Survey finds majority do not believe Govt is doing good job on housing crisis

A survey has found that just over half of people believe the “Take Back The City” housing protests have successfully raised questions about the property sector in Ireland.

The homelessness activists occupied empty buildings in Dublin in the past few months and also brought the capital to a standstill in September with a sit-down protest over the housing crisis.

Up to 53% of those asked in the survey recently conducted by iReach feel that the housing protest organisation has been successful in raising questions about the Irish property sector, with 62% of respondents in Connacht and Ulster believing in the group’s success.

However, only 28% of people agree with the occupation of private or public property as a form of demonstration, while 64% of older adults disagree with such occupations as a means of protest.

The findings also demonstrate a lack of faith from the public in the Government’s approach to the housing and homelessness.

66% of people were not confident that Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy’s most recent plan would be a successful mechanism to combat problems in the housing market. Under the proposal set to come into effect next June, landlords will be banned from renting properties on Airbnb in areas of high housing demand.

Furthermore, only 10% of respondents answered that the Government is doing sufficient work in ending the housing crisis, with 46% of the population who don’t think that housing and homelessness are among the Government’s priorities.

The most popular potential solution to tackle the housing crisis among all the people surveyed is that of increasing housing supply (68%), with stricter rent controls (52%) also seen as a viable option alongside more co-operation with local authorities (53%).

Meanwhile, figures obtained by Fianna Fáil South Dublin County Councillor, Charlie O’Connor, reveal that there was an increase of over 65% in the number of families that registered as homeless in the 12 months from September 2017 to September this year.

During the same period there was an increase of almost 40% in the total number of people registered as homeless across the county.

Mr O’Connor said: “The number of people presenting as homeless and living without stable accommodation is increasing, that is a fact. It’s difficult, even close to impossible to see how of this crisis is being addressed by Government when every single piece of hard evidence shows us that the crisis in housing is worsening day by day.

“Last month, SDCC confirmed to me that there are now over 7,000 people on the social housing waiting list in South Dublin. As the Chief Executive has rightfully stated in his response to my query this week; “Housing supply is the key solution” but stock is severely limited.

“How can the demand for housing possibly be met when the scale of development in affordable and public housing that’s required is simply not happening?

It maddens me that after seven years in Government this crisis is getting worse while knowing how much it is affecting people’s lives and the mental impact it's having on ordinary people. People dying on damp, cold streets in Dublin without shelter cannot be let become a normal aspect of life in Ireland.

“There tends to be a visible face of homelessness but the reality is that there are even greater numbers relying on others to just about manage to stay off our streets as we head into winter. These are the families that we are bound to know but that are without a home; the 300-odd families in South Dublin that desperately need support from Government to end their struggle as homeless.”

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