We reported yesterday that two Victorian homes had been purchased in Clontarf for the sole reason of housing homeless families.
The continued homelessness crisis in Dublin is of primary concern for all of Dublin's residents - however, the purchasing of two properties on St Lawrence's Road seemed to irk local residents.
They released a statement today on local website Clontarf.ie in which they explain their reasoning as to why this shouldn't be.
The statement reads:
''There are three emergency homeless facilities under lease agreements in the Clontarf area at present. These facilities, which were previously run as Hotels/B&Bs, have been operating for many months now.
While there have been some issues in relation to the change of use of these properties, the community has generally been supportive of these facilities and understanding of the difficult circumstances that these families find themselves in.
The local conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul are working closely with these families. They are supporting them in their current living situations and helping them with their transition to proper homes. They visit them on a weekly basis to assist these families with accessing relevant service providers.
The CRA are now also liaising with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) with regard to access to local summer projects for the children concerned.
The position in relation to the properties on St Lawrence Road is fundamentally different to the three other facilities in the area.
Firstly, the DRHE have purchased rather than leased the premises. The view expressed by many is that that money could have been better spent on purchasing permanent homes for these families. A cursory look at daft.ie indicates that 6 properties, three 1 bed and three 2 bed units, under €300k are on sale in the Clontarf area – 2 of them on St Lawrence Road. The cost of purchasing all of these units at list price would be €1.52m - €400k less than the purchase price of these two houses.
Secondly, the two houses in question were previously operated as a nine room B&B with residential quarters for the family running the B&B. The DRHE are proposing to house 11 to 13 families in this same facility. This could equate to anywhere between 30 and 50 people living in two family homes. In our view it is not acceptable to expect this number of people to live in such close confines.
The St Lawrence Road Residents’ Association and the CRA have met with DRHE on two occasions recently in relation to this property and the other facilities operating in the area. Unfortunately answers to the questions raised in relation to operational matters, facilities, contact details etc. have not been forthcoming from the DRHE.
The CRA and the St Lawrence Road Residents’ Association call on Dublin City Council and the DRHE to enter into genuine engagement with them in relation to the appropriate use of the property.''
The statement, which has been published on Facebook, has been met with mixed views from the general public.
The local residents have mentioned their ''sincerest sympathy'' for the homeless families, but stand by their beliefs that the buildings just aren't suitable.