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National - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Irish Housing Conference: Do We Know What We're Doing?

category national | housing | event notice author Thursday September 27, 2007 16:09author by D_D Report this post to the editors

A Critque of Policy and Provision

Critique of Policy and Provision

organised by RESPOND! Housing Association

on October 11th and 12th 2007
at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin 9

The primary aim of the conference is to examine critically the Irish Housing sector from personal, public and private perspectives, while considering the role of social housing and future developments in the sector.

Confirmed speakers include the following:

* Eddie Hobbs (Broadcaster and Financial Consultant)
* Professor P.J. Drudy (Trinity College Dublin)
* Dr Rory O'Donnell (NESC)
* Fr. Sean Healy (CORI)
* John Fitzgerald (Limerick Regeneration Agencies)
* Sean Dorgan (IDA Ireland)
* Mick Wallace (Wexford Developer)
* Dr. Kieran McKeown (Social and Economic Research Consultant)
* David Gardner (South African Housing Consultant)
* Maria Graham (Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)
* Judy Nixon (United Kingdom Housing Consultant)
* Brian Harvey (Social Researcher and Author)
* Professor Tony Fahey (University College Dublin)
* Joe Horan (South Dublin County Council)
* Prof Peter Malpass (Professor of Housing Policy at the University of West of England, Bristol)

Other Speakers and Chairpeople to be confirmed.

Who should attend:
- Government Departments
- Local Authority Personnel
- City and County Managers
- Housing Officers
- TDs
- County Councillors
- Policy Makers and Researchers
- Trade unionists
- Community activists
- Housing Association Providers
- Town/City Planners
- Voluntary Housing Associations
- Private Management Companies
- Developers, Architects and Builders
- Voluntary Organisations
- Academic Institutions
- HSE
And anyone with an interest in the economic and social development of Ireland, Europe and Africa.

Please mark this date in your diary, more information to follow soon.

RESPOND! Housing Association
Tel: 0818 357 901
Email: conference@respond.ie

Related Link: http://www.respond.ie/
author by McNamarapublication date Mon Oct 01, 2007 09:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

€350 a ticket????? Obviously community activists are really welcome!!!

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Tue Oct 02, 2007 19:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The question that Respond must address themselves is; How can they be involved in the provision of housing while at the same time ensuring that the intention behind Part V of the Planning Act, in it's original form, is observed. To-date, Respond uses tax-payers money and rent income to build estates that house those from a single point in the socio-economic scale. They actually build into society segragation in total opposition to the very desirable objective of creating a society in which all groups live together. Segragation in housing perpetuates inequality.

The Respond conference is backed by the construction industry and for good reason. The construction industry is again challanging Part V, this time making the claim that there is no longer demand for it as the social housing needs are being met elsewhere. Clearly Respond and other Private Housing Associations are the ones helping to bolster the construction industries claims that there is now no need for Part V. Of course this totally ignores the very important need to build estates that conform to the objective to fully integrate the community and accommodate persons from all parts of the socio-economic scale.

Regarding the cost to attend, this is also no surprise. Respond intend this conference to be a talking shop and a networking exercise to give credence to their flawed involvement in the provision of main stream social housing. No doubt we will hear much praise for their endeavours from the construction industry.
The fact is that Respond have a very poor record of addressing the concerns of residents brought to their attention by local elected representatives and there are many problems within estates that they run. Residents find it very difficult to have issues addressed and an added concern is that their estates are not taken in charge by the local authorities. The right to purchase enjoyed by tenants of local authority houses is also denied by Respond.
The cost of admission shows that Respond clearly don't want residents or those that would have to find the admission price out of their own pockets attending this bash. Awkward questions might be raised and that might spoil the weekend. Perhaps someone might raise the question; How can Respond contributre to the creation of a society living together as opposed to being segragated in estates that are peopled along socio-economic lines? The real question and one that Respond must address.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following the highlighting of the "conference", which conveniently excluded Responds own tenants, I am advised that they finally got around to informing their tenants with a circular two/three days before the event, no doubt prompted by the posts here. Needless to say, there was no invitation or reduction in admission charges mentioned. Can anyone who attended post a report and oblige.

author by Patriciapublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a Respond tenant in Sligo Town I think Respond are not the best at managing their estates and dealing with us as Tenants.

However, I have a bigger problem with people in other areas who object to Respond housing being built beside them.

In two different instances there were objections against Respond looking to build houses in Strandhill in Co Sligo and beside Rathedmond in Sligo Town. Both were based on snobbery - they didnt want "social housing" built besdie their private homes. Absolute disgrace

author by Mark Lpublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a Respond tenant in Dublin and very unhappy with the situation and I
think all developments of theirs should be objected to. Patricia can we get
together and form a united front in getting changes to the situation? We
have a committee together but Respond just ignore us.

author by Patriciapublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why should people object to Respond developments?

I was damn glad to get a decent house for my wife and kids despite the efforts of some in the neighbourign estates who didnt want our one built beside them. I'm not gonna deny others the same opportunity to get a house.

Yes, we've had huge problems with Respond which need to be sorted - but objecting to much needed Respond housing as snobs in Sligo have done is not the answer

author by Patriciapublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 18:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What sort of problems has your estate had with Respond?

author by Mark Lpublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The same problems you are having. I would not want anyone else to go through
what we are and want the council to take over the estate. We are not let put
our names down on the housing list so we can’t get away from this position.
We will have a meeting next week and I will tell neighbours that problems
are in Sligo as well. Do you think that it could be possible to have a
meeting of all Respond estates? That would be great. We are asking that our
estate come under the council

author by Patriciapublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Theres a meeting in Sligo next week and a new Residents Committee is to be set up here. It would be a good idea for the residents in all the estates around the country to meet up.

author by Mark Lpublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 19:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will see how things go at the meeting, but these are promising developements
if other parts of the country are organising in opposing Respond. Look forward
to hearing how things went at your end.

author by Patriciapublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 19:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not sure you are taking me up properly.We are not opposed to Respond.

We want them to do things and deal with us differently.

But we are not going to oppose Social Housing Developments to get back at them like the snobs in Strandhill and Rathedmond that didnt want social housing beside them

author by Mark Lpublication date Sat Oct 13, 2007 20:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Watching the match. You‘ve lost me a bit with last post. Do your neighbours
not want your estate brought under the council? That‘s the only solution for
us that we can see. Is there another way.

author by Cluid tenantpublication date Mon Oct 15, 2007 09:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a lot of problems across the country with respond and cluid and others. It might help Sligo to

know that other estates are campaigning. In Waterford last week a local Labour Cllr has brought a

petition to Gormley for tenants in the Birchwood Estate there and other estates in Dungarvan, Carrick-

on-Suir and wexford have organised petitions. We want the council to take over our houses.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Wed Oct 17, 2007 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are a number of meetings taking place across the country this and next week and tenants of Private Housing Associations (Respond!, Cluid etc) have asked that some effort be made to formulate a uniform agenda. To that end the following are issues that have been raised and regarded as very serious.

1) Security of Tenure.

From what can be seen, the Tenancy Agreements entered into are based on agreements used by private landlords and therefore they greatly restrict security of tenure. These agreements do not extend to families the automatic right to inherit tenancy in the event that a parent leaves, for whatever reason, the household. Tenants should seek to have greater security of tenure written into agreements and also ensure that children have automatic right to tenancy following the departure of parents.

2) Rent

Private Housing Associations have their own system of calculating rent. It is very difficult to establish if this results in higher rents as is claimed by some representatives however it has come to light that Cluid are levying a surcharge by way of a weekly charge to go towards “estate upkeep” Tenants should not pay this surcharge and the best advise would be to have rents calculated on a universal system whereby everyone would be subject to the same rules.

3) Estate Upkeep

This is a serious problem and the only solution is to seek to have estates taken in charge by the local authorities. It is simply not fair when estates nearby consisting of large private dwellings are cared for by the local authority.

4) Tenancy Purchase Scheme

In contact sometime ago, Cluid and Respond stated that it was the policy of the government not to extend the right to purchase to their tenants. However following many representations on behalf of tenants last year, the Minister indicated that this would be addressed in the document to be published early in 2007 called Delivering Homes-Sustaining Communities. This has now been published, it is available on the net, and it now appears that while the government have changed their position and want to extend the Tenant Purchase Scheme, Respond! and Cluid etc are resisting this. The following quotes from the document indicate this:

Introduction
1. The Government believe that home ownership should be available to as many
people as possible where this is their preferred option. Home ownership can
be an important factor in underpinning social stability and promoting good
civic values. The Government will support access to housing by first time
buyers, through:-
Affordable housing, including shared ownership
Paths from social housing to home ownership (Tenant Purchase Scheme
and Incremental Purchase Scheme)

Role of Voluntary and Co-Operative Housing Sector
25. The primary focus of the voluntary and co-operative housing sector is social
housing, although some bodies are developing mixed tenure estates. The
DoEHLG is working with the voluntary and co-operative sector, through the
Working Group on Voluntary and Co-operative Housing, to see how the home
ownership aspirations of some tenants in this sector could be addressed.
In the course of 2006, the DoEHLG engaged actively with the sector with
the objective of determining the modalities of a pilot scheme for some
new homes. A number of issues have been identified by the sector that
require further work. Having regard to these and development of approaches
to facilitating paths to home ownership from social housing generally, it is
intended to initiate a pilot scheme in 2007 based on the incremental purchase
model.

Tenants should seek clarification from their landlord as to what is their policy and ask are they blocking the introduction of the Tenant Purchase Scheme and if yes, request that they withdraw any objections.

There are other matters causing problems but the above are the most mentioned. If any tenant or group want to contact me to further co-ordinate an agenda I can be contacted at 087 9057872. It has been suggested that an effort be made to organise a meeting nationwide, I am prepared to act as a conduit to facilitate contact between the various estates.

Hope the above is of assistance.

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