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Save Charlemont Street

category dublin | housing | news report author Thursday February 17, 2011 20:56author by Save Charlemont Street - Save Charlemont Street Report this post to the editors

Save Charlemont Street has been setup to highlight the injustice suffered by the people of Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats at the hands of the socially inapt Property Developer Sean Reilly and Dublin City Council.

Save Charlemont Street is based on the belief that the residents' needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, we aim to highlight and combat the social deprivation that plagues the residents of Charlemont Street today!

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It has been over ten years now since Dublin City Council unveiled their holy plan to redevelop and resurrect Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats from the sad sorry state of disrepair it was allowed fall into.

Over ten years ago the residents of this community were promised that they would receive better living standards for all and promised new hope, in a new rejuvenated community, free from the deprivation and hardship that plagues the community today and to live together in new accommodation that would facilitate their fundamental everyday basic needs.

Ten very long years have since passed and the only rejuvenating we bear witness to now is the same empty rhetoric from those who govern our rent and those who collaborate with them.

Once again we are now being told that we are next in line for a 'major transformation' a transformation that will somehow miraculously save us from the torment of these poor living conditions we live in now, conditions that have been bestowed upon us by those who's only interest is profit.

Once again we have been told that the quality of our living standards in the community will be amended and improved for everyone and we are led to believe that, the communities welfare is at the heart of Dublin City Council along with the property developer Sean Reilly and his architects.

If this is the case, and the communities welfare is at the heart of those who promise us change and better social living conditions, then why is it that, over 80 units in our complex remain vacant while the the remaining residents continue to live in overcrowded, damp riddled homes, unfit for standard human living conditions.

Then why is it that, over 80 families felt it necessary to leave their homes in the first place, many of whom were 2nd and 3rd generation residents.

And why is it that, when over ten years ago Saint Ulthan's (Congo's) was bought from a private property developer, after a lengthy battle with its residents, for hundreds of millions of Euros by Dublin City Council, a social change was promised to us back then, a change we are still waiting to see.

Is it fair to say, will we be waiting another ten years or more to see any social change that benefits our community or to see the social conscience of Dublin City Council change to benefit us at all ?

Is it fair to say that we will witness the demise of our community by the hands of the socially inapt who try to tell us that right is wrong and how we should live our lives ?

How many more families will we bear witness to who will have to forcibly leave their homes because of the poor living conditions manufactured by those who promise us 'change' ?

It is quite apparent that the only social change we will witness in the future is one of more hardship and misery suffered by the residents of this community, that is, unless something is done, to stop the money driven corporation and property developers from destroying our community any further.

We need to act fast as a community and the time to act is now!

We need to reorganise and resurrect the community spirit that has bound us together for so long and has done so since the first residents of Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats came into existence.

It's time to bring about a social change for the residents, by the residents and for the next generation who will follow behind us. The Council and developers will not and cannot destroy our community if we let our voices be heard and together, stand strong against these unwanted deprived social conditions that we now face today.

Let us not be bullied or intimidated by the landlord who charges us rent for living in overcrowded homes, homes riddled with dampness, homes unfit for parents with young children and all the while, a couple of doors down, empty homes lay vacant that can quite easily be refurbished to suit our own proper living standards.

It is vital for the salvation of our community that we organise together and bring about our own social change, to better our own lives, in an environment that we create for us and us alone, a community for the residents!

It's not to late to make a change, It's time to stand up and be heard!

We need to stand up against any bullyboy tactics used by Dublin City Council and the developers that jeopardises our fundamental rights as residents of Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats. We need to lobby and put pressure on our TDs and contact other likeminded social groups, we need to get our story out to the media and to the wider community and let our plight be known!

Related Link: http://www.savecharlemontstreet.com
author by Save Charlemont Streetpublication date Sat Feb 19, 2011 22:51Report this post to the editors

The below quotes are statements taking from a report of research carried out with tenants living in Dublin Corporation Housing in the Charlemont Street area.

The report was conducted by the then, Charlemont Community Association in November 1998.

It is inconceivable to believe that over 13 years later these problems still exist today.

“Damp should not be a problem in the 1990’s. Why should my kids have asthma because of the Corporations neglect? I would be ok living here otherwise.”

“All ground floor tenants are treated like second class citizens by other tenants. We have to put up with constant annoyance from the kids. We need proper gates around our flats to stop this.”

“As a ground floor tenant, I lack the basic things to keep myself clean. I have to use Rathmines public baths. The Corporation as my land landlord is a slum landlord, if the corporation do not respond to our needs, they will turn the complex into a ghetto.”

“As a young person with a ground floor flat I suppose I should be happy to have it but the only message I get around here is that I have to have a kid to get a better place.”

“One room only, a garden I have no equipment to maintain, no bath or shower, and no immersion until I hassled a TD…not human…If I had kids maybe there would not be this hassle.”

“I pay my rent and have an agreement, if something goes wrong that is not my fault and is to be fixed by my landlord under the agreement, why am I made to feel so bad when I look for something to be fixed!”

“Waiting 2 years for a hole to be filled in the bedroom ceiling which is getting bigger”

“Sometimes waiting for repairs to be done undoes something else. Repairs should be done when needed and it is not fair to leave us waiting and then having to pay for stuff to be done ourselves.”

“Spent a fortune on phone calls to the Corporation to get them out to do anything.”

“I would like to ask the Caretakers to clean the stairs once a week and mop up properly so not to let the water stagnate.”

“The stairs are always filthy with an almost constant smell of urine”

“People do not have equipment to wash down their own balconies and are not able to brush down the water. Caretakers don’t do it often enough and the job done badly.”

“Rats…more needs to be done about them.”

“Some form of vandal proof playground for our kids. It’s been 16 years since we’ve had one.”
 
 
Dublin City Council have stated that,“Tenants who are over 6 weeks in Rent Arrears will no longer have routine repairs carried out to their home”

This is a travesty of justice for the tenants who are forced to live in squalor while at the same time expected to pay rent for living in homes unfit for animals never mind human beings.

Dublin City Council, as our landlords, have a moral obligation to look after its tenants but instead they have created a hostile environment for which the tenants of Charlemont Street have to live in.

Below is a list of maintenance and repairs that Dublin City Council have failed to address and have left the tenants of Charlemont Street feeling vulnerable and neglected.

Taken from the Dublin City Council’s website.
Maintenance and repairs to your Council home.

If you are a tenant in a Dublin City Council home on which you pay rent, the following repairs will be carried out by us.

Structural repairs
Roof repairs, repairs to external walls and doors
Electrical faults Window repairs (excluding glass)
Flooding
Any other repairs due to the normal wear and tear

In May 1998 discussions began with Charlemont Street Committee to survey the area in regard to the opinions of residents on area regeneration: When asked if they had a problem with damp in their houses 52% of residents indicated that they had.

13 years later and these problems still exist, many homes remain riddled with dampness.

It is the duty of Dublin City Council to carry out this short list of maintenance and repairs on all council homes. So far they have neglected to do so. Many homes still remain in a state of degradation. 

Regeneration

As it stands there are three objections to the granting of planning permission for Charlemont Street. These objections were made by:

An Taisce
The Rathmines initiative
RPS Planning and Environment on behalf of the Clancourt Group

The residents of Charlemont Street are now being told that it could take anywhere from less than six months to over 12 months just for An Bord Pleanala to consider these appeals and make their decision.    

The development cannot start until An Bord Pleanala make their decision and if and when they do, it could take anywhere from up to 5 years for the social housing section to be completed and 10 years for the completion of the hole development by property developer, Sean Reilly.

This sounds all to familiar. It wasn’t too long ago that the tenants of Charlemont Street were promised by Dublin City Council and property developer McNamara, that they would be living in brand new homes that would facilitate their fundamental everyday basic needs.

The tenants were left waiting and wanting through the turmoil of failed negotiations with Dublin City Council that left a devastating impact on the lives of the tenants.

Are we going to see a repeat of this façade that has led the tenants of Charlemont Street down a path of destitution ?

We need to see an end to the social injustice that has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the tenants. We will continue to fight on as we strive for our civil-rights to be recognised and until Dublin City Council and those who collaborate with them are held accountable for their negligence towards the people of Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats.

Related Link: http://www.savecharlemontstreet.com/default.html
 
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