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‘Give us less Hotels and more Houses’

Dublin 8 has seen a spike in hotel and student developments despite representing a disproportionate amount of the housing waiting list.

 

The Liberty has learned that Dublin 8 equates to just over 17% of the housing waiting list, according to recent figures from the Dublin City Council.

 

Despite this, Dublin 8 has seen a rush of both student accommodation and hotel developments with two student complexes in the works and a third proposed for the derelict Donnelly centre on Cork Street, along with four hotels at planning stage and two under construction.

 

In October 2017, there was 19,939 Applications on the council’s Housing Waiting list, (which amounts to approximately 40,000 people). Of the 19,939 applications, 3,426 of these were from people residing in the Dublin 8 Area (or approximately 6,800 people) the Liberty can reveal.

 

The disportionate amount of Dublin 8 residents on the housing waiting list coupled with the 24% increase in people experiencing homelessness in Ireland since October of last year means there is serious demand for housing.

Newmarket square. Photo credit Dan Grennan

A whopping 8,492 people are homeless in Ireland. Nationally there are now 5,298 adults and 3,194 children homeless according to focus Ireland.

 

Most of the residential units going into Dublin 8 are either one, two or three bed apartments with very little in the way of family units.

 

“If the number of residential beds, particularly public beds, was being matched by the number of student beds and the number of hotel beds then you wouldn’t mind so much. The overall total for Ireland in October for homelessness I think went up by 118 in the month. When you position it against those figures, we need to be addressing the housing problem.” said local councilor Tina McVeigh.

 

“Elderly accommodation is needed, family accommodation is needed and we need a solution to the housing crisis. We also want to maintain the character of our inner city and wider community in Dublin 8 transplanting it with a transient community isn’t the way to go.

 

“The greatest amount of representations I get is about housing and the lack of it. It was an opportunity to put more family type units in and create a better community.” said local councillor Michael Mullooly.

 

“There is a lot of vacant commercial spaces around that area. We would see it that they do something different here. Especially around Cork street and that area there is a lot of vacant commercial units and it seems to be a lot of the space devoted to traditional or what we know as commercial units but we would like to see something a bit more radical and a bit more edgy.”

 

There are concerns the community feel of Dublin 8 will be lost to the transciencent populations that come with student and hotel developments with Tina McVeigh saying “the fabric of the residential community is going to be displaced by a transient community. There has to be more balance because or it will become a transient community. Students and tourists bring another flavor to an area but it has to be balanced.

 

“The families in the area cannot stay in the area. It is breaking up communities, it’s pushing people out.

 

“It will change what has traditionally been a residential community. If you add the new hotel beds to the new student beds then you are looking at a very very high transient community coming in.

 

All of the hotels going into the area are between 5 and 8 storeys high and some “locals are concerned about the height of the building(s) and that they will overshadow them.” said Michael Mullooly.

 

“There are a phenomenal number of people coming to the Guinness storehouse and it has been the case that there is very little accommodation in the area but there are a number of hotel developments in development and planning throughout the area.

 

“There is a need for the economic development of the area that they would promote and have tourists staying in the area and that could benefit the area. It would create jobs and it would create services. What is happening at the moment is they go to the Guinness storehouse but then they go back to Dublin 4 to stay in hotels there.”

 

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