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Significant advance for Social Housing

28 June, 2005

Sinn Fein Dublin City Councillor Tony Smithers today received a commitment from Assistant Dublin City Manger Brendan Kenny that any lands owned by Dublin City Council must include provision for social housing if approval is to be granted for such lands to be developed for housing.

The concession is extremely significant in light of the government's recently announced and controversial plans to sell off publicly owned sites to property developers in return for allegedly 'affordable' housing units elsewhere.

Councillor Smithers had previously campaigned successfully over a protracted period for social housing to be included in a large planned housing development in Cherry Orchard in West Dublin. Smithers today said that his victory in relation to the inclusion of a social housing provision for Cherry Orchard was a significant milestone in mainstreaming the principle of social housing in all developments relating to publicly owned lands.

The latest advance in the cause of social housing was made at today's meeting of the City Council's Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC). Speaking afterwards Councillor Smithers said:

"This city is still in the midst of a housing crisis which is causing real hardship for thousands of families. The housing crisis should be the key political issue for Dublin City and County and indeed a key issue at government level. Instead we have got inaction, prevarication and gimmicks such as that announced by Minister for State Noel Ahern last week where wealthy developers are being handed publicly owned sites in the centre of Dublin in exchange for so-called 'affordable' housing units to be built in far flung suburbs or commuter belts." ENDS

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