This letter has been sent to the Minister for Communities on behalf of the Take Back the City coalition of activists and experts. It calls on the Minister to announce a moratorium on all current plans for the site of the former Mackie's engineering works in NW Belfast until due consideration is given to providing sustainable social, public and cooperative housing on the site.
The former Mackie's engineering works in West Belfast is a publicly owned, brownfield site sitting adjacent to communities with some of the highest levels of homelessness and housing stress in Northern Ireland. We have brought together activists and experts to present our vision for this site. We believe that there is a unique opportunity to turn this derelict land into an exemplary housing project, creating a world class social housing eco-village in the heart of the city.
We have launched a spoof video, imagining a world where internet providers in Ireland have done the right thing, and opened up their service to all. Please check out our guide on how to maximise its impact on the companies themselves.
This document lays out a menu of actions for our network to consider as we move our Internet Access for All campaign forward to its next stage.
These are the email responses we've had so far from telecoms companies who were approached by us to ensure that no one is excluded from internet access during the Covid-19 lockdown.
We're calling on telecommunications industry leaders to work swiftly with Dáil Éireann and the Northern Ireland Executive to immediately open up all WiFi hotspots cost-free and to waive the prohibitive charges for households who are unable to access decent broadband connection. Over 200 organisations and individuals have joined us in this call, and you can too at https://bit.ly/netaccess4all
In August 2019 Belfast City Council opened a consultation regarding the 25 acre vacant Mackie's site in Belfast. Council officials, in partnership with other parties, are proposing to facilitate private housing development and public asset transfer to a ‘third party’ as part of an ‘open spaces’ strategy. The proposal excludes any potential social housing development in the area of highest housing demand in the city, on land which is owned by the Department For Communities – the department responsible for social housing development. The proposal in no way acknowledges Belfast City Council's own declaration of a child homelessness crisis, and the direct impact this has on the environmental, social and economic rights of families suffering acute housing stress. The proposal ignores the call for social housing by a majority of political parties elected to Belfast City Council. Young campaigners from #BuildHomesNow are calling this an ‘abomination of a consultation’. In our response we outline how council has ignored its local and international human rights and equality obligations. We call on Belfast City Council, Chief Executive, Suzanne Wylie to scrap the proposals and work with homeless families to develop a master plan for Mackie's that meets need, delivers on equality obligations, nourishes the natural environment and helps to bring down the walls of the past to build a shared city.
A consultation opened by the Department for Communities NI on redefining affordable housing closes today. We have summarised the way that the Department for Communities is targeting its limited resources away from homeless families and individuals towards the 30% on the housing list in the least need. Please read our full response to this consultation.
A report by Housing4All into the issues facing people seeking asylum living in Belfast.
We live in a world where Sainsbury’s will share CCTV footage of your shopping trip with social security decision makers and mobile phone usage and spending patterns are routinely monitored by the Home Office. The growing use of digital technologies within the social security system in Northern Ireland have been advanced with little or no oversight or scrutiny by the body politic, by oversight bodies or by the media. PPR is pleased therefore that the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty Professor Philip Alston decided to call for evidence on the impact on human rights of the introduction of digital technologies into social protection systems. Our submission covers the use of digital technologies to investigate 'fraud and error', the reliance of government on private companies to design, build and operate digital technologies in social security, lessons from the operation of the immigration system and the differential impacts of these technologies on rural communities and on people living in poverty. It makes a series of recommendations including the development of a set of Guiding Principles by the UN and the banning of private companies from social security assessments.
Housing4All are a group of asylum seekers and supporters who are trying to ensure that the human right to housing is realised for destitute asylum seekers in Northern Ireland. The group actively campaigns against the policies of enforced destitution and housing deprivation. This report will outline the experiences of enforced destitution amongst the asylum seeking community in Belfast, citing the relevant human rights violations which accompany these experiences. We ask that the UN Special Rapporteur for Poverty recognise the damaging impact of enforced destitution on Asylum Seekers by deliberate British State policies.
PPR's evidence on the state of economic and social rights to the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston in advance of his office's investigation into extreme poverty in the UK.