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Save Charlemont Street

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Save Charlemont Street

 

Save Charlemont Street has been setup to highlight the injustice suffered by the people of Charlemont Street, Tom Kelly Flats at the hands of the socially inapt Property Developer Sean Reilly and Dublin City Council.

 

“Office Of The High Commissioner Of Human Rights

The right to adequate housing (Art.11 (1)) : . 12/13/1991.

CESCR General comment 4. (General Comments)

 

Habitability. Adequate housing must be habitable, in terms of providing the inhabitants with adequate space and protecting them from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease vectors. The physical safety of occupants must be guaranteed as well. The Committee encourages States parties to comprehensively apply the Health Principles of Housing 5/ prepared by W.H.O which view housing as the environmental factor most frequently associated with conditions for disease in epidemiological analyses; i.e. inadequate and deficient housing and living conditions are invariably associated with higher mortality and morbidity rates.”

 

In May 1998 discussions began with Charlemont Street Committee to survey the area in regard to the opinions of residents on area regeneration: When asked if they had a problem with damp in their houses 52% of residents indicated that they had.

 

13 years later and the problem still exists. Dublin City Council have failed to address the problems and have left the residents of Charlemont Street feeling vulnerable and neglected, many homes still remain riddled with dampness.

 

Dublin City Council, as our landlords, have a moral obligation to look after its tenants but instead they have created a hostile environment for which the residents of Charlemont Street have to live in.

 

Taken from the Dublin City Council’s website.

Maintenance and repairs to your Council home.

 

If you are a tenant in a Dublin City Council home on which you pay rent, the following repairs will be carried out by us.

  • Structural repairs
  • Roof repairs, repairs to external walls and doors
  • Electrical faults Window repairs (excluding glass)
  • Flooding
  • Any other repairs due to the normal wear and tear

Dublin City Council have stated that,“Tenants who are over 6 weeks in Rent Arrears will no longer have routine repairs carried out to their home”

 

This is a travesty of justice for many of the residents who are forced to live in squalor while at the same time expected to pay rent for living in homes unfit for human beings.

 

It is the duty of Dublin City Council to carry out this short list of maintenance and repairs on all council homes. So far they have neglected to do so. Many homes still remain in a state of degradation which is a clear and direct violation of our Human Rights.  

 

The below quotes are statements taking from a report of research carried out with residents living in Dublin Corporation Housing in the Charlemont Street area. The report was conducted by the then, Charlemont Community Association in November 1998.

 

It is inconceivable to believe that over 13 years later these problems still exist today.

 

"Damp should not be a problem in the 1990’s. Why should my kids have asthma because of the Corporations neglect? I would be ok living here otherwise.”

 

“All ground floor tenants are treated like second class citizens by other tenants. We have to put up with constant annoyance from the kids. We need proper gates around our flats to stop this.”

 

“As a ground floor tenant, I lack the basic things to keep myself clean. I have to use Rathmines public baths. The Corporation as my land landlord is a slum landlord, if the corporation do not respond to our needs, they will turn the complex into a ghetto.”

 

“As a young person with a ground floor flat I suppose I should be happy to have it but the only message I get around here is that I have to have a kid to get a better place.”

 

“One room only, a garden I have no equipment to maintain, no bath or shower, and no immersion until I hassled a TD…not human…If I had kids maybe there would not be this hassle.”

 

“I pay my rent and have an agreement, if something goes wrong that is not my fault and is to be fixed by my landlord under the agreement, why am I made to feel so bad when I look for something to be fixed!”

 

“Waiting 2 years for a hole to be filled in the bedroom ceiling which is getting bigger”

 

“Sometimes waiting for repairs to be done undoes something else. Repairs should be done when needed and it is not fair to leave us waiting and then having to pay for stuff to be done ourselves.”

 

“Spent a fortune on phone calls to the Corporation to get them out to do anything.”

 

“I would like to ask the Caretakers to clean the stairs once a week and mop up properly so not to let the water stagnate.”

 

“The stairs are always filthy with an almost constant smell of urine”

 

“People do not have equipment to wash down their own balconies and are not able to brush down the water. Caretakers don’t do it often enough and the job done badly.”

 

“Rats…more needs to be done about them.”

 

“Some form of vandal proof playground for our kids. It’s been 16 years since we’ve had one.”      

 

Regeneration

 

It wasn’t too long ago that the residents of Charlemont Street were promised by Dublin City Council and property developer McNamara, that they would be living in brand new homes that would facilitate their fundamental everyday basic needs.

 

The people of Charlemont Street were left waiting and wanting through the turmoil of failed negotiations with Dublin City Council that left a devastating impact on the lives of the residents. Are we going to witness another repeat of this façade that has led the residents of Charlemont Street down a path of destitution ?

 

As it stands, there are no safeguards or guarantees put in place to protect ourselves from the hardship we witness today.

 

We have no guarantees that if the work dries up halfway through construction we wont be left high and dry and living on a permanent construction site for the rest of our lives. There is no get-out clause for Charlemont Street’s residents, albeit a get-out clause for Property Developer Sean Reilly is more likely in place, residents excluded.

 

Urgent action is needed to safeguard ourselves from harm. We need guarantees put in place to protect us from the appalling conditions we are forced to live in now, in spite of what the Charlemont Street Committee say, that it is impossible for such guarantees to be put in place. Nothing is impossible, especially if we stand together and resist all forms of deprivation that Dublin City Council has thrown at us.

 

Dublin City Council will use any means necessary to suit there own ill-gotten gains. They have destroyed a countless number of communities such as, Saint Michaels estate, Dolphin House but to name a few and now they are in the process of destroying Charlemont Street. They are in cahoots with big time property developers who's only interest is profit and they are willing to go to extreme lengths in pursuit of their own profit.

 

 

The problems we face today such as mould and dampness are creating serious difficulties of health for the residents. We need to demand adequate living conditions for all the residents of Charlemont Street before the redevelopment starts. We need to empower the residents and to get the residents involved with the decision-making process as mentioned in the United Nations General Comment No 4 on the right to housing:

 

“the right to participate in public decision-making - is indispensable if the right to adequate housing is to be realized and maintained by all groups in society.”

 

Immediate action needs to be taken now and not in another ten years or more when we are still waiting on Dublin City Council to fulfil their obligation and fix the problems in the flats complex. We’ve been waiting over a decade now for change but yet we keep getting the short end of the stick. For too long now we have been treated like second class citizens, its time to say, enough is enough and demand that Dublin City Council respect our rights as residents of Charlemont Street. 

 

 

Facebook:https://www.facebook...4837382?sk=wall

 

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THE DEVELOPER

 

Sean Reilly is the developer who Dublin City Council has "provided consent to the applicant for the lodgment of his application, seeking a ten year permission to redevelop Charlemont Street" so in other words we could be waiting another ten years for anything to happen.

 

It is also rumored that Sean Reilly is also one of the Anglo Irish Ten who got loans of between €9.7 million and €56.5 million from Anglo Irish Bank that is now being footed by the tax-payer.

 

10 years ago Charlemont Street was supposed to be refurbished by Dublin City Council, but that plan was scrapped and we are still in desperate need for a full refurbishment.

 

Charlemont Street was then supposed to be redeveloped as part of a previous Public Partnership Deal with developer McNamara but fell through due to the collapse in the property market, now the Council has giving the PPP deal to Sean Reilly, with no guarantees that this deal wont fall through like the previous one.

 

Sean Reilly's architects put forward redevelopment plans to the residents and they were approved. The way they did this was by organising small collective meetings with the residents instead of having everyone there at once to have their say like they did before.

 

Since then the flats have been left to rot with many residents having to forcibly move home to a more suitable accommodation, does this sound like a person who has the welfare of the community at heart ?

 

Today in Dublin, many inner city communities are being destroyed by private property developers who are collaborating with Dublin City Council all in the name of profit. Ballymun, Dolphins Barn, Rialto, Saint Michael’s Estate, Charlemont Street have all become victims of this process, but this is only the tip of the iceberg, many more communities throughout Dublin remain in the same situation as do many more across the country.

 

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Above the black line/private property/Below the black line/social housing

 

The above picture outlines the regeneration plans for the Flats Complex. As you can see the community is going to be directly cut in half to make way for private property while the remaining residents are to be crammed into a smaller tight space and pushed to the back. There is no reason as to why we should have to give up half of our own community just so we can all live in adequate housing, something that is a right.

 

Dublin City Council (DCC) has let the flats run down into a state of degradation so that the residents would accept any proposals giving to them. This tactic has been used against other communities in the past and still continues to this today.

 

The residents of Charlemont Street need to be brought back to the decision making table!

 

We need to drag Dublin City Council, property developer Sean Reilly and the Redevelopment Group who represents us, back to the table and let them know what we want as residents of Charlemont Street. We need to give our own input into the regeneration plans and be kept informed of everything going on, trivial or small!

 

As it stands, the current Redevelopment Group has failed to address the many problems we face today as a community. Instead they are more favourable of going through DCC’s regeneration process without fixing the problems that the residents are forced to live in now e.g. dampness, faulty wiring…etc. They are looking too far ahead and not thinking about the consequences at hand. Depopulating the flats and the promise of brand new homes is not progress. Pressure needs to be applied to both the Redevelopment Group and DCC to make our homes habitable before any thoughts of regeneration takes place. We cannot continue to live in squalor any longer we need to demand change now!

 

 

 

Damp Riddled Bedroom

 

 

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Inadequate Housing

Is Human Rights Abuse,

End it NOW!

 

 

We have now being informed that a recent article in the "Sun" of all papers, has stated that the redevelopment of Charlemont Street has now been put on hold for 3 years or more by the shady property developer Sean Reilly and the bastard landlords of Dublin City Council.

 

Its not a great start to the new year for the residents of Charlemont Street and an utter disgrace that we were informed of the news from a British red rag tabloid newspaper instead of or representatives.

 

Hopefully more light will be shed on the subject at next weeks community meeting!

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OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Article 11, General Comment 4, The Right to Adequate Housing

 

"The right to housing should not be interpreted in a narrow or restrictive sense which equates it with, for example, the shelter provided by merely having a roof over one's head or views shelter exclusively as a commodity. Rather it should be seen as the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity."

 

Save Charlemont Street FaceBook:

http://www.facebook....118996854837382

 

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I'm just back from a community meeting in the flats regarding area regeneration and the recent article that was in the news papers. Dublin City Council, the redevelopment group and property developer Sean Reilly, are now saying that, what was written in the papers was totally taken out of context and the deal has not been shelved. Dick Brady of DCC said he was, unaware that the residents were not informed of any changes made, before he gave a statement to the press.

 

As it stands, An Bord Pleanála have made changes to the original plans that the developer is not happy with. Now the developer is making an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, with a different set of plans, in order to make sure that he can continue with the redevelopment while making some sort of profit from it. There are no guarantees that the developer will not terminate the contract if his proposal is rejected.

 

It is more likely than not, that An Bord Pleanála will reject his proposal, that will inevitably end up with the developer pulling out. In the likelihood of this happening, DCC have said that the plans will still go-ahead but under the direction of the Council. If this does happen, we will then be last in a queue, behind scores of other communities throughout the country, who have been waiting years for their own areas to be redeveloped by the Council, ever since the collapse of the proposed PPP deals in their own areas.

 

Over a decade now we have been waiting for change and it looks like we might be in for the long haul for any sort of positive development to materialise.

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Guest IsMise

Those pictures really tell quite the tale on their own, Its awful that residents are being ignored whilst the developer and An Bord Pleanala can chase back and forth with paperwork and worse still that there is a possibility of the developer being able to withdraw altogether.

 

I hope matters are sorted soon, but alas like Fodla I think it could be a long battle, Im sure those involved are more than well able to take on those rogues for the long haul :-)

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I was just looking at these housing rights in a different context and thought I would post up links to the various international legal obligations and texts for reference sake.

 

Article 11, International Convenant on Economic and Social Rights - http://www2.ohchr.or...cescr.htm#art11

UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, General Comment No.4; The Right to Adequate Housing - http://www.unhchr.ch...7e?Opendocument

UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, General Comment No 7; Forced Evictions - http://www.unhchr.ch...50?Opendocument

Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic Social and Cultural Rights - http://www1.umn.edu/...uidelines_.html

Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Convenant on Economic and Social Rights - www.unimaas.nl/bestand.asp?id=2453

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There are also Free State legal obligations on landlords to maintain properties at a certain standard. Most of the obligations (with the exception of the provisions relating to laundry, storage and food preparation) apply to local authority landlords equally as they do to private landlords.

 

The problem is however that the enforcement mechanism if a landlord is in breach of the standards is to report the matter to the local authority!!!!!!

 

The standards include a legal obligation to maintain the structural condition of the property. The structural condition of the property is defined in Free State law as:

 

"a proper state of structural repair’ means sound, internally and externally, with roof, roofing tiles and slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascia, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, furnishings, gardens and common areas maintained in good condition and repair and not defective due to dampness or otherwise."

 

Here is a summar by Citizens Information on the standards, with links to the legislation http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/repairs_maintenance_and_minimum_physical_standards.html

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