Nial Ring

Independent candidate for North Inner City

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

The city council has made big efforts to get more social and affordable housing in the city. Currently there are over 2,000 units under construction, over 3,000 at tender/Part V stage. In addition 1,500 long term leasing units are planned and over 3,300 cost rental units in the pipeline.

DCC has other schemes like the tenant in situ scheme, affordable purchase scheme etc., so I believe we are doing well (although not quickly enough). In order to improve the output, we need central government to ensure funding is available and to get the department to streamline the application/ funding/ development process. We can and will deliver on housing. 

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

Dublin City Council has a commitment to improve conditions in existing housing. DCC has over 25,000 social housing units and there has been major engagement with tenants in relation to building adaptability/change.

DCC recently announced that it had, up to the end of 2022, upgraded 9,186 of its social houses under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme, resulting in an estimated 677,184 MWh of energy savings, worth an estimated €73.6 million saved in energy bills for our tenants.

This programme must be continued until all DCC units are retrofitted and citizens can see, both in physical and financial terms, the benefits of the scheme. In addition, the intensive inspection programme results in over 8,500 privately rented units being inspected every year. 

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

The good news here is that a new statutory instrument came into operation in February this year, which will allow more CCTV to be put in around the city. This should have a dramatic impact on fly tipping/dumping etc. Dublin City council are putting in place a senior management CCTV oversight board to reviewed business cases for the use of CCTV and make recommendations on the authorisation thereof. 

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

Vacant and derelict sites are a blight on the city and the implementation of the derelict sites act and vacant property levies need to be enforced in a much stricter and faster way. There could be a huge housing bonus for us if this were properly tackled.

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

The obvious answer to this is more Gardaí on the streets. We have been crying out for this for the last five years and yet we are not getting anywhere on this question. This is purely a matter for central government and we can only continue to lobby on behalf of the people of the city.

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

Dublin City Council has a very comprehensive transport plan. However, this plan can only work if the NTA (National Transport Authority) consults and does not direct what is to happen. (who runs the city - DCC or the NTA?) If we can give people the public transport they need and want we will all benefit as will our environment. The impact on the climate change crisis has to be central to all transport plans.

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

We have seen the continuing chaos that has been caused by the construction of the Clontarf to City Centre project. However, when finished, this will provide a safer way for people to get around the city on bike. However, we have to remember that for some people use of public transport/walking/cycling is not an option and we cannot abandon these citizens either.

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

It is quite obvious that lack of public consultation/information has led to fear among people about asylum seekers in particular As public representatives we need to ensure that our constituents are fully informed – even if central government seem to ignore this basic requirement and have managed to stoke up fear which can, if not addressed, can turn to anger and intolerance.

Trying to foist a Hate Crime law onto citizens will not work in my opinion. It’s about education, information and consultation.