Olive Sloan

Sinn Féin candidate for Artane-Whitehall

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

The housing crisis has caused misery for countless people across the Artane/Whitehall area. Many people feel trapped paying sky high rents while unable to save up for a deposit to buy their own home. Others are living at home with family, putting their lives at home long after they want to have their own independence. Others feel forced to move emigrate because they can’t picture a future here in Ireland.

Everyone should have the right to a secure and affordable home. A change of government is needed to unravel and reverse decades of bad housing policy. 

A Sinn Féin government would take a different approach to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. We set out in our 2024 Alternative Budget that a Sinn Féin government would deliver greater investment, increase targets to match demand, cut out red tape which is resulting in delays of up to 2 years before a brick is laid, use new technology to build, speed up planning and introduce changes to tax code to incentivise building of affordable homes.

A team of Sinn Féin councillors will work hard on the council to tackle the housing crisis too. We'd work to deliver affordable purchase homes through Local Councils and Approved Housing Bodies at prices people can genuinely afford. Local councils and Approved Housing Bodies will deliver the new affordable homes in Sinn Féin’s government plan, on public land.

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

Sinn Féin has proposed significant increases in Government funding for Councils to maintain, refurbish and retrofit Council homes. This includes a specific fund for local authorities to respond proactively to maintenance issues including windows and doors, damp, mould and leaks. Too often, a small leak becomes a huge problem because it is left for too long. We would work towards every local authority producing a preventative maintenance plan. We would also introduce a regeneration scheme for apartments and flats that are past their lifespan.

People should not have to live in damp, mouldy or unmaintained homes. We would prioritise those homes in greatest need of repair and reduce waiting lists for basic maintenance. 

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

Dublin can be a beautiful city to live, work or visit. However, much can be done to ensure we have a clean environment, including clean streets. I would support the process of bringing bin services back into public ownership, as well as public waste services such as bins and recycling centres. I would support a regular/consistent street cleaning plan for the Artane/Whitehall area.

What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

There are far too many vacant and derelict properties in our capital city, including in Coolock. Many of these homes are lying idle for years. Some are being left to rot, becoming derelict and a further blight on our communities. 

Sinn Féin would encourage local authorities to Compulsory Purchase, where practical, and return to use derelict properties alongside increased utilisation of the Buy and Renew scheme. We would also request monthly updates to increase the collection of the Derelict Sites Levy and to speed up the return of vacant social homes.

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

Communities deserve to feel safe and protected. But too many people in our capital city feel unsafe. Sinn Féin have outlined our proposals to invest in the Gardaí, so we can have more Gardaí on our streets protecting communities. We would introduce a public transport policing unit to ensure people can feel safe while using public transport. We would get to grips with the recruitment and retention crisis in the Gardaí to end the huge numbers resigning. We need higher visibility policing in the Artane/Whitehall area. We need older people to feel safe in their own homes. 

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

Road safety and accessible transport are at the heart of ensuring people can live, work and play safely in their communities. 2023 saw the highest number of deaths on our roads in almost a decade. Dublin ranked worst, in public transport, of 30 European Cities in 2023. It’s time for change.

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

We recognise that many children cannot safely access school without relying on a lift from parents. This can be a barrier to parents but it also reduces young people’s independence. In government we would increase funding to make getting to school safe. Ensuring more active travel, such as cycling and walking, will be a key way to tackle the climate crisis. In order to ensure this is realistic, people must feel confident that they can do so safely. We support auditing all footpaths and putting in place a programme of footpath restoration ensuring older people and people with disabilities can walk and move around their local area confidently.

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

I will be a voice for a fair, equal and diverse society. All sections of our communities must be able to feel safe and included. Arson attacks on accommodation for asylum seekers have no place in our society and I condemn these attacks.