In the months before lockdown there was a small flurry of protests in West Dublin motivated by what was perceived to be the privileging of non-nationals on the public housing list. In the working class community of Mulhuddart, residents put a brief kibosh on the construction of public housing, citing the preponderance of foreigners on the housing list, locals being leapfrogged, and a resulting logjam of applicants.
With a commitment by the State to expedite asylum applicants onto the housing list with a promise of ‘own door’ accommodation within 6 months of their arrival there is a greater focus on the impact migration is playing on housing. A complex process made worse by the opaqueness of county councils to keep figures hidden, The Burkean under Freedom of Information requests looks at figures provided to us by all 4 Dublin county councils.
Dublin City Council-32% Foreign Born
According to figures provided to us 4,703 (32%) out of 14,672 individuals on the Dublin City Council housing list were born outside the island of Ireland. In addition to this 3,749 (25.5%) of those on the list were without citizenship at all. While not keeping figures on the number of houses given to non-nationals per year the council has either constructed or acquired 2,000 properties since 2015.
South Dublin County Council-35% Foreign Born
Of the 6,748 applicants on the South Dublin housing list a total of 2,366 (35%) are born outside the Republic of Ireland according to figures obtained by means of Freedom of Information. Among those listed 1,779 (26.4%) individuals on the housing list are without Irish citizenship.
Unlike other councils South Dublin was able to give us a breakdown of the nationalities applying for public housing. The following list are the leading nationalities on the list per the figures supplied to us.
|Nationality||Number of Applicants|
Alongside figures on non-nationals on the waiting list, the council provided us with a numerical breakdown of the housing built by the council since 2014, totalling 365, with no units being constructed 4 out of the last 7 years.
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council 22%-35% Foreign Born
With 4,157 individuals on the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown housing list a total of 1,473 (35.4%) came from or partially from non-nationals, with 553 (13.3%) applicants coming from so called ‘mixed’ applicants. Per the definition of the local housing authority the definition of ‘mixed’ is given as ‘a combination of any of the categories. For example EU and Irish, EU and Non EU, Irish and Non EU’
Since 2014 a total of 243 units had been constructed by the council with the following a breakdown of allocations made per year to non-nationals.
Fingal County Council-50% but unknown After 2011
Despite numerous attempts, it appears that Fingal County Council has stopped keeping figures on non-nationals on the housing list since around 2011. The only council to refuse our request on the grounds of allegedly not keeping figures the closest we could track down was a council report from 2011 stating that 4,108 (50%) of the 8,144 applicants were foreign born residents with 2,362 (29%) coming from non-EU nationals. The council was able to supply figures showing they had built 293 units of housing since 2014.
It would be blinkered to assign sole blame to the present housing crisis to the role of migration ignoring the paucity of public builds overall. However combined with these structural deficiencies, migration plays an ever increasing part in worsening the domestic situation, and that is before one takes into consideration the recent White Paper on asylum which stands to add fuel to the fire. Dublin like the rest of the country cannot cope with the current demographic swelling by means of mass immigration, and at a minimum citizens and those local to a community deserve preference when it comes to the issuing of public housing.