Housing rights campaigners have staged a protest at a new housing development in Dublin.
Homeless people, cash strapped tenants and anti austerity activists have picketed a show house at the plush Belltree estate in Clongriffin in a row over rising waiting lists.
They are calling for resources from the so-called bad bank Nama (National Asset Management Agency) to be used to resolve the growing housing crisis.
Erica Fleming from Coolock, who has been homeless since July, said: “The housing crisis gets worse by the week and will continue to worsen if we stay on the course this 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.
“They are part of the problem and not the solution.”
Rachel Kenny, a mother of two living in private rented accommodation in Clongriffin, said price hikes were crippling.
She said: “My rent last year went from €950 to €1300 leaving me having to get a top up on my rent supplement via Threshold. I absolutely dread the possibility of a further hike next month when the lease is up for renewal and like thousands of others in my position the fear of becoming homeless really bears down on me.
“The Government constantly claim that Nama’s responsibility is to get the best deal possible for the taxpayer. Can they for one moment try calculate the emotional cost on the homeless, the overcrowded and the thousands more who see only massive obstacles in front of them when it comes to starting a home? It can’t be put in money terms yet the resources are there solve the crisis.”
Some of the semi detached properties in the new Belltree development are on sale for over €300,000.
Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O’Brien said Nama monies should be used to for social and affordable housing. The protest action was “essential” to highlight the Government’s “unforgivable” response to the current crisis, he said.