Citizens’ agenda
Local elections 2019

Samantha Long

 

Keep pressure on government to increase supply and stop blaming the councils for lack of delivery. We’ve gone way past “us and them” arguments on housing – fix it. Two years ago, I brought our two children in to Grafton Street on Christmas Eve morning for a treat. On the way home on the bus they told me that they wouldn’t like to do that any more as the sight of so many people in sleeping bags on the street was too sad. We’ve seen European building teams build modular homes on TV in a month. Let’s do it and pay for it and give dignity back to families who would like to work and contribute and live a normal life. Somebody said to me recently, “It’s all wrong. The families are in hotels and the tourists are in the houses.” In other words, in short-term lets.

 

Long-term affordable build-to rent schemes, longer-term tenants provide security for both parties and lessen maintenance costs. Thirty years ago I worked in Germany as a young student and renting a high-quality compact apartment suitable for your family size was the norm. Home ownership is no longer an aspiration for our young people who want to move away from the family setting. Also, so many families with children are renting in expensive poor-standard accommodation in areas in which they want to get a school place. Fish in a barrel. That’s speaking from experience.

 

The above points all apply. Also engage with those in homeless services to see how they could step up out of that situation. I know that a number of homeless charities do that but there is an absence of a grand plan or any sincere energy or commitment to solutions. Just money thrown at stopgaps like hostels or hubs. No inspirational plan which truly values every citizen who landed in this awful place.

   

Listen to citizens who have made upwards of 30,000 submissions on the flawed BusConnects proposals. React properly to those submissions and go back to the drawing board – but with us, not against us.

 

Improve cycle lanes and visible Garda enforcement on traffic laws which is barely in existence.

 

It starts at home – buy less, create less waste, use less plastic, refuse plastic, give your old clothes to charity. At a council level, segregate waste in street bins, currently not recycled.

 

Enforcement and fines – never happens. Periodic large items collection by council of bulky items including metal, plastic, wood to avoid illegal dumping

 

Hard to increase them in a built-up city but to encourage their use by upkeep, amenities etc.

 

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