Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Imran Khurshid

 

In the last five years, Dublin City Council has built no social or affordable homes in the north inner-city yet at the same time, thousands of student accommodation units have been built. It has become totally unaffordable for working people to rent or buy a home. This is unacceptable. State-owned lands should be used to deliver public housing and all city-council flat complexes to be redeveloped and brought-up to modern building standards.

–Create further zoned development land in the Docklands by expanding the land area of Dublin from land reclamation over the next 20-25 years and create an industrial zone akin to ‘La Defense’ in Paris.

–Lobby for extra funding from the government to fund such developments further.

–Support develop areas plans that build higher and support the preservation of quality green spaces.

–Fight against the growth of short term lettings within Dublin city to ensure houses aren’t lost from the housing stock.

–This housing crisis must be addressed, now. People have a right to housing and I will support efforts to include it within the Irish Constitution.

 

Unfortunately, the powers of local city councilors in this area are limited. The general solution is increased housing supply to reduce the price of rent. However, increasing the enforcement budget of the housing authority in Dublin City Council to ensure adequate inspections are carried out across the city for building regulations and raise the bar for removing tenants from properties for renovations would also be a good idea. There should be a prohibition on rent advertisements being "student-only" as it is a form of discrimination to ordinary people simply looking for a place to live. I will work with my party colleagues to ensure that this crisis is addressed on a national level.

 

Best research has shown internationally that given the longer-term costs to the city, direct housing provision is the best long-term solution. There is no easy answer to this matter as it can be a conflux of simultanous problems, from relationship break-downs and rent increases for example.

On a national level, we need adequate mental-health services with residential care provisions and drug decriminalisation in order to minimise the potential for homelessness.

 

Fight to have the Vacant Sites Levy be index-linked with the value of the property. That way if a property’s value rises by more than 3 percent (the current rate of the levy) there will be a greater incentive for the property owner to develop or sell the vacant property thus increasing the supply of housing within the north inner-city.

Drive a campaign to the government to ensure that land rezoned from industrial use to residential does not result in a colossal windfall by imposing a windfall tax.

 

Again, unfortunately this is a policy area not currently within the remit of powers for councilors at local level. Increased infrastructural development across Ireland to improve services is a core priority for Fianna Fáil at national level. If a directly elected mayor for Dublin becomes a reality in the future, I would support efforts to have give that office clear powers in relation to transport development for the city.

For Dublin, reliability is the greatest issue and the lack of orbital bus routes across Dublin for the bus network. I support the principle of BusConnects. However, I do not believe the current plans proposed which put the development of one community above another as fair or sustainable for the development of Dublin city.

 

While much of this is decided at national level, I support the campaign for a 10 percent minimum allocation of the national transport budget providing for cycling nationally.

–I support increasing the capacity of city-centre bike parking, in particular, so we can increase local businesses and decrease congestion in our streets.

–I will fight to keep to cycle lanes free from parked cars by supporting enforcement of fines for those who park in cycle lanes.

–Ensure that local road works prioritise the repair and consistent cleaning of cycle paths.

–Support cycle lane segregation initatives to keep our streets safe for cyclists.

–I welcome the developments of the Liffey Cycle Route and the creation of the walking and cycling officer post within Dublin City Council.

 

Transport, agriculture and so on all have an impact here. It's a multifaceted problem, though, and on a local level we can make a real difference. Above all, sustainable transport development is key.

–Support efforts on national level for the development of clean home-heating efforts.

–Promote regular tree planting within residential estates to support local wildlife.

 

The key way of tackling these problems is through building a sense of shared responsibility in caring for the area you live in. Litter is a scourge on our environment and it is a key priority to tackle if elected.

–Fight to end the privatisation of waste collection services and the re-introduction of the low-income household waste-collection subsidy.

–An increase in the community wardens budget for increased enforcement patrols.

–Fight to have the dog licence fees increased to fund increased enforcement and provide "pooper scoopers" bags with each new licence provided.

–Name and shame illegal dumpers online and with local public notice boards.

–Promote the development of an illegal dumping app to assist waste-collection services.

 

While there are few green spaces available within Dublin’s north inner-city, future developments must protect the green space we have. The planting of fruit trees within certain areas would increase opportunities for bees to pollinate and help promote local biodiversity.

 

Protect existing green spaces within the city and plant more trees within public spaces. I also support increased pedistrianisation of areas in future local development plans.

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