Homelessness rising in Dublin
By Michael Pierse
North Inner City Dublin SF Councillor Christy Burke has slammed
the current homelessness situation on the streets of Dublin as
being a mockery of the `Celtic Tiger' hype.
Burke was responding to information from the Dublin City Manager
that numbers on the homeless application list are now at 1,257,
while a source within Dublin Corporation confirmed that ``there
appears to be an increase'' in both the levels on the list and
people living on the streets (the distinction being that many on
the list are co-habitating with friends or relatives while
This situation may seem absurd to Dubliners who have become
accustomed in recent years to a booming building industry which
has transformed the city with new housing and expensive
apartments. Why, then the ever increasing homelessness in the
Councillor Burke says that part of the problem is ``the
ridiculously inadequate funding provided for investment in
individual properties. The capping of expenditure on the
Corporation's buying of private houses at £60,000 per house means
that there are no vacancies arising.'' Even the smallest house or
apartment is priced higher than £60,000 and thus people on low
income simply can't get housing by this route.
The £60,000 cap is supported by many right-wing Fine Gael and
some Fianna Fáil Councillors.
other problem is the identification of land. Councillor Burke
is to propose that ``all new private development in Dublin must
allocate a percentage of that to the Corporation.'' Burke also
pointed out that the City Manager can make an idependent
decision, without the approval of the Council, to increase the
grant allocation for housing in the city.
According to the Corporation, the homelessness increase has also
resulted from the increasing rent prices throughout the city.
Many people are being evicted from their homes as a result of ``an
inability or unwillingness on behalf of the Eastern Health Board
to up their rent allowance cheques,'' a source said.
Meanwhile, in the middle of an unprecedented housing boom,
Dublin's homeless crisis is escalating.