IHREC Upset Over Eoghan Murphy

Homelessness is increasing drastically throughout Ireland due to the rising property prices and shortage of available properties for sale or rent. Homelessness numbers reached 10,378 people at the end of April with almost 40 percent being children. In response the government has initiated some new programs and taken action into building social housing. Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, has claimed that his new Rebuilding Ireland Program has been working well since he implemented it.

Has Eoghan Murphy spent enough time and effort solving homelessness?

Emily Logan, Head of the Human Rights Body for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), would say otherwise. The IHREC accused the government of blaming this crisis as, “the by-product of market dynamics, or the price our society pays for progress.” Part of the housing shortage and rise in homelessness can be contributed to market problems, but the government needs to step up and take more action into drafting policies that would make a significant difference. The IHREC is very blunt when it comes to pointing the finger, they stated that the rising level of …

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Government Ignoring Social Housing Plans

In a time of a severe housing crisis, Ireland is looking for any way to lift the market and help people into homes at a price they can afford.

Recently, however, there was a turn of events that no one saw coming. The government has been accused of buying private sector homes rather than building social housing.

In an attempt to relieve the country from the housing shortage, the strategy was all wrong. By building social housing, the nation would have seen an incredible increase in the supply of available housing.

Something that is desperately needed.

Darragh O’Brien, a spokesperson on housing, is responsible for the gathering of the statistics in which proved that for at least the last two consecutive governments there has been nearly 1 billion euro of taxpayers money spent on the purchasing of private sector homes.

The data gathered, dating back to 2011!

These findings provide good reasoning to accuse Fine Gael of being overall opposed to the building of social housing.

An opposition that many wouldn’t agree with due to the high numbers of people …

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Newstalk: Talking Point on housing, Saturday 9th April 2016

This week on Talking Point the host Sarah Carey did a great job of examining housing issues with the panel of guests which in studio included Lorcan Sirr of DIT, Dermot Lacey a Labour Party Councillor and Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers.

Many relevant points were made about tenure, about supply constraints and solutions as well as discussions about things that don’t often make the press – such as permanent tenures and the like. It is well worth listening back on given the breadth and expert insight of the show.

 

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RTE Drivetime: Mary Wilson speaks to Irish Mortgage Brokers about Budget 2015

We spoke with Mary Wilson on Drivetime about the Budget 2015 announcements and agree that it wasn’t a ‘budget for builders’ because it was more like a budget for land bankers.

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Newstalk Lunchtime: Pre-fabs for the homeless?

Jonathan Healy of Newstalk’s ‘Lunchtime’ show spoke to us about the idea of putting homeless people into ‘pre-fab’ buildings. Our general view is that housing the homeless is important, not only economically, but socially as well, if we accept that in civil society we have certain obligations and responsibilities towards each other then it’s a simple answer, house people. But when it comes to how you house them pre-fab’s are not the answer, regular housing is.

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Joan Burton made a housing issue worse

About four years ago many landlords were receiving letters which stated that rent supplement was going down, this was occurring irrespective of what point in your rental contract you were at. This was at the behest of Joan Burton, the issue of rent supplement was later divested because it was later to be taken over by DECLG.

The genesis of the current issues with much of this rest with Labour and Joan in particular, this isn’t pointed out in the press, but the people affected know it, which is why her name almost always appears on their placards (see image to the left for a recent example)

At the time tenants were getting a letter that stated ‘Rent limits were reduced on the 1/1/12. The new rent limits for a family of your size is now (whatever the price was). Can you ask your landlord to reduce your rent and fill in section 13 to reflect the reduction‘.

This was a unilateral move, and one that paid no attention to the …

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Just repossess stuff, there are REIT’s and Social Housing folks who want them

There is a message coming from two sectors who have a housing demand that isn’t discussed when it comes to the finger pointing game, but who, by rights should get a mention.

The most recent one is mentioned in Construction 2020. Under the heading ‘Social Housing’ on page 14 it talks about how social housing is important then says this ‘It is estimated that in the region of 5,000 new Social Housing units will be provided in 2014 through leasing and existing capital programmes. This includes completion of mortgage-to-rent arrangements’.

Translation: repossessed houses will help create social housing supply. It won’t add supply, it will just re-profile properties from one classification into another meaning the list length stays about the same for these properties. This merely lets people who borrowed leap frog the 90,000+ people in the queue ahead of them into getting a home (which used to be theirs) reclassified into social housing.

The ‘Mortgage to Rent‘ scheme came from the inter-departmental group …

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Property tax exemptions – 2013 Finance Bill ammendment

The list of exempted properties is in the new property tax amendment to the 2013 Finance Bill.  Charities, properties held in trust, and those occupied by incapacitated people (within the meaning of section 189A(1) of the Act of 1997).

Of interest is section 7 which covers social housing. While access to social housing at the time of admission is normally due to diminished means of housing affordability, the upkeep, location and cost to local authorities is much higher than it would be for an equivalent private house. And a person in a social house is not removed should they become wealthier (their rent does increase).

Defaulting everybody in social housing into the lowest band places the same tax burden on people who may be at very different points in their career (and earnings capacity), it also doesn’t distinguish allowing for different groups within the social housing spectrum – there is a large difference in affordability between a younger single mother and an older couple with grown …

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