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Irish Housing Network Calls For Support to Keep Bolt Hostel Open

The Irish Housing Network denounces today’s decision by Dublin City Council to initiate injunctive court proceedings against the residents and occupants of Bolt Hostel. Furthermore, the Network is calling for support tomorrow (Tuesday 28th of July) at 9:00am at the Bolt Hostel, which will then proceed from the Hostel to the High Court for the hearing to show solidarity with those people trying to make a home of the Bolt Hostel in the face of eviction. The Network views this injunction as a regressive and damning decision by Dublin City Council in the face of Ireland’s worsening housing crisis in which 3,000* people in Dublin alone, and 1,122** children nationwide are in immediate need of housing.

The Bolt Hostel is a former Dublin City Council homeless hostel which has lain vacant for over 3 years. Last month, the Irish Housing Network re-opened the space in order to house homeless families and individuals. The Bolt hostel currently has the potential to house two families or up to 6 individuals comfortably with full mod cons including fully operational kitchens and bathrooms. Since re-opening of the Hostel, the Network has carried out significant renovation works including complete refurbishment and servicing of electrics, and has sought professional advice on fire safety.

Seamus Farrell of the Irish Housing Network: “Over the month members of the Irish Housing Network along with volunteers and supporters have worked with professional tradespeople to turn this once homeless hostel into a place of shelter at a time of deepening homeless crisis. Instead of working with them, the Council’s actions have shown that their definitive answer to the homeless crisis is to evict those working to remedy it. We want this to be a space of safety and security for those who have nowhere else to go. Shutting down the Bolt Hostel is directly preventing those in need from accessing emergency housing, and threatens those who wish to complete renovations with arrest.”

Aisling Hedderman of North Dublin Bay Housing Crisis Committee and the Irish Housing Network: “At a time when so many families are at risk of homelessness and a government cut of over 18 million euro to homeless services, somebody needs to take action. That’s what the Bolt Hostel has done. They have shown that you can re-open derelict spaces for public good. The Irish Housing Network has expressed disappointment that Dublin City Council has not seen this as an opportunity to re-house homeless families, but to place more barriers between the homeless and a viable solution.”

The Irish Housing Network are calling on all support to show solidarity with housing activists tomorrow. Rally begins at the Bolt Hostel at 9:00. It will proceed to the High Court for the 10.30am hearing.

The Irish Housing Network began in May 2015, bringing together 9 homeless and housing groups who have been feeding the homeless, doing education and research, helping with legal support and stopping evictions.

Sources: *Dublin Region Homeless Executive,http://www.homelessdublin.ie/homeless-figures **Inner City Helping Homeless,http://www.innercityhelpinghomeless.ie/

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