The housing debate is not about bedsits, whatever language you use. Its much bigger than that. The government must declare a housing emergency and abandon the fantasy that the private market can solve the housing and homelessness crisis. People Before Profit will put a bill to the Dail on first day of its return – the Bill proposes to amend the constitution to insert the Right to secure, affordable housing ahead of the right to private property

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Voluntary sector rent charges higher than many local authorities claims Brid Smith TD.Tenants face 1000 euro per year difference between local authority and voluntary housing rents”

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith has said that the rent charged by some voluntary housing agencies was out of synch with that charged by  local authorities  and needed firmer Government regulation. The deputy claimed that tenants cannot appeal rent rises by their voluntary agency to the RTB and effectively there was no control or oversight over these agencies.Read more »

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Decision a “shocking bureaucratic manoeuvre that hides scale of crisis” says TD.

Brid Smith TD, a former DCC councillor has expressed shock at the move to strike off 6000 people from the DCC housing list.

There may be a host of reasons why people would fail to return the councils questionnaires. Many of these applicants are extremely vulnerable people who may have difficulty with questionnaires and may not have realised the importance of it, others may have changed address. There must be some mechanism for appeals for this people who remain in housing need but failed to return the forms for whatever reason.”

Deputy Smith said the councils own statistics raised questions about the 5 thousand plus struck off the list; “They have no idea why these people did not return the forms. But we all know that it’s unlikely that many have found suitable accommodation or are no longer in housing need”

“The reality is that the housing crisis is getting worst with more people in need and less options available. The HAP scheme is in free fall with landlords opting out and families facing evictions. In such circumstances a drop of 22% from the DCC list has to be seriously questioned”

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PBP TD slams Coveney for totally disgraceful and inadequate response to serious breaches of overcrowding and conditions in rental properties by landlords

Housing minister and Taosieach candidate effectively shrugs his shoulders at serious exploitation

People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has slammed the response of the Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, to a question she asked in the Dáil regarding a number of incidents where homelessness people and vulnerable tenants have been grossly exploited by landlords.

Ms Smith asked if the Minister would be bringing in legislation to prevent this exploitation by private landlords of homeless people and vulnerable tenants.

Ms Smith made particular reference to the case of mass overcrowding at a house in South Dublin where 70 tenants were being given bunk beds for €200 per month in a five bedroom house at The Pines, Lehaunstown, Cabinteely; overcrowding in three houses in North Dublin where there was a fire yesterday evening; and the development, today, of exploitation by the owner of an internet café on Talbot Street who charged homeless people to sleep on the floor and on chairs.

Read more »

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Right2housing protest in September  with Cllrs Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless
Right2housing protest in September with People Before Profit Cllrs, Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh, highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless

The Junior Minister with responsibility for housing, Paudie Coffey has finally admitted that there is an ‘emergency situation’ after a shocking RTE documentary appeared on housing.

Brid Smith, from People Before Profit said,

‘This government is speaking a different language in the weeks before the election than in the weeks beforehand.

‘One of the junior Ministers has admitted there is a housing emergency but his government has persistently refused to declare an official emergency.

‘Such a declaration would have allowed the government to speed up the social house building programme and impose a special levy on vacant properties that are left idle for speculative purposes.

‘The reality is that this government has turned its back on social housing and has invested less in this sector than any government for the past twenty five years.

‘Their primary aim is to re-stimulate the property bubble and that is why they prefer to subsidise private landlords than build social housing.

‘Just 55 social housing units, on average, have been built in Dublin in each of the last six years.

‘Efforts to curb rising rents have also been puny. The two year restriction on rent rises only means that tenants get a double rent whammy whereas real rent control would mean rents are tied to the rate of inflation.

‘We need a real change so that housing is not seen as a commodity but as a social right.’

For more information- Cllr Bríd Smith ( 087 909 0166)
Twitter- @bridsmith


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