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Unaffordable living and the fight against a dangerous rhetoric – Dublin according to Hazel Chu

Hazel features in Independent.ie's video series exploring where Dublin is in its story.

"My parents would have come over here 45 years ago, and they were able to afford to pay rent, to build a family, to finally buy a house in Firhouse." Hazel told Independent.ie.

"It wasn't easy, but it was affordable. Whereas if you ask any family now who are on a low-wage income, they can't afford it.

"The city itself has become unliveable when it comes to pricing of accommodation."

Hazel Chu says a better assessment of derelict properties is required to help solve the housing crisis. She also highlights the danger of blame being put on society's most marginalized.

"During a crisis like the pandemic, people look at unemployment, look at lack of housing, look at the health service, and the first thing they do is they blame migrants and poor people. They do that across the board in every country.

"That rhetoric has been getting louder yet at the same time we haven't been challenging it as much because we think things are progressing.

"Having a crisis like the pandemic means more than ever you should be challenging issues of racism, classism, sexism, climate change. If you don't challenge and combat these issues now, by the time a pandemic is over they may have deepened to the stage that they're just rotting our society.

"Do I think there's hope? Yes absolutely. I think we will get to the stage where we will be challenging these issues every day, and we will understand these are things to challenge every day.

"I think this is the thing with Dubliners, and Irish people in general, we do stand by each other. And maybe that's after 800 years of oppression, we understand the history there, that we can't just stand by when there are injustices like that."

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