Housing activists display dozens of abandoned sites in Cork ahead of protest


Housing activists have posted dozens of vacant and abandoned sites and buildings in Cork City to highlight the problem ahead of a ‘traveling festival of abandonment’.

Scanning a QR code on the posters takes you to an open letter to Cork City Council calling for further urgent action to end the abandonment and construction of more social housing.

The campaign is the work of the Community Action Tenants Union (CATAU) – a group established to represent communities and tenants, including tenants, municipal tenants, mortgage holders and those in need. emergency and precarious life.

“Feast of dereliction” planned

The band members in Cork are also planning a ‘traveling festival of dereliction’ later this month, in association with urban designers Jude Sherry and Frank O’Connor, showcasing some of the vacant and abandoned properties they have. featured in a long-standing Twitter thread that has helped shed light on the problem of delinquency and how to deal with it.

CATU spokesperson in Cork, Ruadh MacCárthaigh, said the poster blitz and the “walking festival of dereliction” were partly protest and partly educational.

“We believe a lot of vacant properties are owned by wealthy people who can afford to sit on them and wait for property values ​​to rise,” he said.

Proposed “use or lose” tax

CATU called for a punitive tax on vacant properties, to force owners to “use it or lose it,” and state intervention in the form of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), for those who don’t.

“We think the board could CPO these properties and convert them to public housing, and use the vacant property tax to fund these CPOs.”

He was speaking as the National Homeless and Housing Coalition (NHHC) today organized a protest in Cork City calling for an end to the housing crisis.

The NHHC is supported by Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, Solidarity, Travelers of North Cork and CATU Cork.

The NHHC said rents and house prices in Cork are continually rising.

The government “works for private interests”

“So many of my friends are overpriced, kicked out or faced with homelessness,” NHHC member Gary Baus said. “A demonstration of popular power in the streets is the only way the government can stop working for private interests and listen.”

A vacant site at Kyrl’s Quay in Cork City which has been posted by housing activists. Photo: Denis Minihane

The group said it believed the government’s universal housing plan, launched last week by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, would “not change a thing” for the so-called Generation Rent, which ends up trapped in leasing and saving for deposits. and mortgages.

They said the new plan “retreads land covered by Ireland’s reconstruction and other failed housing announcements” and will maintain a status quo on housing built on vulture funds and declining accommodation standards , while failing to provide local government construction and rental housing on a scale needed to cope with current housing, homelessness and direct provisioning crises, or challenges in the future by a growing population.


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