Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Jacqui Gilbourne

 

The state needs to build more homes – not just homes for those on lower-incomes but homes for people on middle-incomes trapped by high rents preventing them from saving enough to put down a deposit on their own homes.

 

Renua does not support the policy of "Rent Pressure Zones". This policy is a short-term measure that does not deal with the underlying issue of a housing shortage. We believe the taxation of rental income and fair tenancy rules are required to attract more private landlords into the market.

The private sector alone will not resolve our housing crisis. We believe the state must play a more active role in the provision of social and affordable housing in Ireland.

 

Homelessness is a scar on our capital and another symptom of a dysfunctional housing market that requires state action to resolve. Renua supports a housing passport to allow homeless people to apply for social housing in any of the 31 local authority areas. We also support a "Housing First" approach to ending homelessness. Our priority will be to provide homeless people with a home and then to provide the necessary services to support them to deal with the specific reasons which led to their homelessness.

 

The legislation governing the Vacant Site Levy is vague and places a significant legislative burden on local authorities. Those issues will need to be resolved by government before the vacant site levy can become more effective.

We also believe that a significant number of vacant residential properties are vacant due to issues with the "Fair Deal" nursing home scheme. Elderly property owners are not incentivised to rent out their properties while they receive nursing home care as 80 percent of this income must be diverted to cover the cost of their care.

Renua supports a three-year exemption from commercial rates for commercial premises which have been vacant for a minimum of two years.

 

Renua Ireland supports the introduction of congestion charges in Dublin. The congestion charge in London led to a 26 percent reduction in congestion there along with a 40–70 percent reduction in accidents leading to personal injury.

We also support reforms of taxi regulations to better facilitate ridesharing. We support the outsourcing of public transport services as a means of improving services for users.

Renua also believes it is necessary to establish a dedicated "transport and parks" police for our city.

 

Ireland spends too little on cycling infrastructure. Renua supports greater investment in cycling infrastructure. This includes the development of safe, dedicated cycle lanes and the reform of planning laws to better facilitate the development of secure facilities for cyclists which will include bike parking, showering and locker facilities in key locations throughout the city.

 

Renua Ireland supports the use of anaerobic digestion to produce renewable gas that can then be used to power public transport vehicles in our cities. This will provide jobs in rural Ireland, reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions for public transport vehicles.

We further support removing unnecessary height restrictions from our planning laws to discourage urban sprawl and negative impact on the environment resulting from that.

Renua also supports the greater use of solar energy panels in public and publicly owned buildings.

 

We will adopt a "name and shame" approach to those who litter our streets and engage in illegal dumping. We will also recruit more litter wardens and campaign to include a community-service requirement to the punishment for litter offences. Under this proposal offenders will be required to work a certain number of hours picking up litter.

 

We believe that parks and green spaces can be enormously beneficial to public health. We support the establishment of neighbourhood forums to provide people with a dedicated means to provide input into the development of their own neighbourhoods. We will support increased funding for green spaces active neighbourhood parks.

 

We believe in the development of strong, independent communities. Public spaces where residents can gather should be supported.

Renua believes that a register of vital community assets should be established. Under our plan a six-month stay on the sale of an asset will be imposed to give the local community an opportunity to bid for the asset, which can then be run on a co-operative basis.

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