Sunday 19 November 2017

Second new development occupied by protesters to highlight homeless crisis

Protesters join the Anti-Austerity Alliance protest outside the showhouse
Protesters join the Anti-Austerity Alliance protest outside the showhouse

A group affected by the homelessness crisis occupied a north Dublin showhouse backed by Nama in protest at the State agency not using its resources to tackle the worsening problem.

A dozen occupiers led by the Anti-Austerity Alliance took over a house in Belltree, Clongriffin yesterday evening, with more protesters outside.

Belltree, which is a Gerry Gannon development, had an open viewing from 2pm. The occupiers arrived at 3.30pm and stayed until 7pm.

Properties on the development start at €260,000.

Local Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O'Brien said the action was "essential to highlight unforgivable decisions" the Government is making when it comes to the housing crisis.

"The recent Budget delivered nothing for the homeless, those crucified by high rents and the 130,000 languishing on the waiting lists," said Mr O'Brien.


"We have to make housing the number one issue in the run-up to the elections and apply massive pressure on the political establishment to totally re-orientate Nama so that it becomes a major component in solving the crisis."

Coolock woman Erica Fleming, who has been homeless since July, said it was "heartbreaking to see a State-owned body like Nama funding a development that will almost entirely be sold for private gain".

"The housing crisis gets worse by the week and will continue to worsen if we stay on the course the Government has set of leaving it to private developers and landlords to meet the need that's out there, when clearly they are only in it for the profit," said Ms Fleming.

"They are part of the problem, not the solution."

Earlier this month, a group led by the alliance's Ruth Coppinger occupied a show-house in Ongar, Blanchardstown.

Mr O'Brien told the Herald that they will occupy another property this week.

"We've plans for another action this week, but I can't say where - we have to keep the element of surprise," he said.

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