Local councils and housing crisis

Sir, – Michael McDowell (Opinion & Analysis, May13th) is both right and wrong. He is right about the absurdity of Dublin City Council selling off council-owned lands to approved housing bodies for them to borrow money to build social and affordable housing in order for us to pay for the new maintenance depot.

He is wrong, however, to blame the council. Dublin City Council, like every other local authority, operates under the mess that are our Local Government Acts and the dysfunctional Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. That department, in the main led by weak Ministers, has contrived to devise an appalling housing strategy that has now foisted the even less accountable Land Development Agency on our country.

Let me propose a simple solution. Allow councils to do what we did for a hundred years – build quality homes at a reasonable not-for-profit cost – and remove the department altogether from the three nouns in its title, housing, planning and local government, as it has ill served our country in all three areas. – Yours, etc,




Donnybrook, Dublin 4.