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Doolan calls for consultation with residents on sale of Council flats at international housing conference

29 October, 2004


Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan is attending an international housing conference in London today on the challenges which arise from the transfer of public housing into private ownership. The conference is being organised by the British based Defend Council Housing campaign. Speaking from London Councillor Doolan called on Dublin City Management not to repeat the many mistakes which have been made elsewhere and engage immediately in a full process of consultation with local authority residents, City Councillors and housing organisations.

Councillor Doolan said:

"The sale of 16,500 flats involves a huge change in social and public policy. It cannot and should not be entered into lightly for short term financial gain. Today's conference in London is discussing the challenges and problems which arise from the transfer of public housing into private ownership. Obviously these are many of the same challenges which we are currently facing in Dublin.

"A number of serious concerns regarding the proposal to sell off Council flats have already arisen including the effect it will have in diminishing the level of social rental housing stock in Dublin if replacement stock is not built, and the need for revenue raised through the sales to be ring-fenced for the construction of social housing. This is a live issue given the failure of government to honour their commitments on affordable housing. Only recently we had the revelation that only 163 affordable houses were built last year whilst there were 69,000 private houses and apartments were built during the same period.

"What is crucial is that we do not repeat mistakes which have been made elsewhere. The starting point must be a full process of consultation with local authority residents, City Councillors and housing organisations. The housing crisis in this city needs a long term integrated approach not policies for short term financial gain."ENDS

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