Occupation of NAMA Property in Castleknock underway
Homeless people joined by AAA TD & Cllrs in Nama housing occupation
Homeless people and members of the Anti Austerity Alliance are staging an occupation of Nama housing under construction in Castleknock, Dublin, and calling on Nama to make them social and affordable homes.
The homeless families protesting are from the Blanchardstown area and say there is an acute housing crisis in the area that can only be resolved by more council housing. They are joined by Ruth Coppinger TD and three local AAA councillors, Matt Waine, Sandra Kavanagh and Tania Doyle.
Speaking from inside the Diswellstown Manor site ( Opposite the Castlknock Hotel & Country Club), Ruth Coppinger TD said:
“We took the action of coming onto this site to highlight the scandal that state-owned Nama is building these 156 expensive homes to sell on the open market while 117 Blanchardstown families are in emergency accommodation! Their misery could be ended if this estate was turned over for social housing.
Of course, many more people are struggling in overpriced rented accommodation or overcrowding, with 6,020 families on the local housing lists.
Nama must now become an instrument for the public good. It controls about 1/3 of development land in Dublin. A law could be brought through the Dáil this week making Nama lands and properties available to local councils to resolve the housing crisis once and for all.
Nama’s CEO has said many properties will be sold in a big portfolio sale later this year. Nama itself could be wound up by 2018. It claims it will return a ‘profit’ of €1bn to the taxpayer but it will give over €12billion to the banks during that time. This is outrageous when homelessness is endemic.
Nama argues it is recouping money ‘for the taxpayer’ but the taxpayer has already paid dearly for Nama, the banks and developers. It’s now time it was used to resolve the housing crisis created by the banks, the developers and government failure to build social housing.
The government wants to fob the homeless off with modular housing. There is no need for it. Houses can be built within months on the lands under Nama’s control. This is the obvious solution. If you had a government that cared about the fate of working class people and wasn’t beholden to a new-liberal ideology, Nama would be immediately taken over and it’s focus changed.
We call on Nama to release this estate for social housing. We appeal to the community to come down and support this occupation and for others suffering from the housing crisis to take similar actions in their area. ”