Dubliner walking through the public realm of the city on their way to work or the shops is also part of the public transport system. In fact they are the very first building block in that system, but we often forget them. I would suggest that every kid that scoots to school is engaged in transport and it is a very public version of transport so lets include that too.
Streets are the first step in public transport. The very first thing I would do to improve public transport would be to bring a new focus on the experience of the pedestrian. I would like to see a full audit of every footpath and crossing in the city. I will be asking the council to set a standard for pedestrian surfaces and to nominate a footpath champion to walk the city so that every street is suitable for its most vulnerable user.
Small system, big system. I believe that no one mode of transport will solve the city's transport problems and that only a tapestry of well-integrated and varied solutions will allow people to leave the car at home. So you may walk to the bus stop (on a good path), hop off the bus, get a Dublinbike to the library and then go home on the Luas. This will require some very long-term planning and some decent funding. Perhaps most importantly it will require different agencies and authorities to talk to each other and to the general public in a transparent and honest way.
Complimentary ideas: one of the areas we are weakest in, in Ireland, is coming to terms with all the details-based user-orientated issues that really make a difference when you're using public transport. Do you have a ticket that you can use on every mode of transport? Does the ticket pricing make sense across multi-leg journeys? Are the interchanges close to each other? Does every node point have a shelter and a point of information? These are the little things we need to get right to achieve the big ideas.
I will push for a substantial increase in investment for public transport, including Dublin Bus, and make them free to use for everyone. There are currently 114 free public transport systems around the world, mostly in Europe, and if we are genuine about tackling climate change and taking cars off the road, this is an essential solution. I will also push for public transport that can take in multiple wheelchair users and buggies. It’s crazy that buses can’t take in more than one. I have seen buses in Vancouver, Canada that can accomodate more because they have foldable seats plus they are run on electricity. Why not have something like that here in Dublin?
I rely on public transport every single day, so I know the struggle faced by the average commuter trying to make their way around this city. We are fed up with being squeezed onto claustrophobic buses and crammed into overcrowded Luas trams and Dart services. We are tired of unreliable and infrequent buses. We are tired of ever-increasing fares without any improvement in services. I am focused on improving a number of elements of the public-transport structure in the capital: 1) increasing the capacity of Irish Rail commuter services; 2) improving the efficiency of the Dart; 3) introducing Dublin Transport Police to deter anti-social behaviour; 4) establishlishing a Dublin Transport Commission focused solely on transport in Dublin; 5) increasing bus and train frequencies with additional capacity.
As many are aware, plans are ongoing regarding the development of BusConnects and the Metro. While the decision-making power for these processes primarily sits with the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, I would want to see, and advocate for, a much greater interchange between Dublin City Council and these national bodies.
It is imperative that communities are viewed as implementing partners in the development of these transport initiatives, so as to develop a future transport system that works for commuters and the communities living in the city. So far, this has not happened, and I would use my position as councillor to advocate for a more thorough and sincere approach to public participation in this area.
We need a much more effective and efficient public transport system in Dublin, both for improved quality of life and in order to make real progress on climate change. We need to incentivise the use of public transport, as well as cycling. I would seek expert advice on how to introduce a congestion charge, between the canals, which could be used to subsidise the cost of public transport. I want to see the cost of public transport decreasing, not increasing as it currently is.
While councillors do not currently have much control over public transport, I believe they should. There are too many statutory agencies looking after public transport in the city and not enough joined-up thinking.
Because of my disability I will never own a car or be able to cycle by myself, so walking and public transport are things I am very passionate about. A lot of changes are on the way for transport. We need to have affordable public transport so it can be a viable substitute to driving. This is not just about unclogging our city, it is about saving our planet. Sadly, the NTA consistently ignores community voices, leading to severe and numerous problems. I will continue to fight for a solution to the terrible parking situation at Broombridge, on the issue of the BusConnects and MetroLink proposals, reflecting the real needs and best interests of the community. We need to have safe footpaths that are accessible to people with disabilities, as well as safer cycle lanes and a public transport system that people can rely on. DublinBikes was a great success for Labour, and I will fight to extend this successful scheme to Cabra and the Navan Road.
Most importantly, I would campaign for power over public transport in Dublin to be brought from national government to local. I would also campaign for the National Transport Authority to be scrapped, and replaced with a public transport company, such as a revitalised CIÉ. These changes would enable us in Dublin to ensure our public transport is not sold off to private companies, and also to ensure that transport decisions that affect Dublin are taken by those who represent Dublin. It makes no sense for transport for our capital city to be a responsibility of the national government. Unfortunately, without this, the amount that local government can do to improve public transport (i.e. buses, trams and trains) is very limited.
Some specific actions that could be taken at a local level to improve life for cyclists and pedestrians however would include: 1) Ensuring a greater percentage of the city's roads maintenance budget is spent on footpaths, cycle-lane maintenance, and proper marking of cycle lanes, and making our streets walkable, rather than all being spent on roads maintenance, which overwhelmingly benefits car users; 2) Increase the levy on corporations building in our cities, so that the damage done by HGVs and other construction traffic can be properly remedied.
Public transport should be free in Dublin and more frequent, with an emergency need for green transport.
I support the positive aspects of the BusConnects and MetroLink projects. I have always supported increased public transport services and I believe the aim should be to provide cheap, or ideally free, public transport to discourage car use and encourage public transport use.
BusConnects is a good concept but the route and infrastructure design proposals need a lot more work to ensure it works better for cyclists, pedestrians, bus users and the sustainability and safety of our urban villages. If elected, I will push at council level for greater coordination between Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) project team on the BusConnects project. In particular, this coordination is vital where BusConnects and the Metro proposals interact. If elected, I will also push the council and the NTA (whom I understand largely fund the schemes) to extend the Dublinbikes scheme into more of Phibsborough, Cabra, Navan Road, Drumcondra and Glasnevin.
Our community has seen huge investment in public transport with the new Luas line to Broombridge, which makes the area more accessible. There will be continued investment with the Metro North and the development of a new train station for Pelletstown. These projects will help to improve the public transport infrastructure in our area. It is also important that cycle lanes and pathways such as along the canal are improved in terms of surfacing and safety to encourage commuters to use as a means of transport in our city. If elected to Dublin City Council I hope to work closely with the local community to ensure the needs of our area are met in relation to public transport infrastructure and the concerns and issues of locals are addressed in the process.
To improve cycling infrastructure in Dublin city, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Minimum 10 percent of national transport budget to be spent on public transport, walking and cycling
–Increased segregated cycle paths
–Off-road dedicated pedestrian and cycle path along the Royal and Grand canals from the M50 to the city centre and along city rivers where possible
Allocate funding, including councillors' discretionary fund to making roads safer for cyclists. The first priority for extra funding for cycling should be the construction of a network of cycle lanes so that they are as segregated as much as possible from other traffic. This does not need to be a typically convoluted plan that takes 20 years to draft and implement. There is a lot of best practice already available to use from cities such as Copenhagen, Seville and Amsterdam.
As part of my involvement with the Irish Pedestrian Network, I am a signatory on the "Active Travel, Health and Climate Action Call" to government to properly fund modes of active travel in the state. This request is as much about the excellent health benefits of cycling as it is about the huge and beneficial impacts it has on our transport-based carbon emissions.
More funding: I have already lent my support to the call from the CyclingForAll campaign to allocate 20 percent of all capital transport funding to cycling infrastructure.
A clear plan for cycling infrastructure: I believe that our current best practice in road design for cyclists is below par compared to other countries. We need segregated lanes, preferred routes and a clear hierarchy of the road to protect more vulnerable road users from motorcars.
Appropriate policy: Current government-funded bodies such as the Road Safety Authority have a chequered history in supporting cyclists and often place the responsibility on the more vulnerable road user to "light up" or be seen rather than asking motorists to be more careful. We need to create clear policy principles for transport, climate and health to support cycling.
Dublin city is an old city and wasn’t designed for cars. For me, it’s important to make the city centre safer for pedestrians and cyclists. I will campaign for segregated cycle lanes and pedestrianising some streets and ensure that they are accessible for everyone.
As I mentioned above, I rely on public transport to get from point A to B. I would love to be able to cycle, but I feel that the safety of cyclists in our city is being jeopardised on a daily basis as a consequence of poor infrastructure and planning. A high number of cyclists each year are left injured and even hospitalised following road-traffic accidents in Dublin. These are often caused by dangerous gaps and oversights in our infrastructure that put cyclists, drivers and pedestrians at risk. In order to ensure ongoing quality improvements to cycle lanes, junctions and road verges, I would advocate putting in place a funding scheme that earmarks a portion of the Local Government Fund in DCC. I also propose: 1) extending the DublinBikes scheme; 2) ringfencing funding for cycle-lane maintenance and clean-up; 3) freeing up cycle lanes by putting fixed-penalty cameras in place to support stricter enforcement; 4) introducing segregated cycle lanes; 5) fulfilling the UN recommendation to allocate 20 percent of a national transport budget to cycling.
Two clear messages have emerged on the doorsteps. On the one hand, a lot of people have told us that more must be done to protect cyclists. On the other, we hear concern, particularly from older people, about being hurt by cyclists while walking.
Appropriately designed infrastructure would protect vulnerable road users, not pit them against each other. The troubling situation that currently exists stems from the fact that roads are viewed as a facility for cars primarily and other road users are an afterthought in the design process. The result is an inefficient and dangerous system.
Being a cyclist in Dublin, as well as a driver, I know which situation I feel safer in. A cycle through Dublin in morning traffic can feel like a video game. Cyclists are quite inexplicably put in bus lanes, a scenario which is precarious for all involved, but only potentially fatal for the person on the bicycle. Similarly, they often have to navigate past cars parked in cycle lanes which forces them into traffic. A nuisance for drivers, but again, only potentially fatal to the cyclist.
There are solutions that would alleviate these challenges and make our roads safer for all. These are laid out by the Cycling for All Campaign. I would push for their implementation throughout the city.
The Cycling for All Campaign is also advocating for decision-makers to provide funding for walking and cycling amounting to at least 20 percent of the capital budget for transport every year. I just took a quick look at the latest census figures where, in Dublin, 27 percent of people (that is 205,508 people) indicated walking or cycling as their primary means of transport. So 20 percent of the budget seems only fair!
Within the city centre we need to provide much more cycling infrastructure. I believe most of our suburbs have an adequate amount.
I want safe, segregated cycle lanes across the community. I support the Phibsborough Local Environmental Improvements Plan recommendation to create an underpass under the Phibsborough Road in the old Blackwire Bridge for a segregated cycle lane along the old canal route. I am worried about providing safe ways for older people and people with disabilities to cross cycle paths, and this needs to be dealt with so everyone can get around safely.
The Workers' Party on Dublin City Council would ensure that the position of cycling and walking officer is funded and filled. I would advocate for this position to have a specific focus on liaising with schools, to identify and amend local obstacles to schoolchildren cycling or walking to school. I would propose and vote for the reallocation of funds in the city's budget from roads maintenance to specific cycle-lane maintenance, and painting to ensure cycle lanes are properly marked. I would support and propose as many cycle lanes of possible to be segregated and physically separate from traffic, including removing or relocating parking if possible. I will continue my party's full support for initiatives including the Liffey Cycle Route.
There must be dedicated cycle lanes throughout Dublin including suburbs in and surrounding Dublin. We can no longer paint a line on the street and call it a cycle lane.
I commute to work by bike and I understand the dangers and difficulties of cycling in the city centre. I have been supportive of improved cycling infrastructure across the city where the proposals do not involve routing vehicular traffic through residential areas. Viable cycling infrastructure will discourage car use with the resulting health and environmental benefits.
Ultimately, safe cycling depends on segregated, continuous and consistent surface cycle paths. If we are to encourage more families, adults and older people to cycle, this type of infrastructure is vital. If elected, I will be pushing Dublin City Council’s road maintenance department and its traffic department to improve its remedial work of existing cycling paths. A concern is that some improvements will be delayed until the BusConnects investment becomes available. Cyclists' lives depend on immediate improvements. I will be pushing for this within the city council’s budget.
I am serious about addressing climate change and as a result it is important that I ensure our city has the necessary infrastructure in place to encourage cycling as a sustainable-transport option.
–I will work hard to ensure that the canal is a safe option for both pedestrians and cyclists to use as this is something which the residents of the Cabra-Glasnevin ward have brought to my attention.
–Consult with cyclists and cycling groups in order to plan for infrastructure that would mean safe cycling for all ages and abilities.
–Ensure that current cycle lanes are maintained and developed and provide additional bike racks in our community.
–Recognise and promote cycling as a sustainable transport option as well as a leisure pursuit.
To address climate change, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Propose that minister for climate change attends public meeting of Dublin City Councillors and reports on government action to address climate change
–Reduce city carbon emissions by getting DCC, as cities largest residential landlord, to retro-fit its residential housing stock
–Reduce the number of private cars in the city by improving public transport and cycling infrastructure as per 5 & 6 above
–Support and champion Dublin City Council Climate Change Action Plan
–Drive DCC to achieve 33 percent better energy use by 2020
–Drive DCC to achieve 40 percent reduction in the council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
–Propose that DCC calculate commercial rates based on carbon footprint and financially incentivise by charging reduced rates for reduced carbon emissions
–Propose that DCC give homeowners the opportunity to reduce their Local Property Tax by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes and reducing their carbon footprint
–Seek funding for environmental retrofit of existing DCC housing stock
–Councils leading by example in housing design and energy saving in their own buildings
–Designated drop-off points around our urban centres within 1 km radius of schools so students walk on dry mornings
–Agree Local Area Plans that plan for public transport and community facilities before homes are built
–"Cycling buses" for children travelling to school
–Promote the use of heat waste in district energy schemes
–Promote public awareness events on climate change, energy conservation etc.
–Reduce the energy consumption of public lighting
–Promote and expand number of community gardens and allotments where feasible
–Public recycling bins
–Better collection opportunity at amenity centres for mattresses, sofas, large plastic toys etc.
–An end to single-use plastic at council events and time lines to end or reduce them in council-supported events
–Bicycle shelters and secure lock-ups at all public buildings
–Awards for the most environmentally friendly and most-environmentally improved multiple in your area
–Car-charging points in every small town and village
We tend to think of climate change as something that happens at a national and international level but there is so much we can do locally to make a difference. I fully support Dublin City Council undertaking a Climate Action Plan. Implementing it will be the first step towards change.
Carbon budgets: For decades, we have relied exclusively on GDP and fiscal budgets to inform policy and implementation. We now know that the climate crisis requires us to look beyond those narrow considerations and start to budget for the next generation and their right to live free from climate chaos. Yearly carbon budgets for all state agencies and local authorities would allow us to plan our move away from a carbon heavy economy
All the answers: there is no one answer to how to combat our climate overheating. We need to change our way of operating and let that change move into every sector of our society. As someone who worked in the construction sector in environmental design I have first-hand experience of taking every component of a building and looking at it with fresh (climate-action) eyes. We need to remake our building sector, our agriculture, our textile industry, our transport methods, and so on.
Change is coming, it needs to be fair: I am a huge supporter of just-transition policies that make sure that where old carbon-heavy or polluting industries are wound down, the workers involved in them are retrained, upskilled and found work in new environmentally responsible industries such as renewables. I am also an advocate of universal basic income which would provide everyone with a baseline income below which they couldn't fall and which would lift thousands of children and families out of poverty.
100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of carbon emissions. They should be our targets for combating climate change. I support carbon taxes in the form of additional corporate taxes and not by penalising ordinary people, as well as pushing for divestment from fossil fuel and carbon-intensive companies.
A carbon tax alone, even one which targets wealthy corporations and heavy emitters, will not address climate change.
I will campaign for massive investment in public transport, retrofitting public housing and public buildings with energy-reducing and waste-reducing solutions. We could set up community-owned renewable energy cooperatives, with the communities deciding where profits will go e.g. investing in community facilities, local jobs, etc.
Importantly, when tackling climate change, we must ensure that the most vulnerable are protected and I will campaign for workers and communities to have a strong voice in the development of any climate change legislation.
Ireland has been without a coordinated strategy to tackle its growing emissions for far too long despite coming under increasing pressure from Europe to step up in the global fight against climate change. Any further delayed action will result in higher costs and a greater burden that will be inherited by the next generation. I will push to decarbonise the Dublin Bus fleet and to reduce the over-reliance on unsustainable forms of transport in this city by improving our public-transport services and cycling infrastructure.
I have spent the last five years working with Mary Robinson on climate justice. Local action on climate change and sustainable development is a core motivating factor for my entering this election race. I am pleased and relieved that Dublin City Council is now home to the Dublin Metropolitan Climate Action Regional Office and I will support the work of that team to the hilt. There are dedicated people doing hard work in the name of climate action in Dublin already, including Codema, the energy efficiency agency, and they need to be fully resourced to realise the ambition of the Dublin local authorities' Climate Change Action Plans which were recently published for consultation.
I want to see Dublin become recognised as a global leader on climate action. Within the next three years, I want to see the city established as a leading member of the Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest cooperative effort among mayors and city officials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks in cities. I also want Dublin to become a member of the C40 Cities network – a group of cities globally that are taking bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
By working with, and listening to, communities, Dublin City Council can ensure that local climate action is effective and delivers tangible benefits to the people living in the city – benefits like reduced heating and electricity bills; safer, cleaner transport systems; and a greater supply of fresh, locally sourced produce.
I would like to see the establishment of local assemblies on climate action and sustainable development, to allow the public to learn about, and contribute to, the fight against climate breakdown. In Phibsborough, I have been working with the Ladder to run a new initiative that is helping the community take local action to tackle global challenges. One night a week for the next six weeks, the public will come together to work on three projects focused on enhancing the local environment and the local community. The best thing is, anyone can take part.
Yes, it’s a subject we must all address urgently and while we may need legislation to ultimately make a difference in climate change, the local authorities must also play their part.
This is the issue of our generation and I attended the climate strike with Labour Youth. Labour wants a just transition for those whose jobs were lost because of climate change. We need to create new, greener jobs. We need renewable energy cooperatives to speed up adoption of these technologies. I am part of the Royal Canal Clean-up and Phibsborough Tidy Towns, and a founding member of Cabra Tidy Towns. I know that we are making too much single-use packaging and we need to reduce this. We need a response to climate change at all levels, from the EU and Irish government, all the way to local Tidy Towns groups.
Climate change is fundamentally something which needs to be tackled by national government. The Workers' Party's view is that it requires state investment in large-scale transition of our economy away from dirty industry and towards publicly-owned companies that provide good jobs and clean industry and infrastructure. Small changes are not going to solve the climate crisis. We need a massive economic transition, and that is not something local government can provide. At a local level, probably the biggest difference we could make is to take bins back into public ownership so we can actively reduce waste and do recycling in a way that prioritises the environment over profits of companies like Greyhound, who just export our recycling.
Free, green, frequent public transport should be the biggest focus for a councillor.
Discouraging car use, encouraging walk-to-school initiatives, banning unnecessary plastic wrapping, installing solar public lighting where appropriate, etc. are some of the initiatives that we as individuals or councillors can support to play a small part in tackling climate change. The major causes of climate charge are the large industrial companies and multinationals so until we seriously tackle that section of society we cannot impact on the dangers to our living environment. Unfortunately, profit will always be prioritised over the environment unless public opinion or legislation force a chance of attitude. Frighteningly, the president of the USA is leading the charge against acknowledging climate change even exists.
Local government can and must take the lead on reducing our carbon footprint. Changes to how we consume, we build and we travel can’t be left to the distant future. Given that Dublin City Council is responsible for the provision of social housing, coordination of public transport and the regulation of waste collection in the city, I believe it can play a vital role in tackling climate change. If elected, I will be pushing for sustainability to be at the forefront in how the council builds new housing, upgrade existing homes, manages our waste collection system and oversees the development of public transport in Dublin. But these changes will only work if made affordable and widely available. If elected, I will be pushing for a review of how the city council’s budget can deliver on this and to push collectively for greater resources from central government to deliver on these objectives.
I am very passionate about our environment and much of my work in this area is carried out in close collaboration with the Green Schools Programme. I am the lead coordinating teacher in piloting a Green Flag for Biodiversity and Food. Some of the work I have been involved with includes – Spring Clean-Ups, energy workshops for children and raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans through art.
I have been involved in a community centre called the Dolmen Centre which is a green energy building and the first of its sort in Ireland. I believe we can take lead from projects like this and ensure that public buildings meet energy needs through renewable sources. If elected to Dublin City Council I hope to promote the use of renewables across our city – in particular in schools and government buildings.
I will ensure that there are more bins in our communities to address the litter issue in our city.
In addressing climate change I believe it is important to encourage people to travel the "green way". This is something which could be carried out in close collaboration with schools as if we are encouraged to use public transport and greener methods to travel to school it would be of huge benefit for all citizens.
I hope to work closely with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to successfully tackle climate change and roll out new ideas/initiatives in our capital city to combat climate change.
To tackle litter, illegal dumping and dog poo on the streets of Dublin city, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Reintroduction of annual household junk collection
–Reintroduction of domestic bin waiver for low income households
–Introduction of levy to commercial operators who generate excessive non degradable or recyclable packaging and plastic
–Increase frequency of DCC street cleaning
–Support community clean up events by providing council sponsored refuse bags, equipment etc.
–Increase number of dog wardens and have them conduct high visibility patrols with community clean-up groups and community Gardaí
One of the most dispiriting aspects of being a city councillor was the prevalence of illegal dumping on the streets of Dublin. The privatisation of waste-management services was an abdication of responsibility from the state that has done a disservice to the city but we shouldn’t have to teach people that it is wrong to illegally dump waste on to the streets of Dublin.
We need to fine those responsible for illegal dumping and proper enforcement, where necessary, to include the Gardaí to target those unlicensed collectors who are collecting large household waste and dumping it in side streets.
Illegally dumping waste is a form of anti-social behaviour that has a multitude of negative impacts for the communities who are experiencing it, there should be a greater role for the Gardaí in confronting this type of behaviour.
On dog poo, we need more pooper scoopers and bins for doggy bags on our streets, but it must take a particular mindset for a person to believe that they should remove their own dog's mess from the streets of Dublin. This requires a cultural change and collective pressure from the community to call out those responsible.
We tend to think of litter and dog poo as minor irritants in daily life but they can have a big impact for some people. A street littered with dog poo can be impassable for a family with a buggy or someone in a wheelchair.
Enforcement: probably the most useful action to take on illegal dumping and dog fouling would be proper enforcement of the existing laws. Almost no dog fouling tickets were given out in Dublin last year. This is partly because our local authorities are hugely underfunded compared with our European counterparts and one of the biggest areas affected by this enforcement services.
The quality of the street: I believe we should introduce street wardens who would focus on achieving safe and pleasant streets. Such street wardens would have powers to deliver fines for dog fouling, illegal dumping, littering and illegal parking and could also work with the community to identify broken footpaths and obstructions.
Community action: although communities shouldn't have to collect litter, active community involvement in keeping streets free of fly tipping and dog fouling is really important.
The current privatised bin service is inefficient, unaffordable for many and environmentally unsound. I will campaign for bin services to be brought back into public ownership with the cost of maintaining the service covered by progressive taxation. This will help to tackle illegal dumping, which is deteriorating in Dublin City.
We could have a Dublin City Council department focused on maintaining streets and cleaning litter and dog poo. Dublin City Council cut down the number of public bins and that isn’t helping the situation. We could go back and increase the number of public bins and also increase penalties on those who refuse to clean up their own dog's faeces.
When local authority-led affordable waste collection was abolished in Dublin it didn’t just affect the city households that had availed of it, but it also led to the collapse of a well-organised, consistent system of street cleaning. I want to push for stricter enforcement of fines and public-awareness campaigns, but solving the illegal litter problem that continues to affect Dubliners' everyday quality of life can only truly be done by re-entering the waste collection market. In addition, the Green Dog Walkers anti-fouling initiative in Fingal should be rolled out to all local authorities, backed up by adequate provision of dog-fouling bins.
This is one of the most challenging issues to resolve in the city. There can be no doubt that more resources are needed to tackle littering. But there’s also cultural and economic factors at play, particularly in terms of illegal dumping.
Illegal dumping is an issue of environmental justice. Though there is debate about the drivers of illegal dumping, there can be no doubt that the burden falls heaviest on communities with greater socio-economic disadvantage.
Solutions must use environmental justice frameworks and tackle the social dynamics that lead to these outcomes, such as inequality and poverty. It was wrong that waste collection in the city was privatised. I would use my position to call for a reversal of that decision. Our taxes should cover waste collection, plain and simple.
I would like to see recycling incentivised – so that there is little or no cost for disposal of recyclable waste. I would also like to see a more comprehensive approach to biodegradable waste. I would need to engage with experts in this area to best understand how to achieve this.
As for the dog poo, again, we need more resources, more bag stations and more bins for disposal (which would of course need regularly collection). We also need greater monitoring and enforcement of fouling charges. The real concern I have is for the people who pick up dog poo, and bag it, and then put it back on the street. Who are these people?! I’d love one of them to reach out to me, even anonymously, so that I could understand their motives and maybe then take action to address it!
Last week, doing a canal clean-up in Phibsborough, I pulled two traffic barriers, a couple of tyres and a bicycle out of the canal. You can’t legislate for that kind of wilful disregard for our environment. There is a need for increased awareness of the value of our environment and a greater sense of pride of place in much of our cities. I would support any awareness-raising campaigns that set out to achieve this.
Year on year, Dublin City Council is spending more and more of its budget on tackling illegal dumping. I believe the council should take back control of the city’s bin collection which will have a huge impact on the amount of litter on our streets.
I am an active member of Phibsborough Tidy Towns, and I am a leader on the Royal Canal Clean-Up and helped set up Cabra Tidy Towns. Through volunteering with these clean-ups I have done a lot to tackle this issue. Some of the illegal dumping is as a direct result of the failed policy of privatisation of the bin services. I am totally against this and want it to be brought back into public ownership. Having competing bin trucks driving up and down the same streets is stupid. This is up to the central government though, and local authorities can’t make this change. We also need to continue to put pressure on companies to reduce unnecessary packaging. I am delighted that a new zero-waste shop called Noms has opened in Phibsborough and I shop there regularly. I have a "keep cup" and try to reduce the amount of waste that I generate, but companies don’t make it easy and the government is doing nothing about it.
I would propose and push for Dublin City Council to take bin collection back into public ownership. This is the only solution to the growing problems of litter and illegal dumping. The Workers' Party have fully costed a public bin service, which would be funded through a number of innovative local revenue-raising initiatives, and through the establishment of a national, public recycling centre under the auspices of a repurposed Bord Na Móna. By taking recycling into public ownership, we the people would own the funds made from recycling – and this could be reinvested in a public bin collection service, instead of going into the pockets of private companies. We would propose the funding of a large expansion in public litter bins, and continue to oppose the removal of litter bins as a "solution" to illegal dumping. On Dublin City Council, we secured the inclusion of a new commitment in Dublin's litter management plan that commits Dublin City Council to not automatically removing litter bins when they attract illegal dumping. We support the mandatory DNA-sampling of dogs, so that dog poo can be linked to owners, and they can be held accountable. I would also propose the introduction of specific "dog zones" in public parks.
As a volunteer on the Royal Canal and in the community I see the impact on nature of the problem of littering and dumping and the success and re-emergence of nature when action is taken. I would be all for bringing waste management back under the control of the council which would greatly reduce dumping. Regarding dog poo, I feel we should educate people on the dangers and disadvantage of this on our streets and in the environment. Recently a dog poo bin has been installed at the gates of our local park and this is greatly reducing the amount of poo in the park and the surrounding areas.
This is a particular bugbear of mine. Litter, illegal dumping, dog fouling, etc. impact hugely on an area. They drag an area down and encourage even more dumping and anti-social behaviour. The solutions are simple: 1) enforce the existing legislation and properly resource the council departments responsible for tackling this problem, DCC appear to be incapable of or uninterested in seriously tackling this issue; 2) take the waste collection services back into public control.
This requires a number of specific actions which, if elected, I will push for at city council in terms of allocation of resources and funding:
1) More bins and more waste-enforcement officers. The decision to not roll out any further dog litter bins across the city is to be regretted, although the collection system was very poor. Instead, the new model of street bin must be rolled out across the city to enable diligent dog walkers and others to dispose of waste.
2) More planting, landscaping and improved lighting to deter illegal dumping in known blackspots.
3) Investigation of exploitative overcrowding in the rental sector and the effect of inadequate space for bins, lack of information, on the incidence of illegal dumping.
4) Lastly and most importantly, I will be pushing for cross-party support to ensure Dublin City Council takes over waste collection services across our city. The current system of provision by multiple private providers does not work. I want to Dublin city councillors together to campaign to central government to allocate sufficient funding to allow re-municipalisation of this service.
The litter problem is something which I care a lot about and I believe it is important that we tackle this issue in order to make our city a more beautiful place.
–Continue to participate in and support the Dublin City Better Neighbourhoods, which rewards communities/organisations for keeping their areas clean and continually improving them.
–Continue to support and participate in the An Taisce Spring Clean-Up initiative.
–Raise awareness of the above issues through campaigns and advertisements throughout our city.
–Ensure collection banks are well serviced and maintained.
–Provide more bins and dog waste bins in our communities.
–Roll out of educational programmes for primary and secondary schools to strengthen the work already being carried out in schools.
local parks play a vital role in our city’s health, and in citizens’ health too. Parks and other green spaces keep cities cool, offer places of recreation and can assist with curtailing obesity by providing play facilities for children and exercise equipment for adults/teens. To increase the number of parks and green spaces in Dublin city, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Ensure that the City Development Plan adequately allows for the creation and maintenance of green spaces and parks.
–Ensure that DCC and An Bord Pleanála when granting planning permission protect and uphold the provision of adequate green spaces and parks
–Ensure that all existing green spaces and parks are maintained and protected by DCC or other owners
–Explore all solutions to increase green space in our city. For example, examining the stock of existing unused/vacant sites with a view to developing additional parks/green spaces, e.g. former industrial sites (brown fields), possibly abandoned infrastructure, etc
–Create incentives for greening of all new city developments
Through the City Development Plan, I’ll be prioritising that more green space is written into any developments that are to occur in the city. Green space is vital for the health of our city – we need a lot more of it!
Here's my four-point plan to green-up our local neighbourhoods and make sure all our families and friends have access to green space, clean air and a healthy environment.
Take back the tarmac: we need to protect and expand the green areas we already have. This means fighting for our existing mature trees, insisting on well-tended and biodiverse planting in public areas and replanting the very many verge areas and tree bases that were once green, and are now covered in tarmac. Green resources in the city do an important job helping to reduce air pollution and supporting our wellbeing.
Places for pocket parks: our area of Dublin is densely populated and diverse. We could make great use of small-scale green space on sites that are unsuitable for other development or adjacent to new builds. We could have dedicated uses such as sensory parks, pocket parks, bee-friendly parks, dog parks and many others.
Rewilding Cabra Glasnevin: You don’t need to release wolves into the area to really make a difference to our urban wildlife! Increasing our green amenities by implementing the two points above would give birds, insects and small animals places to rest and feed in what can be a harsh urban environment. Dublin City Council could also encourage wildlife by planting indigenous, bee-friendly plants and making sure water sources are available around the area.
The public realm should be publicly owned: the recent privatisation of the public realm in some of the new docklands areas in Dublin have been a harsh lesson in how private business has separate and distinct priorities to those of local authorities. Streets and the public realm should always be vested in public hands.
The importance of parks and green spaces should not be underestimated. They allow residents to participate in physical exercise, improve air quality and allow residents of all ages to socially engage. They bring many health and wellbeing benefits, physically and mentally.
Firstly, Dublin City Council should audit all sites to see where is suitable for the development of parks and green spaces.
Thereafter we could convert some public land unsuitable for buildings into green spaces and plant not only grass, but also wildflowers and pollinator-friendly plants. It would also be interesting to plant trees along the sides of some streets.
Urban parks and green spaces add huge value to a city and protecting the already limited amount of public green space in our area needs to be a priority. I would first set out about examining whether it is possible to increase the number of parks in the city. Where possible, plans to remove popular green space to cater for other projects must be avoided and an alternative solution identified. This could be achieved at the planning and design stage of any proposed residential, commercial or transport development. In addition, Fianna Fáil proposes setting up a €25 million park development fund for each local authority to bid on to finance development of new sites into parks and mini-parks with particular emphasis placed on re-developing derelict spaces in the city.
With this, we are not starting from scratch. The current Dublin City Council Development Plan makes provision for innovative greening strategies and the Local Environment Improvement Plans that exist similarly provide for enhanced green spaces. I will work to ensure these provisions are fully resourced and implemented. I would support the mandatory green roofing of municipal buildings and new developments. Green roofing is provided for in the current Dublin City Council Development Plan and must become the norm across the city.
We must be careful the need and urgency to build housing does not override the need for green spaces in the city. Pocket parks, small publicly accessible green areas, these can be developed in certain derelict sites in areas where green space is lacking. The current development plan is not as strong as it might be on urban farms and allotments for community gardening. We know there is an appetite out there for more allotments – waiting lists for access to them continue to grow.
I would support measures to proliferate the number of community accessible allotments in areas that are unsuitable for housing. There are many groups out there who are already hard at work developing a spirit of community gardening across the city. I would look to engage with active resident groups and organisations like Conservation Volunteers Ireland and GIY Ireland to understand what works and what doesn’t, in order to reflect their experience in decision-making.
In existing parks, we need to do more to reflect the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 in how these spaces are planted. Biodiversity collapse is imminent unless we take urgent, concerted action to reverse species loss. We can play our part in Dublin and I would work with colleagues, residents and local organisations to develop a city-wide plan rapidly increase biodiversity in the city.
Yes, I have been a strong supporter of more green spaces in our city. I believe these should be used for sporting use and for general amenities. The benefits green spaces and parks have for our communities are vital.
We are very lucky in Cabra/Glasnevin that we have a lot of green spaces. I think Phibsborough is the exception and it would be nice to expand the amount of green space there. I am working on a submission to the OPW on the future of the Phoenix Park. I want the community to continue to benefit from it and keep the wild areas intact.
An important component of this is opening up our existing green spaces, many of which remain locked or off-limits. I would strengthen measures designed to stop "gated communities" which currently mean large amounts of open space are gated off from many people in the local community (by introducing stronger protections against "gated communities" in the City Development Plan). I would increase the required provision of green space for all new apartment developments in the City Development Plan. I would propose measures to ensure all locked public parks are opened up.
I have just finished a course provided by Dublin City Council with a top advocate for biodiversity and bioscaping, which gave me great insight on how we can improve what is currently being done which destroys nature like pesticides and over pruning/mowing and how we can change this. Recently I have requested that Dublin City Council roll out a free-tree scheme for every household, I am awaiting a reply. We need to rewild what we already have and think about planning with green spaces a must for any development.
The benefits of parks and green spaces are indisputable and increased green areas should be a condition of all planning approvals. The current levels of green space required by the planning legislation are not sufficient. Councillors have the power to increase funding for new parks and green spaces as part of the budget negotiations and this should be prioritised to counter the increasing use of green spaces for building. I must acknowledge that Dublin City Council’s parks department are some of the most proactive and progressive people in the council.
Where there is demand, yes. I will support motions that seek to ensure amenities and green space for local communities. In addition, I will support tree-planting programmes particularly within the residential and commercial parts of the Phibsborough and Cabra villages.
As well as ensuring the provision of parks and green spaces in communities it is also key that these areas are maintained as safe places for us to enjoy. It is important that we continue to enhance what is already in place and make improvements to these spaces. I will continue to encourage planting of trees and utilise unused and available space so we can enjoy the benefits of more green spaces in our city.
To increase the number of public spaces in the city, protect them from privatisation and make them nicer places to be, if I am elected to Dublin City Council, I will propose, champion and seek all city councillors support for the following motions and initiatives:
–Ensure Dublin City Development Plan adequately allows for public spaces
–Ensure DCC and An Bord Pleanála when granting planning permissions protects and upholds the requirement for public spaces
–Support all initiatives that encourage the public to use public spaces and green areas, e.g. Smithfield
–Reduce development levies for developments that include public spaces
–Increased development levies for privatised/gated/closed spaces within the city
–Improved public lighting, increased greening, reduced traffic congestion and speed to enhance city spaces
–Ensure all DCC events are held in public spaces
–Ensure all public spaces are designed for maximum inclusiveness – measures to encourage multigenerational use
–Encourage community engagement with public space through active and broad public consultation
–Make public spaces safer places to be – by incorporating different elements to appeal to as broad a population as possible
–Establish a “friends of public spaces” network for Dublin City which identifies and supports local ambassadors and champions of local public spaces
Public land is the greatest resource available to the state at this moment in time. I will oppose the selling off of any public land that can be developed by the city council as housing or a public amenity.
Making them nicer is the key! Investing in ensuring that they are green, well-lit, family-friendly with toilets and nappy-changing facilities gives people a sense of feeling safe and welcomed in these areas.
I believe that the city needs safe injecting facilities and a well-resourced Garda presence to stifle the effects of anti-social behaviour around our public spaces.
Ensuring that there are cafes and shops that don’t all simply close at 6pm too helps create vibrance in our public spaces.
Conserve existing large parks: Dublin is unique in so far as we have a decent proportion of green space but this is distributed in large blocks like the Phoenix Park and St Anne's Park. Having large-scale parkland is a massive resource for the city (see my previous answer for how we should roll out a scheme of pocket parks across the city). You can achieve all sorts of amenities and improve biodiversity in those large areas in a way that you simply couldn't with smaller parks. We should ring fence those larger parks as nature preservation areas that have an active plan for indigenous planting and rewilding and then look at how we can allow the public to experience those incredibly important aspects of the city in a way that supports their well-being, their health and their families. All the councils in the Dublin area should undertake to no further building development on those sites other than optimising existing facilities. We should also be mindful not to allow those large chunks of nature to be "used up" as only sports facilities. Sports facilities are important but they are not a good substitute for natural habitats and terrains.
Deepen our connection to green space: We all know someone who has lived in our area but is surprised to find out there is a park or green space on their doorstep. If we really want to protect and support our parks we need to foster a connection between the public and the green space they own. Local children and their schools could be a key way to do this – we should encourage our kids to spend time outside in a natural setting. Schools should adopt a park and bring kids for walks in nature, support them to ask questions and make observations about the natural world around us as we embark on a replanting and rewilding process. We have a policy that every child in primary school in the country should be entitled to two weeks of learning in nature, either in a block or one day a week over a term.
Safer and cleaner green areas: It is really important that people feel their parks are safe places to be as the best green spaces are often ones where you feel alone in nature. As we have seen with the battle on scramblers in Tolka Park policing of parks is sometimes a grey area and proper funding would be required to ensure a feeling of confidence for park users. Finally along with many of my Green Party colleagues I use parks on a "leave no trace" basis. "Leave no trace" is a set of ethics for interacting with the outdoors in a thoughtful, sustainable manner. Some of the basics include planning ahead to minimise waste, taking care not to disturb plants and animals, and only BBQing etc. in appropriate areas.
While increasing the number of housing units is vitally important, equally as important is smart planning and ensuring there are public spaces available for residents in any urban environment. This requires smart planning. The Health Impact Assessment of the Built Environment report by the Institute for Public Health in Ireland (IPH) is essential in understanding how we can plan properly for the residents of Dublin, from a societal and environmental perspective. As the report states: “City residents need a breath of fresh air, a visual and mental escape into the countryside within an urban setting of parks and surrounding parkways.”
As such, I will oppose every attempt to privatise any public space, land or services. I will also, again, work with Dublin City Council on an audit of land that can be utilised for the provision of public spaces, including, where necessary, the compulsory purchase order or nationalisation of areas being underutilised by private owners in the interest of the public good.
Also, too often those with disabilities or those of a particular age are excluded from our public spaces. It is extremely important to me that all of our public spaces are accessible to all so that all of our population can benefit from them.
Dublin is becoming a more and more urban every year, but we are so fortunate to have a number of public spaces to get fresh air, exercise, relax in the sunshine or socialise. The Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin and Blessington Street Basin in Phibsborough and the Phoenix Park are great examples of open spaces that not only contribute to local’s better mental and physical well-being but are equally important cultural amenities. As our city continues to grow and expand we need to guarantee that while there is increasing demand for space for development, urban planning will prioritise the need to preserve the benefits of green areas for human and environmental health. Maintaining these spaces is central to creating a modern, sustainable city. This vision must be matched with government funding.
This is a particularly prevalent issue for Phibsborough right now. The impasse that currently exists between MM Capital and Tescos regarding the redevelopment of the shopping centre threatens the preferred conceptual redesign of Dalymount Park which include a main entrance and civic space via lands owned by MM Capital. Phibsborough needs a village centre. It is a community divided by the roads that dominate it. The proposed civic space would be invaluable to the community. I will do all I can, through Dublin City Council and the public platform afforded by the role, to push for a resolution to this impasse that works for the community.
If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you will get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you will get people and places. I will advocate that the BusConnects development does the latter. We need to ensure that investments are made to ensure that the development improves the wellbeing of the communities it passes through. I would advocate for funds to be made available to communities along Core Bus Corridors for the participatory budgeting of landscaping. Public participation in the design of the public realm is essential. Communities can give life to the process, by providing historical context, insights as to how an area functions and an understanding of what is meaningful to the community. By enabling participation, we can create a sense of ownership in urban development that can ensure its success.
Yes, we need open spaces and public areas within the city centre and I would see College Green as the perfect example for one.
We have some good opportunities with the redevelopment of Dalymount Park, and I will support Bohs and put pressure on the government to play its part and fund this important facility for the city. I think there is a lack of civic space. If elected I will have very few options for places to run clinics. I will need to run them in pubs and I think this is not good. I want there to be more public events, campaign events, and engagement. I want these to be run in publicly owned, fully accessible and affordable venues. I have campaigned for public provision of services and for good pay and conditions for those who provide our public services for a long time now and this is something that remains important to me and Labour. I think electing someone with a disability to the council will give a new perspective on how to make spaces truly accessible to all.
One clear action is to strengthen and enforce the current planning rules against "gated communities". The development plan currently sets out that these are not allowed, but this has not been enforced. Secondly, Dublin City Council should begin a process of taking private shared space (such as in the IFSC) back into public ownership. This means increasing budgets for proper maintenance of such land – the driver behind privatisation of public land is an unwillingness on the part of the state to pay for its upkeep.
Public spaces are shared spaces and we must protect and take ownership of any shared space in our own communities. I am currently setting up an environmental group in my community and actively seeking volunteers. Check out my social media for information. Planning needs also to be pro-nature and green spaces and this needs to be a big part of every development.
To be fair to Dublin City Council they are proactive to identifying and supporting appropriate locations for increased public spaces. I am opposed to all privatisation, whether of services or spaces. Privatisation invariably results in a poorer services or facilities. With profit as a motive, it’s logical for the service or facility to suffer.
Planning is one of the most important functions of Dublin City Council. In the new city development plan, local area plans and in other planning decisions, if elected, I will push to retain the public realm within our city within the hands of our city council and local communities.
As a first-time candidate and someone who teaches in the area I am aware of the importance of public spaces in our community for families and individuals to enjoy.
–I will work to improve the number of public spaces in existing and developing residential areas in our city.
–As building works continue across our city it is important that there are public spaces available for residents in these communities when such projects are completed.
–Support and participate in the Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards to make our area a nicer place by working to continually improve our spaces.