This is a difficult subject because it is a very difficult, layered and multifaceted problem. I have been contacted in recent days by residents of the Oliver Bond flats complex, just down the road from here in the south-west inner city. They are concerned about the ongoing drug-dealing in the community and the intimidation and lawlessness that goes with it. There is huge concern and anger within the Oliver Bond complex regarding this kind of behaviour. Residents feel theirs is a forgotten estate. I can understand where that is coming from. There is a lack of services in the area. There is a lack of action on the damp in the flats; 82.8% of households were complaining about damp and mould issues. Residents describe having to wipe down children's schoolbags before they go to school in the mornings as they are covered in mould.
There are plans for regeneration. There have been for a very long time. Currently the projected timeline for regeneration for the community there is 15 years. That is an entire childhood. For a child born now and living in the Oliver Bond complex, his or her entire childhood would be spent in substandard accommodation. This contributes to the feeling of it being a forgotten estate, contributes to the drug-dealing, to the crime and creates a vicious cycle of disadvantage. The residents are demanding action on the damp in their apartments. They are demanding action on the lack of services, of green spaces and of facilities. All of this, as I said, contributes to the crime that is blighting their lives and which they have been contacting me about. This is not the first time. Other Deputies in the area have raised these issues. I have been working with my local colleague, Councillor Michael Pidgeon, to raise these issues and to push them. What these residents need now is a clear timetable for when the regeneration will happen. They need financial support to provide a regeneration worker. We need funding for interim measures. While some of these interim measures may ameliorate the damp and other problems, this is a huge budget in terms of Dublin City Council's ability to renovate apartments and conduct maintenance on flats in its own housing stock. Thus we need support from the Government to help ensure these things happen.
Equally, more long-term measures are needed to address the background problems. In recent months the after-school services have come under significant pressure, given there are now cuts facing after-school services where the parents are not in employment. This ignores the role of aftercare projects with regard to educational disadvantage, social disadvantage, poverty and social exclusion. I am jumping around Departments. I have mentioned justice, housing, childcare and education. That reflects the ingrained nature of many of the problems here. Quite simply, the residents have had enough. They are saying very loudly they have had enough. They need a clear timetable for when works will happen. They need a regeneration worker to support that and they need funding now for interim measures so they are not waiting 15 years. As I said, 15 years is an entire childhood for someone growing up in the Oliver Bond flats right now.