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RNU - Privatisation and PPP Deals
Monday June 13, 2011 00:59 by Republican Network for Unity - Republican Network For Unity
With the ever increasing development of privatisation of inner city working class communities by property developers, what can we do to put the communities back into the hands of the residents?
Throughout Ireland many families are going through a transition of privatisation and whose communities are being torn apart by unscrupulous property developers.
Private Public Partnership (PPP) deals seem to be all the rage at the moment between the local authorities (Council) and dodgy property developers. It is this arrangement between landlord and money grabbing capitalist that has left devastating consequences for many working class families throughout the Country
The thinking by the local authorities that privatisation through a PPP deal is the only solution for those who find themselves below the socio-economic ladder is a means to an end. If we scratch beneath the surface a little the real fact’s soon quickly fall into place.
[B]Who Benefits from PPP Deals?[/B]
The beneficiary recipients of these PPP deals (the Council) means that they will get money straight into their hands while maintaining a trend to use it for their own spending priorities, working class communities excluded. The local authorities have pounced on this opportunity in an orchestrated manor and have latched on to the prospect of managing housing to create quite a considerable profit for themselves.
The demand for social housing has been steadily on the rise with over 50,000 people on the social housing list and with over 100,000 people on rental subsidy, the overall total amounts to 144,000 people in need of social housing. And as it stands, over 120,000 homes lie empty in 2,800 ‘ghost estates’ throughout the country with an overall total of 300,000 empty houses in the State that could quite easily be used to ameliorate the social housing crisis we now face.
But even through the turmoil of ‘ghost estates’ and the need for social housing, the Council has been selling off local authority land to private property developers while the housing crisis continues to escalate.
The property developers will also greatly benefit from these deals when they cut communities in half and takeaway prime land locations to make way for private property, while social exclusion forces many residents into tightly packed homes out of sight from the publics’ eye.
The prospect of being promised new homes by private property developers has created a dilemma for many communities who are left with a choice either to, except new dwellings in a divided community as planned out by the developers or continue to live in substandard conditions carefully fabricated by the Council to displace people from valuable land.
These grim choices have left a devastating impact on local communities and has left the residents felling demoralised as deprivation and segregation in social housing continues to prevail.
What we have then is the Council purposely running down communities by not carrying out necessary maintenance such as mould, sewerage, heating, electrical, and vermin problems etc… Many residents find these conditions intolerable to live in and are forced to move out. This tactic of de-tenanting has been used time and time again by Council’s throughout the country and has created a dived in what where once strong united communities.
One such horrendous de-tenanting process happened on January 11, 2010. When we witnessed the full capabilities of Dublin City Council as they used excessive force to try and forcibly remove a young mother living in Ballymun, Rachel Peavoy, out from her home by refusing to fix her heating during one of Ireland’s harshest winters in decades thus resulting in Rachel dying from hypothermia.
Thousands of structurally sound units remain derelict across the country, boarded up by steel partitions, while people in desperate need of a home find themselves sleeping on the streets. Many families find themselves in overcrowded conditions while the boarded up house next door to them with a much needed spare bedroom lies idle. And still communities remain ravaged by an influx of anti-social problems arising from deprivation and a poor quality of life.
The local authorities in Ireland have just about violated every aspect of housing rights chartered by the United Nations. It continues to defy international law and breech the declaration of human rights on the Right to Adequate Housing, Article 11, General Comment 4. This has been let go unhindered by the Irish State who has failed once again to protect the people in this country. What use is international law if those who systematically violate it face no repercussions for their reprisals?
[B]What You Can Do?[/B]
If your community is going through or about to go through a regeneration process, here’s what you can do:
Build a task force or sub-group that is totally independent from the Council and the Redevelopment Group, to speak out on behalf of the residents in regards to area regeneration. This task force needs to be community-oriented, community-based and community led, and needs to be set up and put in place immediately, so that the entire resident’s will be represented by this group and the residents’ voices and concerns will not go unheard.
Lobby politicians and demand some clear answers, contact your local Councillor and demand some clear answers and ask what they are doing to safeguard tenants’ rights! Keep asking questions!
People need to join together and make a democratic decision and tell the local authorities what they want for their own area.
If there is ever to be any change for the neglected working class communities in Ireland people need to act fast and act now. We can no longer stay divided anymore and need to stand united by our communities.
How many more families will have to forcibly leave their homes before we act and take direct action against the poor living conditions manufactured by those who promise us ‘change’?
We have to start campaigning and demand adequate living conditions for all the neglected working class communities across the country. The empowerment of the communities is vital to the salvation and integrity of the residents who need to be involved with all decision-making processes in their own communities.
People need to get involved with local community projects and campaigns in their own areas and help out in any way possible. And at the same time should offer support and solidarity to other likeminded communities who are in the same predicament as their own.
People need to rally in behind and support the “Justice for Rachel Peavoy Campaign” and show our solidarity to her family and friends in their quest for a public inquiry into her death.
We all need to stand up against private property developers and tell them that our communities are not for sale. We have to show the local authorities in Ireland that we can stand united in our own communities and show them that we will never bow down to intimidation.
We need to demand an end to the negligence of all inner city communities across the country by the hands of the landlords and State and demand that no family should have to pay rent, especially while living in homes that have deteriorated into disrepair.
We need to push for the right for inner city communities, to the ownership of their homes and the right to adequate housing.
We need to demand that all landlords responsible for the wellbeing of its tenants to fully comply with the United Nations Article 11, General Comment 4, The Right to Adequate Housing.
We need to see a repeat of the actions by the Republican Congress who back in the day mobilised workers throughout the country through rent strikes and anti-eviction campaigns.
The Republican Network for Unity advocates adequate and decent housing for all Irish citizens and an end to the privatisation by property developers of working class communities through PPP deals.
It’s time to break the connection from social exclusion and demand that all local authorities respect our economic and civil rights!