Thousands of people are looking to rent this mouldy bedsit in Dublin but there is something very unusual about it
Sometimes it is the unexpected that makes us act.
An ad appeared on the property website daft.ie on Friday and at the time of writing it has been viewed 11,800 times. The single room in a house shared with 'numerous tenants' is priced at €1500 a month.
It is extortionate but reflective of the current Dublin rental market where the struggle to find accommodation is proving consistently difficult for the unemployed, for students, low-income earners, families, refugees and anybody on rent supplements.
If you read the text of the ad however you realise your outrage should not be directed at an opportunistic landlord asking 18k a year for a tiny bedsit but instead at the system that created a deficit of affordable housing in Ireland.
The daft.ie ad is not really for a mouldy bedsit on Sean Mcdermott street, the ad is a confrontation. It is a part of a guerilla marketing campaign by St Vincent de Paul (SVP). The charity is trying to highlight how easy the slip into homelessness is in a city of rising rents and a country with an under-regulated private property sector.
The text of the ad reads;
"Located in a sought after red brick Victorian terrace this charming compact apartment occupies one section of the upstairs. Four rent increases in three years indicates how desirable this property is.
"The very small floor area makes this a wonderful example of creative design. This property boasts a wonderful community spirit with communal laundry and shower facilities shared with numerous other tenants.
- Kitchenette conveniently located next to sleeping area.
- Suits couple or family looking to downsize.
- Occasional hot water.
- Large amounts of natural light due to lack of curtains.
"Homelessness has reached critical levels. In July 2016 there were 6,525 men, women and children homeless in Ireland. It can be something small that forces someone out of their home but it could also be something small that helps get them back on their feet".
Its tone could be facetious if it wasn't so close to the truth and it wouldn't be the first time the Dublin rental market has been satirised, in order to raise awareness and express anger at the current crisis.
People have already been reacting to the campaign on twitter.
— Stefano Francavilla (@sfrancavilla) October 14, 2016
— Helen (@HellyH) October 15, 2016
— John-Mark McCafferty (@JMMcCafferty) October 15, 2016
This week SVP is converting their George's Street shop in Dublin's city centre to an estate agents, advertising old damp rental units, overpriced rented homes, a sofa in a friend’s house or a cramped hotel room for a whole family.
Speaking to JOE John-Mark McCafferty of SVP asked people to support the campaign by visiting the website and signing a petition to call for the government to ensure that enough social housing is built or bought to meet the current and future need for our growing population. The campaign is also asking for improved security, affordability and quality in the private rented sector.
Minister for housing Simon Coveney recently announced that 47,000 new units of social housing will be available by 2021 as part of the government's €5.35 billion plan to tackle the housing crisis in Ireland.