People Before Profit Campaign Wins On Housing

Coucillor Madeleine Johansson standing in front of a vacant Wheatfield Road property in Palmerstown.

In Palmerstown, People Before Profit’s campaign on derelict housing brought two derelict houses back into use by getting the state to purchase the houses and bring them back into use for people in need. That’s people power in action turning empty properties into housing solutions now.

As of the last census, there are 166,000 empty properties in the state with over 48,000 of those properties vacant for six years or more. 

Currently, 13,841 people are in emergency accommodation, over 4,000 of them are children. The real homeless figures are estimated to be much higher. Meanwhile, almost 60,000 people are languishing on housing waiting lists. In South Dublin County Council the average wait time on the housing list is 10 years, with many people waiting longer.

People Before Profit believes there should be no empty houses in a housing crisis. 

We have been campaigning across the county to get county councils to CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) derelict and vacant properties, take them back into state ownership, and use them for those on the housing list. 

In January, People Before Profit Cllr Madeleine Johansson proposed a motion calling on the South Dublin County Council to compulsorily purchase all properties on the Derelict Sites Register. Unfortunately, councillors voted down our motion: 17 against; 14 for. There were only three votes in the difference. Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Greens, and Labour all voted against the motion. This shows how local representation matters just like national representation.

Determined, the local People Before Profit branch actively campaigned on this issue in Palmerstown where two of the derelict properties are, engaging with people door to door. They highlighted the properties, canvassing the neighbourhood, and demonstrating the power is with people in their area to demand change. The next time the local area committee met Cllr Madeleine Johansson and she raised her motion again, the councillors voted in favour. The two properties were both CPO’d. People power won.

This is a small win in the grand scheme of things but People Before Profit plans to continue to campaign around this issue and fight to make sure that houses are not left empty in a housing crisis when people need homes.

The market-based approach to housing has failed. Thousands are homeless thousands more live in fear. We want a housing model based on people’s needs, not what’s most profitable for developers’ and landlords’ pockets. 

Solidarity-People Before Profit are the only parties in the Dáil with no landlord councillors or TDs. If we want to solve the housing crisis we need to stop voting for parties who are making money from the crisis. On June 7th vote for People Before Profit in the Local Elections.