Monday 24 September 2018

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly 'refused' to meet mayor Christy Burke on housing crisis

Christy Burke
Christy Burke
Alan Kelly

LORD Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke has hit out at the Minister for the Environment for "refusing" to meet with him on solutions for housing the homeless.

Mr Burke previously told the Herald that he was to meet Alan Kelly to discuss alternatives, after Dublin City Council blocked a proposal to house 400 homeless families in Dublin's O'Devaney Gardens last month.

Mr Burke said that the €4.3m refurbishment of the inner city complex was "a short-term solution" that would have resulted in people being treated as "second class citizens".

"He never met with us and I'm just not caught up with meeting him anymore, I have too much to be doing", Mr Burke said.

Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly

"The only other alternative now is the master plan to start building new social housing and the city manager is looking at all of that," he added.

"The majority of those who are elected don't want short-term solutions like O'Devaney", he said.

However, the Department for the Environment said that it would not meet with Mr Burke or any public representative "unless there was something worth talking about".

A spokesperson said Mr Kelly asked the council to "come up with a solution as quickly as possible", and that until then they had nothing to discuss.

"Unless the mayor has a specific package or something concrete to discuss with the minister, I don't see a reason why he (Alan Kelly) would meet with him", a spokesperson said.

Dublin City Council management is now deciding how best to allocate the department's funding into a solution for Dublin's growing housing crisis.

The Department stressed that "a long term solution" such as building social housing would "take years" and that councillors needed to compromise.

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