HAP fails to assist

The housing market continues to prove that it is hard to penetrate by people who are eligible for social housing. In order to qualify, you must meet a multitude of standards. The most important of these being that you need housing and cannot provide using your own resources, you have a legal right to remain in the State, you are 18 years of age or older, and lastly your net income must be lower than a calculated threshold based off the structure of your family. 

If you are in the spectrum that allows you to receive social housing, then you are likely to be able to utilize social housing support that is run by the local authorities; this tool is known as HAP and it can be utilized in a multitude of ways. 

HAP went into effect on 1 March 2017 and has been available under local authorities. This program was implemented to allow HAP tenants full-time and still keep their housing support. It also gave rise to a more structured approach at organization by making all social housing supports …

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We know what to do but will we do it?

This article first appeared in the Sunday Business Post on the 7th of February 2016

Below is some well-intentioned advice on what could be done to improve the housing situation

That commentary is often critical is a natural by-product of looking at a situation as it is and considering how it could be. Ideals are not the same as standards and what ought to be is often far from what is.

For that reason I hope to look at areas in the coming weeks where improvements could be made in the Irish property market to achieve specific aims of lowering the cost of housing and delivering more housing.

I know the fine folks in the Department of the Environment read this column, as they sometimes are kind enough to complain to my editor about how we deal with subjects, so hopefully this will be taken in the spirit of some well-intentioned advice.

First off, we should end construction levies. These are up-front taxes or development levies based on the square meterage that you intend to build. The issue with them …

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How ‘Shared Equity’ in an arrears cases would(n’t) work

This piece is a demonstration of the way in which a a bank will opt for ‘shared equity’ with a home owner who is in arrears as means to keeping them in the property. It is important to remember, the ‘big bad bank’ wants people to stay in a property with arrears, only during a strong upward cycle do they tend to repossess property rapidly. What you will see next is in effect, a legal accounting trick, and one which actually leverages the individual even more.

So the situation at the start shows the asset value versus the value of the underlying security (in fact it is a little more complicated than this but for the sake of explanation the property and asset are the same value). Then along comes a property crash (we had a banking crisis thrown in for good measure).

Now the borrower is 200% leveraged, or at 50% in negative equity (their …

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