Housing issues in Dublin over the last century – public discussion

New public lecture series considers how to understand a changing Dublin and influence plans for the city’s future

Housing issues in Dublin over the last century and beyond was the focus of a public discussion in Trinity College Dublin yesterday evening, Thursday, October 11.

As Ireland emerges from the economic crash and austerity which ensued, Dublin’s housing issues have escalated. As part of the Behind the Headlines public discussion series, the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute hosted a free public discussion which took a broad temporal view on Dublin’s housing issues. Entitled ‘Dublin Housing: Then and Now’, the discussion heard from experts on homelessness, the housing market, and the history of Dublin’s built heritage.

At the event, Paula Mayock, Assistant Professor at Trinity’s School of Social Work and Social Policy, looked at the homelessness landscape in Dublin and the consequences for the city. Her talk addressed some common misconceptions and stereotypes about the homeless based on her research on women’s homelessness. She asked why, despite international and national research evidence highlighting the importance of permanent housing solutions, we continue to premise our responses to homelessness on ‘back end’ crisis-driven policies that serve to exacerbate both the causes and consequences of homelessness.

Ronan Lyons, Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity, examined how the city’s housing has developed over the last century. His talk focused on understanding today’s housing crisis and the policy steps needed to ensure that it does not persist into the future by examining not just conditions today but also how the city’s housing has developed over the last century. Key areas for policymakers to address now, according to Dr Lyons, are how land is used, how social housing is funded, and how efficient the construction sector is. A theme throughout his talk was making sure that we will have the housing stock we need in decades to come – when the country will have a largely urban population of 1-2 person households.

Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer with Dublin City Council, talked about the restoration of 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin’s north inner city and in particular the tenement era of the house. Charles spoke about the process of conservation, the collection of oral history and its use on reconstructing stories and life in the past. He also discussed the Georgian background of the building but focused mainly on the tenement history of the house.

Dr Lisa Marie Griffith, Programme Manager at the Digital Repository of Ireland, discussed the problems which have existed historically in Dublin’s property market and how they have led to today’s housing crisis. Dr Griffith discussed the problems which have existed historically in Dublin’s property market, and how urban authorities and governments failed to tackle these dysfunctions and why they led to the housing crisis we face face today. Her presentation looked at the rise of Dublin’s property developers in the eighteenth century, how suburbanisation led to the development of tenements in Dublin’s city centre and what happened when these unregulated tenements led to the death of inner city dwellers. Her talk concluded in the twentieth century by looking at some government and philanthropic attempts to alleviate the situation.

The event hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute formed part of a new ‘Trinity and the Changing City’ discussion series, which will look at the lived experience of Dublin’s citizens through the prism of arts, humanities and social sciences research. The series, organised by Trinity’s Identities in Transformation research theme will consider how we can understand a changing Dublin and influence plans for the city’s future.

Other lectures in this series include:

  • Dublin’s Migrants’, Thursday, 8 November, 2018 — will consider ongoing debates on how to balance social cohesion and migration-related diversity
  • Seeing Other Dublins, Thursday, 6 December 2018 — will look at the many aspects of Dublin that persistently escape reflection in the city’s arts and media
  • Developing Dublin, Thursday, 7 February 2019 — will consider how Dublin’s built environment has changed dramatically since the property bubble and subsequent economic crisis.
  • Dublin’s Languages; Friday, 8 March 2019 — will present perspectives drawn from recent research and the lived experience of those moving between different languages in the city.
  • Social Class in Dublin: The Final Taboo; Thursday, 4 April 2019 — a look at class system in Dublin and how it impacts on the life chances and health of Dubliners.

 

About the ‘Behind the Headlines’ Series

The ‘Behind the Headlines’ discussion series hosted by Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute offers background analyses of current issues from experts from the fields of arts and humanities research. It aims to provide a forum that deepens understanding, combats simplification and polarisation, creating a space for informed and respectful public discourse. The series is supported by the John Pollard Foundation. The next ‘Behind the Headlines’ event ‘Crises of Democracy’ takes place on Monday, 5 November, 6:30-8pm. You can find out more and make a reservation here.

Media Contact:

Fiona Tyrrell, Media Relations Officer | tyrrellf@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 3551