Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019
 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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