Saturday 24 June 2017

Dail deputy Ruth Coppinger and homeless families 'occupy' West Dublin show house

Ruth Coppinger at the launch of the campaign. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ruth Coppinger at the launch of the campaign. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A number of homeless families have occupied a showhouse in Ongar, Blanchardstown in West Dublin in a bid to force action on the country's housing crisis.

In a statement issued by Anti Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger, the families entered the showhouse at 3pm and began their occupation.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy speak to journalists on the plinth at Leinster House. Photo: Damien Eagers
Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy speak to journalists on the plinth at Leinster House. Photo: Damien Eagers

They are accompanied by Ms Coppinger and three AAA local councillors.

The group are also calling for social and affordable housing to be made available immediately.

The showhouse is located in Hansfield estate in Ongar and the showhouses were open for public viewing.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Ms Coppinger said the action was necessary as it highlights "the gross injustice, that only private and Nama housing was coming on the market at a massive profit in the midst of a homeless emergency".

Read more here: Group occupies Nama-controlled property to raise awareness of homelessness  

"The only housing on offer is private or Nama, with a maximum of 10pc social housing. This is simply not enough when there are over 6,020 families on the local list and thousands more struggling to pay rents.

"This is an obscenity when young people are being crucified with sky-high rents and 120 families are in emergency accommodation in this area.

In her statement, Ms Coppinger claimed the developer "is likely to make around €10million profit on this phase of housing alone".

"We demand it be turned over to the Council as social and affordable housing. Ironically, Fingal Council is forced to now to buy houses on the market, rather than build them more cheaply itself. These houses should be taken over by the state and rented to those in need.

"The people taking part in this occupation are women and men who've lost their rented homes and are now suffering with their children in faraway hotels and B&Bs. They went to the Dail during the week and saw the lack of urgency by the government. The acquisition of these houses would make a big dent in the local homeless figures."

Ms Coppinger finished her statement by calling on members of the community "to come out and support our stand by coming up to the site"

"We call on others to do similar occupations of Nama, private or vacant property to make the government act with urgency and fund a house-building programme in the Budget," she said.

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