Oliver Bond flats’ residents begging Dublin City Council to fast-track regeneration plans after shocking survey revealed mould, pest, safety, and health issues
Residents of a Dublin flat complex are begging Dublin City Council to fast-track regeneration plans as shocking figures revealed that almost all of them were living with mould growing in their apartments.
Around 1,200 people are currently living in the Oliver Bond flats across nearly 400 apartments in the south inner city, which have been in desperate need of work for years.
Built in 1936, the complex is one of the oldest and largest in the capital.
Yet the residents, who today are launching a campaign to push the Council to speed up the regeneration process and put in temporary improvements right now, claim that their conditions are virtually unliveable, unsafe, and unhealthy.
The residents’ campaign, titled “We’re Sick Waiting”, say Dublin City Council have told residents that the plans to do up the complex could take 15 years to finish.
Surveys of the apartments showed that a staggering 83% of residents are living with mould and damp in their flats.
74% have drafts or poor insulation and can’t keep their homes warm, while 35% have sewage problems, and over 30% have water coming into their home.
Worryingly, 55% of residents have said that medical personnel have said the conditions in their homes have contributed to poor health in their families.
The survey goes on to reveal that 37% on average don’t have hot or cold running water, 34% have problems with pest infestation, and 64% don’t have adequate pest and vermin free refuse storage.
As well as those shoddy conditions, 66% report concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour, and, concerningly, 46% have concerns about fire safety, while 32% say there aren’t enough safe places for their children.
And nearly 70% also said that they have not made a complaint to Dublin City Council because they don’t think it will make any difference.
“We are literally sick waiting, physically and mentally,” said Lynette Lyons, a member of the residents’ group.
“We are living with damp and mould that we have to wipe down weekly. We can’t keep clothes in our wardrobes. We have to wipe down our children’s schoolbags. Most of the windows are ill-fitting, old and draughty. It’s impossible to keep the flats warm.
“Older people and children particularly are really vulnerable to the effects of the cold, damp and mould spores. It’s frustrating to see our dreams and our rights to adequate housing pushed back, year after year.
“We are also realistic. We know that regeneration can’t happen overnight but we just can’t be asked to wait another 15 years – until 2036 – for it to be completed.
“This regeneration plan was first presented eight years ago and it still hasn’t even started
“An entire generation will be forced to live in dire, unsafe and unhealthy conditions in the meantime. Many older residents will pass away in these conditions. We are asking Dublin County Council to fast-track regeneration plans and to respond to our reasonable requests to put in place interim improvements that will make our homes liveable, and our estate secure.”
The interim improvements proposed by the group include:
- Replacing the windows
- Painting the balconies and stairwells
- Erecting external gates for improved safety and security
- Improving children’s play facilities
- Ensuring better, timely maintenance
- Massively improving consultation and engagement