'This is segregation': Social housing tenants denied access to amenities

Social housing tenants in mixed-tenure developments are reporting that they are not being given t...
Faye Curran
Faye Curran

12.26 10 Jul 2023

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'This is segregation': Social...

'This is segregation': Social housing tenants denied access to amenities

Faye Curran
Faye Curran

12.26 10 Jul 2023

Share this article

Social housing tenants in mixed-tenure developments are reporting that they are not being given the same access to facilities as private renters are.

Part V of the Planning and Development Act specifies 20% of a development will be allocated to deliver homes for those who qualify for social and affordable housing support.

The legislation aims to encourage integrated development and reduce housing segregation.


However, residents in the mixed-tenure developments are reporting different levels of access to facilities for private renters versus social housing tenants.

Speaking to The Pat Kenny Show, Newtalk's Josh Crosbie said facilities such as "gyms, workspaces, and cinema rooms" are not accessible for residents who are living in the facilities under Dublin City Council.

"They do feel segregated," he said, "Children who are living there, they're seeing their friends over in one block being able to use the cinema room, have parties in the communal spaces, and they're not able to because of the block they're living in."


One resident at a development in Cabra, Grace, who has been on the housing list for 15 years, told Josh that she and her two daughters have been "excluded" by the facility.

"We just presumed that we'd be able to use everything," she said.

"My teenager was excited to join the gym and then when she heard that [she didn't have access], I think she felt second class.

"I'd love to be able to go over there and book the party rooms."

Residents in the facility were told they could access the gym for €89 per month and for the co-working area and cinema rooms, residents must pay €119 a month. For a monthly package for access to all facilities, residents must pay €208 per month.

Cinema room A Cinema room (Ashley Morrison / Alamy Stock Photo)

Dublin City Council

In a statement to Newstalk, Dublin City Council said that the agreed rental values with the owner are solely for the residential element of the developments.

"Dublin City Council has signed long-term lease agreements for six multi-unit schemes where amenities such as gym, residential lounge, co-working areas etc. are available on site," they said

"Access to recreational amenities is available to Dublin City Council tenants in five of the six schemes with service charge for use being a matter for the owner/ lessor and tenant to agree, as with private tenants.

"The Council is currently engaging with the Letting Agent in the remaining development to facilitate access to the additional amenities."

'Garden path'

Josh said that residents are reporting that the facilities are still not always offered to them, even if they agree to pay.

"I've been speaking with residents who say they have offered to pay and the buck is just getting passed from one group to another, from the management company to the approved housing body back to the council again," he said.

"They feel they are being led down the garden path."

"I can't use the car park because it's private. I called them and asked them, 'Can I pay myself if it's possible?' and then said no, I can't pay," Jules, a resident in a Drimnagh complex reported.

Children use playground equipment in front of an apartment housing unit in Guernica northern Spain. Image shot 09/2008 (David R. Frazier Photolibrary, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Emergency motion

Today, at the Southeast Area Committee on Housing, Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn is tabling an emergency motion to address the "discrimination" against Part V tenants.

"They're marked from the very beginning because the local authority created this inequality, and they need to change this," he told Josh.

"You can't have young children growing up in apartment blocks where they can't have access to the playground ... they're seen as 'other'.

"It's about primary legislation – we can't have a situation where we're entitled to Part V and all of a sudden those Part V come without amenities. It's like buying a brand-new car but without the wing mirrors.

"It's about proper rights, and these people are entitled to acquire, through finances, the use of the gyms etc.

"There's no clear policy. What there is, is there's clear discrimination."

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Accessability Amenities Cabra Mannix Flynn Mixed Tenure Developments Private Rental Social Housing

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