Kelsey May Daly

People Before Profit-Solidarity candidate for South West Inner City

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

Housing is the number one issue for People Before Profit. The key to tackle an increase in supply of more social and affordable housing in Dublin right now is to address the land and property hoarding of big businesses and vulture funds.

In Dublin 8 in particular, there are hotels and build to rent projects towering over what was once a tight knit community before the city’s expansion. The council are in support of this while trying to cater to young professional’s city living lifestyles. This may fill a gap in the market but if you are to see the new development of Newmarket Yards, the rents are above the reach of any working couple in the city right now.

If these projects were fulfilled by the council versus large developers the prices for rent would be cheaper and security of tenure would satisfy the concerns of young people trying to enter the property or rental markets. PBP’s response to this has always been clear in that the council should take possession of large land banks and prioritise state building of social housing on public land.

Without the willpower and serious devotion to tackling the housing crisis by other government parties such as FF and FG; their vested interests will always trump the interests of the young working class.

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

As a People Before Profit Councillor, I continue to support large retrofitting campaigns across social housing. If you were to witness the extent of emails we receive on the grounds of maintenance it would be shocking. People right across Dublin 8 are living in damp, mould, and general run down housing.

With 10 regeneration projects in the South West Inner City, it is already an agenda of the DCC in bringing stock up to standard by upgrading outdated gas systems, outside insulation of houses, solar panels and general environmentally focused improvements to stock. The issue is the pace of this project.

The privatisation and outsourcing of maintenance works are slowing down the progress due to the stages they happen in. Between tendering, design teams it can take months just to begin these works. It has delayed urgent works by years and therefore the council needs to employ maintenance workers directly to improve efficiency and actually hit their targets. The people living in these conditions cannot wait much longer.

With the recent health report on Oliver Bond it is clear the impact of these run down flats are severely damaging the health of people. A vote for me will be a vote to directly employ mass maintenance workers on to the council and filter out unnecessary stages in fulfilling projects.

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

Well again, in my constituency this is a big issue. The liberties specifically has a chronic lack of bins for people walking through the area leading to regular littering. Additionally bin bag collections in and around the Meath street area, with city seagulls ripping up these bags it has made the place feel dirtier. The council needs to take full responsibility of waste management.

Again, privatisation of waste disposal has let profit come before the greater good of a clean city. The council must reinstate and install more public litter bins on side streets, especially in the busier areas of Dublin 8 that has more footfall. I would support a campaign for responsible dog ownership and littering, employing more litter and dog wardens on to the council to tackle this issue.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

This is the first step in addressing the housing crisis. These are properties that are already built and are falling into quick decay if the council do not act in time; properties that homeless families could move into. People Before Profits campaign on reporting derelict properties has been ongoing for several years.

A punitive tax should be applied to vacant and derelict properties if not used within a specified period to encourage owners of the property to put it back into use. Strict deadlines should be given to the council on the time it takes to turn their own vacant stock around.

I will be calling for a comprehensive audit to be carried out on vacant and derelict properties and seek to compulsory purchase houses on the vacant property register.

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

In order to address anti-social behaviour, we need to address where this behaviour emerges from. Most of the time it arises from socio-economic deprivation and disadvantage. Therefore the answer to this is to support disadvantaged communities by providing a pro social outlet to young people for their spare time in the form of leisure, recreation and sport facilities to reduce the risk of them causing harm.

In parts of Dublin 8, these services are oversubscribed and in decline. Young people have very little to do and often resort to their own imaginations to keep them occupied. They need to be engaged in services that will keep them out of harms way and in the company of community workers that will set their focus in exploring their hobbies and talents for self improvement.

I will be calling for an increase in these services in Dublin 8, specifically sport and community facilities which are seriously lacking in my constituency.

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

The Busconnects project has been a disappointment to a lot of communities around Dublin. The culling of relied on bus routes has caused great disruption to mostly the elderly and disabled persons daily lives and their ability to travel. Public consultation has not worked in their favour as based on feedback it’s causing more problems than improvements to public transport. Certain routes need to be reinstated or replaced for the people who are most effected by their removal. Free and frequent public transport needs to be introduced to encourage people to get out of their cars and free up the streets of traffic. Ultimately the popularity of cars will not decrease until public transport is fully accessible and reliable for workers who have to be in on time.

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

I will be calling for an increase in protected cycle lanes with bollards and clear signage to ensure cyclists can feel safe and comfortable sharing the roads with other road users. These lanes should ideally be introduced alongside free, reliable and fully accessible public transport so that traffic can be reduced significantly to free up road space. A reduction in car dependency will also help reduce emissions and the harm that causes pedestrians.

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

As a People Before Profit Councillor I work closely with community groups in an effort to increase diversity and ensure those from all backgrounds feel welcome and included in our community. I work to build our local For All group to help counter the false information regarding immigration and asylum seeking in Ireland. We continue to stand up against those that try to deny the most vulnerable safety and access to accommodation. Special attention must be given to ensure no level of hate or discrimination is tolerated against the LGBTQI+ community.