Irish Independent feature Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were asked for comment on housing recently by the Irish Independent and had this to say on social housing: Karl Deeter, of Irish Mortgage Brokers, suggests that sites be released for social and affordable housing schemes, or private homes, in return for equity. Developers would have little cause for complaint.

“On a vacant site (in Dublin city centre), you could build an eight-storey building with 75pc of the building rented at 20pc below market, and for the rest you have a guaranteed upward-only rent review of 2pc a year,” he says. “If we do it on a build to sell, or build to rent, we share the profits..

“We need to flood the land market. People want to talk about the law of the jungle, but you can’t be a lion, and when a rhino comes along you complain.

The general view in our opinion is that much of the malaise always comes back to the base element of housing which is land.

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The Edmund Honohan plan, in a nutshell, it’s bad policy

Last night on Claire Byrne Live the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan said that the constitution didn’t stand in the way of the state being able to pursue certain social agendas when it came to property and property rights.

This hinged on the back of an article in which the Minister with responsibility for housing Alan Kelly apparently said that the constitution blocked his ability to resolve our housing crisis, Honohan rebutted this with an open letter in the Sunday Independent.

What follows is an extract of the letter: Consequently, if the Oireachtas is of the view that the State should itself (or its local authorities) provide public housing “in the Common Good”, the State can (and probably, legally, should) decide not to wait the two/three years needed to build social housing but instead to immediately acquire houses now in private hands.

If the owners of these refuse to sell, acquisition can be by compulsory purchase with full compensation assessed by the arbitrator.

It so happens that there is a stock of such housing which has …

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RTE: Sean O’Rourke show, Karl Deeter & Ruth Coppinger discuss housing

We were pleased to take part in a conversation about social housing on the Sean O’Rourke show today. Karl was raising the point that people who need social benefits assistance should get them but not necessary forever, that it can constitute a form of ‘middle class welfare’.

Ruth had a different view and believes that social housing should not be aimed at people who need the homes the most and that social help shouldn’t just be given to the poorest in society. When Sean asked specifically if  she believed in an entitlement to social housing for life irrespective of your means, and she didn’t disagree.

We believe this is something that should be discussed because a benefit entitlement that makes sense on day one might not make sense 20 years down the road and if the idea of social housing is to help the less well off then keeping them when you are well off at a low price (which constitutes a transfer) doesn’t seem justified.

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Somebody has to put a stop to social housing provision

Somebody has to put a stop to social housing provision in its current form. It isn’t working and the continuance of Part V contributions is a mistake.

Part V works as a blunt tool which hits new home buyers in order to provide for social housing, it creates a 20% tax of sorts that has to be absorbed elsewhere in the end costs.

Think about the sums like this, imagine you had to give away 20% of €100, and that for a project to stack up you needed about a 20% return on costs to cover financing charges, cashflow and to help get the next project underway.

The return on €80 to get the €20 on top of the €100 in cost is 50% (80+50% = 120), this cost is absorbed by the end buyer, on top of VAT and development levies etc. This example is not completely fair I’ll admit because the rules state that it’s 20% of the land at existing use value rather than at development land value, some of the …

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