Housing & Accommodation
HOUSING AND INFORMATION SUPPORT SERVICE
- If you are living in a local authority flat, a private rented home or a voluntary housing association and have an issue, you can drop into ICON or call us for information and advocacy support.
- We help on issues such as maintenance and repair, problems with your landlord, taking cases to the Residential Tenancies Board, completing Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) applications.
- We provide education and training to individuals and groups on a range of housing related issues.
Housing in the NEIC
- Accommodation is one of the biggest issues with a lack of quality available. The collapse/delay of the public private partnerships/regenerations have further reduced the amount/quality of social housing. This has meant a reduction in social accommodation available to local residents.
- High degree of site and building dereliction which contributes to poor environmental quality and viability of the area.
- Ineffective use of urban land in close proximity to the city centre in many instances.
- There is a high concentration of people experiencing social disadvantaged in flat complexes and private rented housing.
- Affordability is a major issue for those with no option but to rent privately. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is over 2,000 euros; Homeless HAP is 1,900 per month.
- Rental increases since 2014 are 35% while wage increases are at 2%.
- Quality of the private sector accommodation is an important consideration. Many dwellings are of deplorable quality with residents afraid to complain due to the risk of homelessness.
- Much of Dublin City Council housing stock requires maintenance and upgrading.
Local Authority Tenants
ICON provides a Tenant Advocacy and Information Service to work wtih residents of local authority housing, both individuals and groups.
- Support and capacity building to tenants’ to access services and to identify local needs and to become more engaged in local issues and to bring about increased participation in social and civil activities. ICON organises and facilitates issue based meetings with state agencies (in particular Dublin City Council) to address issues. This is a unique role in the NEIC, there is no other independent community worker engaged with tenants of local authority housing. Flat complexes include: Avondale House, Ballybough House, Poplar Row, Matt Talbot Court, O’Brien Hall, St Mary’s Mansions, Summerhill, Taafe’s Place, Patrick Heaney Crescent, Killarney Court and The Kiln
- Research and policy development as issues arise:
- Housing Maintenance Research which formed the basis of a submission to the European Comitee of Social Rights – Complaint No.110/2014;
- Presentation to the Oireachtas Public Oversight and Petitions Committee on Tendering of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme
Private Rented Tenants
ICON has recently expanded its remit to work with tenants in private rented and emergency housing with the aim to develop relationships, work with and support private rented tenants, aiming to build and strengthen their capacity to participate in decisions affecting their lives and in their community.
Build a grassroots campaign by accessing tenants living in rented accommodation in the NEIC with a focus on those in poor quality housing and in receipt of rent supplement.
To ascertain the needs of the tenants through participatory methodologies with a view to establishing a NEIC tenants’ group/ forum.
Represent, promote and maintain a positive attitude and image for ICON as an advocate for tenants’ rights.
Identify skill needs and organise training and other events to build community capacity in response to identified needs.
Sample Advocacy Cases
A tenant who is a recovering addict sought assistance on a transfer within the flat complex where she was living. Her accommodation was damp and the environment was exacerbating her health issues. Following an ICON intervention, she was successful in relocating to a flat on a lower floor that better suited her needs.
A 78-year-old woman was unable to leave her flat as the front door was broken and she had to climb out a kitchen window. She had reported the issue of a faulty door to Dublin City Council on a few occasions, but nothing had been done. ICON was able to work with DCC to get the door temporarily fixed and to get a new one custom made.
Due to a change in circumstances a tenant was changed from a medical card to a GP card. Subsequently her circumstances changed once more and she was again entitled to a medical card. She enquired over the phone and was refused a full medical card. Following support in completing application forms from ICON, she re-applied and was granted a full medical card.