The last time Dublin City was in crisis in in the late 60s - early 80s local hero, Deirdre Kelly almost single handedly led grassroots campaigns to save the heritage buildings and communities of our city. She left an inspirational legacy with many students and community activist who joined her in that struggle. Together they changed Dublin Corporation’s policies concerning our built and living heritage.
The crisis facing us now is no less existential. Young people can’t get a mortgage to buy a home even though repayment costs less than their rent. A whole generation is living at home or sharing with mates at an age their parents had bought their own house and started a family. Even a local authority tenancy is a distant dream. The best offer now is a rack-rented bedsit in 14-storey featureless block on an ex-institutional site.
Every Government since 2008 pursues a single policy to ‘Increase Housing Supply with Foreign Investment’. It has offered cheap sites, tax reliefs, development finance, guaranteed returns, increased density and height, reduced dwelling standards and fast-track planning that overrode democratically agreed Development Plans and the needs of local communities. Despite having failed to deliver under any metric you pick, economists reiterate the mantra that this policy is the single ‘scientifically proven’ solution to housing unaffordability and those who question it are self serving NIMBYs.
Can that be true? Are there really no economists with competing ideas and have local communities nothing to offer? Ranelagh Arts held a Colloquium in honour of Deirdre Kelly to discuss four potential policies, anyone of which could be a game changer.
We made a record of the proceedings in the form of four videos see below. Watch and make up your own mind.
Video1: DCC Cllr & Housing Cmm Dermot Lacey and Arch & TV Producer Duncan Stewart
Video2: Arch & Chair RA Emer O'Siochru and UCD Economist Eoin Flaherty
Video3: Tuath Drs Arch James Pike & Richard Pike and DPPA Arch Katia Papkovskaia
Video4: Q&A Panel Discussion