Cabra Needs Homes First

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Homes, Not Student Units Needed in Cabra

The 'Matts of Cabra' site has recently gone on sale with a proposed planning permission for up to 250 student accommodation units on a site of 1.21 acres. While Cabra is the next stop on the Luas line from Grangegorman almost 3,500 student units have been built in Dublin over the last year and that number is likely to double in the coming months. Recent activism by students has highlighted the high rents and profit margins resulting from these types of developments which can cost up to 1,500 Euro per month.

I'm calling on Dublin City Council to insure that a key site in the area is only used for social and affordable housing and not for yet more short term, aparthotel buildings.

Cabra desperately needs family housing and this site would be an inexcusable, lost opportunity to provide that to people who are increasingly being pushed out of the area. While the completion of the Luas line has been a fantastic asset to Cabra it has also seen house prices and rents increase sharply. The cost of an average 2 bed home is now approaching 300,000 Euro while rents are approximately 1,800 Euro per month. Many families who have lived here all their lives are now being pushed out of their communities due to the incredibly high costs of living and the minimal amounts of new housing available in the area.

The reality is that this government needs to focus on the right to housing and part of that discussion includes supporting people to live in the communities in which they grew up. Family support is one of the most important aspects in quality of living. It should be a particular focus in areas where we know social challenges and families on low incomes are struggling to get by. The ability to call on extended social and family networks has huge benefits for communities; for example it is often the only way single parents can return to work, it can allow families to support elderly relatives to continue living in their own home. It is incredibly short sighted for Dublin City Council to prioritise developers profits over the wellbeing of the people it claims to serve.

The 1.21 acre site, surrounded by local schools, shops and excellent public transport links, could accommodate more than 50 family size units if built to a three storey level.