The lack of an affordable housing scheme is clearly evident throughout the city . Successful schemes like Ó Cualann housing in Ballymun have been severely oversubscribed showing the clear need for similar schemes.
I am in favour of social-mix housing developments that cater for social, affordable , senior citizen , privately rented and privately owned dwellings. We now have a whole generation of young adults myself included who cannot afford to live in Dublin for the first time in the history of the state. It is very clear a shift in policy is needed.
In my home area of Finglas, there are approximately 5,000 3 to 4 bedroom housing units that have a sole occupant. In a lot of circumstances these are senior citizens who might like to downsize and stay in the area if senior citizens' accommodation was available. Selling their home back to council for a fee and moving into smaller more manageable rental accommodation in the heart of their communities should be a possibility. This in turn frees up larger houses for families on the relevant housing lists.
The council, with the help of housing agencies, need to build more homes. The over-reliance on the housing assistance payment (HAP) for those who meet the threshold for social housing has inflated the rental market. In 2014, €390,000 was paid to private landlords through HAP. In 2018, the figure has inflated to €276.6 million. This is gravely affecting the rental market. Fine Gael have failed the people of Dublin on housing, Rebuilding Ireland's budget has already reached capacity.
I would also be in favour of the Vienna model of renting in Dublin where the council build apartments and houses and individuals can rent them. The rent is linked to the individual's income.
I believe the two policies above will help to reduce homelessness. I also believe the majority of rough sleepers need to be dealt with separately . If they have addiction issues, supports should be put in place to help them in the form of addiction support services, outreach workers and education programmes.
The Derelict Sites Act works to some degree on vacant properties throughout the city. I would like to see legislation or by laws that would see the 3 percent levy charged per annum on sites that quality as a derelict significantly increased after a period of five years. The turnaround on council-owned properties also has to be much quicker.
I am not in favour of BusConnects. I am particularly concerned about the lack of a localised service in this plan for older residents. While the idea of a quick spine route every 3-5 minutes sounds great there is no spine in Finglas despite the vast amount of commuters living in the area. I believe the funding should instead be invested in improving the current bus service and the extension of the Luas and Metro. The quality bus corridor has potential but I am concerned about the costs of compulsory purchase of private gardens.
The Metro North cannot come quick enough. The fact that Dublin airport has no rail link to the city centre is embarrassing for a developed country like Ireland. Fine Gael need to stop announcing policies and get on with securing funding to build them.
The Luas should be extended from Broombridge through Finglas, Charlestown and Ballymun eventually connecting with the Metro North.
Cycling in Dublin needs to be made safer and easier. Additional cycle lanes on key routes is a must along with extending the very successful Dublinbikes scheme throughout the city.
I feel this is more of a national issue, however there needs to be more grants made available for renewable energy methods e.g electric cars, solar panels .
I would also be in favour of grants to improve the energy efficiency of homes. The threshold for the current SEAI grants is far too low.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues at the moment is illegal dumping.
I am in favour of new by-laws that will give the council the authority to prosecute, not just fine, offenders caught illegally dumping. The current max fine of €75 is not adequate and the council should be given powers like the Environmental Protection Agency to prosecute.
In the whole of Dublin North West, we have one litter warden. This is simply not good enough and more need to be employed. The wardens could also monitor the poo situation and visit parks and hotspots regularly.
With the help of CCTV and if GDPR guidelines allowed it I would be in favour of a name-and-shame style campaign for anyone caught illegally dumping.
In parts of the city, regular street-cleaning rotas have ceased and it is now only done on request. This is appalling and really makes me question what our councillors have done in the last five years. The least people can expect is for a road sweeper to visit their road once a month.
Dublin has a number of well-maintained parks such as St Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park to name but a few. Any current zoning for recreational needs to be maintained.
I feel our parks could be utilised more to accommodate community groups and sports clubs. Walkways, trails, cycleways, skateboard tracks, sports pitches, bowling greens and community gardens need to be increased and developed to get more people using our parks.
As a teacher and as public relations officer of a large football club, I would like to see more multipurpose sports areas developed throughout the city. These are prominent in other European cities and help combat the issue of anti-social behaviour.
A discretionary fund could be established to display work and projects throughout various parts of the city to garner improvements and make areas more inviting.
This could also be done on a philanthropic basis to allow members of the public to visit interesting places in our beautiful city for free.