The Growing Monster of Homelessness.

With so much happening in the past few years with crisis after crisis it seemed convenient to ignore the quietly growing monster that is homelessness.

We are looking into a crisis in terms of homelessness – each day Dublin City Council is spending thousands to put families into hotels and B&B’s. Recent news stories of families living in their cars shows that even this isn’t enough anymore, more has to be done. Equally many people become trapped in a cycle of emergency accommodation, not able to move on and get a stable life back.

Behind this is a deeper crisis in terms of housing. We need more social and affordable housing in Dublin, this is good for those who cannot afford housing but also helps prevent runaway rent prices for everyone by releasing the pressure of demand. Due to this unreleased pressure that exists at the minute we face spiralling rents which alongside cuts to rent supplement have made it almost impossible for many families to get anywhere to rent, and has increased the financial burden on those who are currently renting.

The spiralling prices in south Dublin look like another bubble, we need to learn the lessons of the Celtic tiger years and we need a comprehensive national housing policy for the first time. Housing is a basic necessity and should be treated as that, not as a commodity to be exploited.

I have worked on the ground with homeless services for adult and children, I have worked in vulnerable communities. I want to do more for these people and believe we need to address both our crisis of homelessness and our deeper housing problems.
The latest policy framework adopts a “Housing First” approach, where regardless of circumstances a house is provided and supports to keep you in the house and address any personal difficulties are put in place. While this system has been shown to work well in other countries it relies on having a supply of houses and homes to put people in. In my dealings for work with officials I have been told that the waiting time in Dublin City Council is 10 years, while Dun Laoghire Rathdown has a waiting time of 14 years. This is simply not good enough. A “Housing First” approach will fail without houses.

Dooder Action Day – Enjoy A Cleaner River

 

I have been writing to constituents to spread the word about the Dodder Action Day, organised by Dodder Action Group, a worth event that needs the communities support to work.

Dodder Action is an umbrella group of hardworking volunteers who want to maximise the potential of the River Dodder as an amenity for the local communities. The group includes residents associations, Tidy Town’s committee’s, the Dodder Anglers, and a host of other local volunteers.

As part of this work, the annual Dodder Action day sees volunteers come together to clean up the length of the river. Last year I took part with my scout group (Leeson Park), alongside other scout groups, local groups and volunteers in what was a hugely successful day.

I will be out again this year and it would be great if you could come and join us. Come along at a time and place that suits you

  • 10am Herbert Park Herbert Park Hotel Bridge Off Anglesea Road
  • 10am Templeogue / KnocklyonDodder Valley Park Carpark near Spawell Bridge on Spawell Link Road
  • 11am Donnybrook Footbridge Beaver Row / Brookvale Road
  • 11am FirhouseFirhouse Weir Dodder Riverbank ParkOff Firhouse Road by Mount Carmel Park
  • 11am Milltown / Clonskeagh Milltown Carpark (Opposite Wilde & Green) Off Milltown Road
  • 2pm Orwell / Dartry Footbridge at Orwell Park by Ely Arch Off Dodder Road Lower
  • 2pm Rathfarnham Footbridge to Bushy Park Off R112 near Fairways
  • 2pm Old Bawn Homelawn Road – Avonmore Road entrance to Homelawn

For more info check out www.dodderactiondublin.com

If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to call me on 0879431494, tweet at @costellop or email patrick@patrickcostello.ie

Hope to see you there!

Grants to make your home more energy efficient.

Through relatively straightforward measures you can improve the energy efficiency of your home making it warmer, cheaper to heat and better for the environment. Although these involve huge potential for long-term savings, energy efficiency measures do require an initial investment.  Luckily there are grants and incentive schemes to help you in upgrading your home.  I have gathered up all the information to help get you started.

SEAI (Sustainable Energy Ireland) runs a grant scheme to allow homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy efficiency measures called the Better Energy Home scheme.

Grants are available for:

  • Roof insulation
  • Wall insulation
  • Boiler and heating control upgrades
  • Solar panels

To qualify for a grant:

  1. Your home must have been built before 2006.
  2. You must apply for and be approved for a grant before works commence
  3. All works must be completed by a SEAI registered contractor and comply with SEAI standards
  4. All works, including a published BER, must be completed and paperwork submitted to SEAI within six months of the grant offer.

Seven easy steps to get grant payment

  1. Decide on work to be done and grant to be applied for
  2. Select an SEAI registered Contractor
  3. Apply for grant and get approval
  4. Get works done by registered SEAI contractor
  5. Get BER done and published by registered BER assessor
  6. Submit complete and correct forms to SEAI
  7. Get payment directly into your Bank Account

 

Grants available:

 

  • €200 for Attic insulation-Up to 30% of the heat produced in your home may be escaping through a poorly insulated roof. 
  • €250 for Wall insulation (cavity)-On average, a home loses 20 – 30% of its heat through its walls and even more if they are not properly insulated.
  •  €900 (Apartment or Mid Terrace), €1350 (Semi-Detached or End of Terrace), €1800 (Detached House) for Wall insulation (internal dry lining)
  • €1800 (Apartment or Mid Terrace), €2700 (Semi-Detached or End of Terrace), €3600 (Detached House) for Wall insulation (external dry lining)
  • €560 for Heating controls with boiler (oil or gas) upgrade-homeowners can typically reduce their energy usage by up to 20% by installing a high efficiency boiler as a replacement for older lower efficiency models.
  • €400 for Heating controls upgrade only
  • €800 for Solar heating-typically, solar hot water systems can meet 50-60% of your annual hot water usage for free.
  • €50 for BER Rating

For more information check out:

http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_energy_homes/homeowner/Technology_Buyers_Guides/

 

Database of registered contractors:

https://hes.seai.ie/GrantProcess/ContractorSearch.aspx

 

Database of registered BER assessors:

https://ndber.seai.ie/Pass/assessors/search.aspx

 

Online grant applications

https://hes.seai.ie/MeasureRecommendations/MeasureRecommendations.aspx