Share your memories of public housing

A still from a video shows two young women and their children walking in front of the Ballymun flats when they were new
Image courtesy of Turlough Kelly.

According to the most recent census, just under one in ten households in the Republic rent from their local authority. That’s 143,178 families, not including the 62,000 on the waiting list. In 1971 about 15% of households lived in local authority housing. In fact, in the 1970s and 1980s about a quarter of new young households in Dublin went into social housing.

That means that a reasonably high percent of the population has either lived – or still lives – in public housing all over the country. So there are a lot of different experiences of public housing, whether people live in cities, towns, or villages, whether there’s services nearby or not, whether the home was built recently or in the past, whether the council paid attention to residents or not, or any of the other normal ingredients that go into whether you like where you live or not.

But we just don’t see that breath of experience. We don’t see it in the media. And we don’t hear it from our politicians. They don’t see or depict public housing as a legitimate choice.

We want to gather the voices of people who live, or have lived, in public housing and make that part of the public discussion about how to solve the housing crisis. What do you think of when you think of public housing? Is the media representation close? Are there ways that public housing could be improved?

Use this form to let us know!