Housing

Video - support & solidarity to Apollo House occupation

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Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did.  Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.

There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that's 27 houses for every homeless person.

Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move

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You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon Coveney isn’t so much worried about people sleeping on the streets at the moment. He is losing sleep about the thought that other people might fill their swimming pools with free water!

Support the occupation of Apollo house

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A high court judge yesterday granted an injunction that directs the Home Sweet Home occupiers of Apollo House to vacate the building by noon on January 11th. This means that the occupiers will remain in the building until after Christmas which is some good news but it still means that the State is quite willing to forcibly eject people from safe accommodation back out onto freezing streets or into unsafe, sub standard accommodation.

Video tour of previous Dublin eviction by injunction sites on the morning of Apollo House hearing

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This video was shot on the morning of the Apollo House injunction hearing at the High Court, 21st December.  As well as footage from outside the courts on our way there we had earlier visited the sites of other occupied buildings evicted in the last 20 months. We discovered all of them were still vacant and in most cases no visible work at all had been done on them.

Apollo house receives eviction by injunction notice

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About an hour ago the Apollo house occupation received a finally crafted piece of legalistic bullshit designed to divide homelessness activists from the professional services on 'Health & Safety' grounds. Health & safety has become the go to excuse for pushing people onto the streets, when the Halston street (ex) prison was occupied over the summer we say the same 'concern' this time over the fact that the pigeon shit found in that building was a health and concern safety. As we observed then there is plenty of pigeon street on the cold, wet streets of Dublin but now its winter and those streets are very much colder.

RTE Drivetime's hostile click bait against Apollo House falls flat on its face

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RTE Drivetime engaged in some shameful clickbait trolling on Twitter last night to try and get a few more listeners. While they have congratulated posh schools for engaging in token sleep outs they decided to directly attack the occupation of Apollo house and its bringing into use as an emergency shelter for homeless people.

And boy did it fall on its face. Normally far far more people will like a Tweet than reply to it. In this case though 201 people have posted angry replies and only 19 liked it. A far stronger message though had already been sent out when the occupiers Home Sweet Home Eire page attracted over 27,000 followers in 6 days and over 1500 people have actually volunteered to help keep the shelter open. Likewise so many donations of materials were received that within a couple of days out had to be announced that there was no room for more.

Census reveals 1 in 8 houses empty while thousands homeless

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The 2016 Census has again revealed there is no housing crisis. In fact about 1 in 8 houses were empty, a massive 259,562 dwellings in all.

So why are their hundreds of homeless on the streets and thousands in emergency accommodation. Why are rents soaring, particularly in Dublin, to level that mean most people can no longer afford to rent there? Why have house prices continued to increase far, far beyond the reach of the average worker?

It seems clear the answer is to be found in homes being left empty while people sleep on the streets. A situation that only favours landlords and property speculators who want to keep available supply low in order to keep rent and house prices high. And all while courts and Garda evict those amongst us who decide to solve their housing problem by occupying some of these vacant properties.

Irish Housing Network stand with homeless residents in protest of the eviction of twenty families from emergency accommodation in Dublin

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O’Connell St, July 22nd - amid Ireland’s worst housing crisis in decades, people gather outside Lynam’s hotel to protest the eviction of five homeless families, including ten children. Fifteen of the twenty families granted temporary shelter at the privately ran hotel have already been pushed out by DCC, and now find themselves forced living off the couches of friends and family. The remaining families who do not want to leave, deciding to take a stand against the apathy and cruelty shown to them by the Irish state now find themselves under huge strain and uncertainty as their quality of life hangs in the balance.

Johns Lane West hostel occupation report

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July 4th in Dublin saw homeless people occupy a 40 bed hostel they are being evicted from so that it can eventually be turned into long term housing.  The Irish Housing Network which is supporting the residents posted that Johns Lane West provided shelter and accommodation for over 40 people. A few months ago DCC and Focus Ireland announced they were closing the hostel to build apartments on the site. On Monday July 4th when the hostel was supposed to close, residents with nowhere else to go refused to leave and occupied the building.

The loss of 42 beds means another 42 people at risk of sleeping on the streets. With no new beds opened, if Johns Lane closes permanently more people will be forced onto the street.

Occupation of the Bru Hostel

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On Tuesday 10th of May eight homeless people (two women, one which was heavily pregnant) and six men with the support of An Spreach and housing activists occupied the Bru Aimsir homeless hostel on Dublin’s Thomas street. The hostel was opened in 2014 as a direct result of homeless man Jonathan Corrie dying, found frozen to death in a doorway just metres away from the Dail.The decision to occupy the hostel was made by the eight homeless people as they had been refused a bed in the hostel for that night, another 42 people were also refused a bed for the night. The beds were took away without warning. The beds were took away as part of the hostels “winding down” period towards its closure on the 29th of May. The building the hostel is in is owned by the government's Department of Communication.

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