A public meeting will be held online tomorrow to discuss the housing crisis in Galway, and potential solutions to different aspects of it.
City Councillor Niall McNelis is organising the meeting, where Karina Timothy of Threshold and Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan will discuss the various factors contributing to the current housing crisis.
Large waiting lists for public housing, a shortage in dedicated space for students, and a growing number of people who are homeless, or at risk of losing their homes, are some of the issues facing Galway.
Councillor McNelis said “Galway is expected to grow 45% in the next decade. We already have significant pressure on housing supply, with demand out-stripping supply.”
“It is important that the council play a proactive and significant role in providing additional capacity, as well as fostering development of high-quality accommodation sufficient to meet demand.”
“This must include strategies that address the scandal of hoarding, without proceeding to actual construction, of sites approved for housing,” Niall McNelis added.
Councillor McNelis said that with the eviction ban to expire next year, there are many families and individuals who don’t know if they will have a home next year, and that greater protections for renters are needed.
He also said that a “thoughtful approach” to spatial planning is needed to address a projected shortfall of 3,000 bed spaces for third level students in the city.
“We need to work in partnership with our Traveller community to provide culturally appropriate solutions, and to end the system of direct provision, to ensure all children in our city can grow up with safety and dignity.”
“If building is an essential starting point, it is vital that this happen as part of a holistic process, so that we build communities, not just units. We must ensure that housing developments support active travel by adhering to principles of permeability.”
“And as we noted in our submission to the city development plan, we must ensure the vitality of the core as a focal point for the city, and a residential district in its own right.”
The public meeting takes place on Facebook Live from 7pm, at Facebook.com/nmcnelisgalway