Barry Heneghan

Independent candidate for Clontarf

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

To address the need for more housing, particularly social and affordable housing, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Ensure the state retains ownership of a percentage of homes, keeping them within the social housing portfolio rather than selling them to the private market.
  • ffer waivers on development leases and site costs to reduce overall expenses.
  • Implement a state-led model for home delivery, pushing for the acquisition of land for direct state building projects.
  • Introduce affordable housing zones, capping the value of rezoned lands to ensure an adequate volume of housing.
  • Use state-owned land to build public housing, reducing delays in planning and incorporating new building technologies to construct homes faster and more sustainably.
  • Adjust the tax code to incentivize the construction of affordable housing, further promoting the development of necessary housing stock.

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

To improve conditions in existing housing, both social and privately rented, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Increase rental controls beyond current 12-month contracts, providing incentives for private landlords to retain tenants and upgrade properties to higher energy ratings, ultimately reducing costs for tenants.
  • Implement a scheme that provides funds to retrofit properties in the rental market, including installing solar panels to reduce heating and water costs.
  • Appoint an independent advocate to represent tenants of social housing, addressing concerns over conditions and tenancy terms.
  • Boost the resources and staffing of the DCC inspector agency to increase inspections of private and social housing, ensuring landlords meet minimum standards and are held accountable.
  • Empower the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) with greater authority to inspect and sanction rogue landlords.
  • Support the retrofitting of social homes and encourage private landlords to do the same, enhancing the quality and energy efficiency of housing.
  • Expand cost rental housing options, ensuring affordable rents, secure tenancies, and tenant rights to maintenance.
  • Implement a comprehensive regeneration program for aging apartments and buildings that have surpassed their intended lifespan, focusing on refurbishment, and retrofitting to bring all rental housing up to acceptable standards.

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

To make the city feel less dirty and tackle the issues of rubbish and dog poo on the streets, I propose the following measures:

  • Municipalise waste services to reduce illegal dumping by making refuse collection more affordable and accessible, the privatization of the bin service was the greatest act of vandalism committed on our city and political parties need to be held accountable.
  • Install more solar big bins, including those specifically for dog poo, ensuring they are adequately distributed throughout the city.
  • Launch an awareness campaign highlighting the negative effects of dog poo and the importance of cleaning up after pets, particularly focusing on the impact on people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
  • Assign community wardens responsible for littering, dumping, dog fouling, and ticketing anti-social and illegal parking behaviors.
  • Ensure local property taxes are ring fenced for street cleaning to guarantee consistent funding for maintaining cleanliness.
  • Provide litter wardens with more powers to enforce regulations effectively.
  • Introduce a hotel bed night tax to fund additional cleaning services, keeping the city tidy for both residents and visitors.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

To tackle vacancy and dereliction, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Enable the DCC to acquire properties that landlords are unable or unwilling to maintain, repurposing them to bring them back into use.
  • Ensure fair prices for these homes, with the council undertaking necessary works to make them habitable and safe. These properties would be owned and maintained by the DCC to build long-term housing stock.
  • Adopt a proactive approach where the council buys derelict and vacant private properties to transform them into new homes.
  • Collaborate with the Land Development Agency (LDA) to retrofit and develop acquired vacant properties, providing much-needed housing and community spaces.
  • Introduce a "use it or lose it" policy on derelict sites with existing planning permission, encouraging property owners to act on their development plans or face consequences.
  • Increase admin staff in DCC responsible for turning around DCC owned boarded up ( voids) homes
  • Legislation needed in respect of derelict properties whereby the owner maybe deceased ( land in probate ) etc.

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

To make the city feel safer, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Ensure more visible community policing, with an emphasis on foot and bike patrols to enhance police presence and engagement.
  • Allocate more resources to policing, particularly in the Northside and city center, addressing specific safety concerns in these areas.
  • Increase investment in local clubs, sports facilities, and youth clubs in urban areas, as these activities are proven to lower anti-social behavior.
  • Establish more community hubs where local organizations can open outlets providing food and drink, creating focal points for socialization in a warm, welcoming environment.
  • Improve lighting in parks and other black spots to enhance safety and visibility.
  • Invest in better infrastructure and amenities, especially in low-income areas, to create safer and more supportive environments.
  • Enhance engagement with young people through targeted programs and support services.
  • Expand addiction services to address underlying issues contributing to crime and antisocial behavior.

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

To improve public transport in the city, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Introduce the ability to use debit cards to tag onto buses, aligning with other EU countries for convenience and efficiency.
  • Increase investment in public transport infrastructure, particularly in staffing and facilities at train stations to ensure lifts and other accessibility features are operational.
  • Expand the capacity of BusConnects services, especially during peak times, to accommodate more passengers and reduce wait times.
  • Enhance disability access for buses, including increasing the number of buses that can accommodate multiple wheelchair users simultaneously and ensuring equitable access for all passengers.
  • Support and expand the BusConnects program to improve overall service and connectivity.
  • Pressure Transport for Ireland (TFI) to address existing issues and invest in a new fleet of disability-friendly buses.
  • Improve the placement and availability of Blue Badge parking to ensure better access for disabled individuals.
  • Work to reduce the number of private cars on the roads, promoting public transport as a more cost-effective and efficient alternative.
  • Lower the costs of public transport to make it more accessible and attractive to a broader range of people, encouraging its use over private vehicles.

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

To make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Ensure safer bike lanes that are free of debris and properly maintained. Lanes should be raised to prevent them from becoming drains for stormwater, as seen on Griffith Avenue.
  • Implement properly segregated bike lanes with clear visual markings to enhance safety and usability.
  • Increase the number of pedestrianized streets, making them step-free to accommodate people with mobility issues.
  • Reduce traffic congestion around schools to address safety issues for young children.
  • Expand the rollout of more cycling lanes, ensuring they are well-received and beneficial once completed, as seen in areas like Marino and Clontarf.
  • Install more zebra crossings to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility.
  • Conduct audits of the most popular cycling routes to identify and address hazards.
  • Enforce existing parking rules to prevent cars from obstructing pathways, ensuring people with buggies are not forced into the roadway.
  • Prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over private car ownership, creating a more walkable and bike-friendly city environment.

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

To counter the rise of the far right, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQ+ hate, and anti-asylum-seeker arsons, I propose the following initiatives:

  • Address the root causes of these issues by improving government policies to offer hope and positive communication rather than demonizing individuals.
  • Organize more community events, programs, and festivals that promote diversity and inclusion, such as those held in Bram Stoker Park, to help integrate all members of the community.
  • Combat social media misinformation by providing accurate information and better services for all community members.
  • Support the Gardai in their efforts to protect vulnerable communities and enforce laws against hate crimes.
  • Streamline and improve the immigration system to reduce delays and frustrations that can contribute to anti-immigrant sentiments.
  • The Govt, by not communicating with local communities in a transparent way with full information , has created a vacuum which has been filled with racist disinformation by far right groups.