My dad lived in Drimnagh when he was young. Before he was born, his family lived in a one-room tenement on Digges Street, but in the early 1940s, they moved to a newly-built Dublin Corporation house on Sperrin Road. Three bedrooms, running water and an indoor toilet, a garden of their own.
As the years went by, the council built fewer and fewer new houses, and they sold off a lot of their stock to tenants. A good deal for the tenants, but a bad deal for people who need social housing. Somewhere along the line, we started to think that housing policy should be about creating new homeowners, that government should be helping people onto a property investment ladder. But housing policy should be about providing people with good quality, affordable, secure places to live, not investments.
Since the Green Party went into government, we have started building cost-rental housing, and it is massively popular. But we need to build thousands of these homes every year, not hundreds, all over the city, so people have homes they can afford, in places they want to live, and aren’t at the mercy of private landlords.