Aoibheann Mahon

Fianna Fáil candidate for Artane-Whitehall

How would you help get more housing built in the city – especially social and affordable housing?

I will continue to advocate for housing developments such Oscar Traynor Road, Glin Court, Cromcastle & Chanel Manor which are currently being delivered. However, we need to speed up the planning process I am hoping with the implementation of the new Planning Bill making its way through the Oireachtas, will help to speed up the planning process and in turn speed up homes being built.

If elected, I will work with the council to ensure any derelict properties around my area are identified and restored to living standard and added to the housing stock. 

I will work hard to expand supports available to first time buyers and renters, this includes protecting, extending, and expanding the Help to Buy Scheme, the First Home Scheme, and the Vacancy Refurbishment Grants, among others.

How would you help improve conditions in existing housing, both social and privately rented?

If elected, I want to ensure that homes are upgraded to the highest standard, with increased funding for retrofitting. I will work with the council to ensure that any works needed to maintain social housing are carried out in a timely manner. 

In terms of the private sector rentals, I am dedicated to exploring a comprehensive array of measures available to local councils, empowering them to take decisive enforcement actions and clamp down on unscrupulous landlords who, whether knowingly or unwittingly, subject their tenants to substandard living conditions, leading to adverse health effects and emotional distress.

What would you do to help make the city feel less dirty, tackling the rubbish and dog poo all over the streets?

I will fight to increase penalties to combat illegal dumping, littering, dog dirt (which very few people are prosecuted for in the city) with the use of CCTV and increase number of litter wardens needed. I will work to ensure that general local authority services such as street cleaning and litter picking are increased to improve our community.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

I think the new Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant under the Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund is a good start, which can provide up to a maximum of €50,000 in grant funding is available to support the refurbishment of a vacant property into a home. Where the property is confirmed as derelict, up to a maximum of €70,000 in grant funding is available. I will work with DCC to ensure these grants are reviewed and granted in a timely manner, so houses can be delivered much faster than they are currently. 

For social housing which become vacant, I would work with the council to see how we can have the renovation works carried out on the property complete a lot faster than what the current turn around is. This would be the same on derelict properties which have Compulsory orders on, they are taking too long to become available. 

What needs to be done to make the city feel safer?

Increased number of Gardai are needed on the streets; We have improved visibility in Dublin City, but this needs to be increased further and we need to increase resources of community Gardai. I will look to implement community policing programmes that foster positive relationships between law enforcement and the community such as the joint policing committees and neighbourhood watch, ensuring collaboration and information-sharing to prevent crime.

What needs to be done to improve public transport in the city?

We need a clear plan, working with the communities that use public transport regularly. We need to push on and build the Metro but with the least impact to residents as possible, within reason. A review of busy bus routes is needed, to increase the frequency. Enhancing the availability of real-time information on schedules, routes, and service disruptions through mobile apps, digital displays at stops, and online platforms to improve passenger convenience and reliability is also key. I will work with transport providers to ensure that this becomes a reality.

What should be done to make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike?

In terms of by foot, I will fight for funding to upgrade footpaths which have been uprooted by trees and weather erosion, ample lighting to enhance safety and accessibility for pedestrians, particularly in high-traffic areas and near public transport hubs. We need to ensure our footpaths are well maintained especially in Autumn when the leaves fall. I support improvement to safer cycle lanes, but this should not be at the expense of causing a dramatic negative impact to traffic, like what we see on Griffith Avenue. We need a clear plan, designed by people who cycle the routes. We need to maintain our cycle lanes and have them clearly marked. We see too often bike lanes covered in leaves, rubbish, and uneven surfaces, which forces cyclists to use the main road or paths.

We need to implement more traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps on roads, so pedestrian’s feel safe while walking or cycling around our city.  

What would you do to help counter the rise of the far right, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+ hate, and anti-asylum-seeker arsons?

We need a zero-tolerance approach in addressing this kind of behaviour.

I believe in encouraging a culture of inclusivity and celebrating diversity in our city. As a community, we need to actively promote acceptance, and respect for all individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, or immigration status. I will support increased investment in our community youth services, support networks for immigrants, LGBTQ+ and Asylum Seekers, providing them with essential resources needed, such as mental health support, legal assistance, and healthcare. More education and clear communication are also needed.