Archive

Archive for October, 2015

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

October 24, 2015 4 comments

Scandalous Anti-Human Savagery Implemented By Government including Ministers Finian McGrath, John Halligan and K. Zappone, Fianna Fail, in Backing Extremist Pro-Rich Housing Policy of FG and Varadkar

——————————————————————————————

Patricia King General Secretary of  ICTU Speaks to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Housing and Homelessness at ICTU Biennial Delegate Congress  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

 

PUNISH THE GOVERNMENT BY Voting AGAINST ITS Candidates in the ELECTION-Irish Congress of  Trade Unions https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Government Candidates who should be punished include all Fine Gael Candidates and any candidate associated with ministers who are members of the Independent Alliance or other independents. The Independent Alliance Ministers are: Shane Ross TD Dun Laoire, John Halligan TD Waterford, Finian McGrath TD Dublin-Artane, Kevin “Boxer” Moran TD Athlone. Ministers Katherine Zappone Dublin South West and Sean Canney Galway East are also members of the government.

“Voters need to send a message loud and clear to the Government this Friday and punish them for keeping the housing crisis going”

John Douglas, Gen Sec of of the Mandate Trade Union and Member of Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said people have been “betrayed” by the Government and should be punished by voters at the European and local elections taking place on Friday.

“The Government needs to declare a housing emergency and give people a legal right to a home. The Government’s strategy Rebuilding Ireland is failing and homelessness is increasing. Voters need to send a message loud and clear to the Government this Friday and punish them for keeping the housing crisis going,” he said

The Government needs to declare a housing emergency, rally in Dublin is told

 Áine McMahon, Irsh Times ,May 19

Voters Need to punish Government at the local and European elections on Friday for its inaction on the homeless crisis, speakers at a weekend rally in Dublin declared.

Thousands of people marched through the capital on Saturday over the rising homeless figures and the housing crisis in an event organised by a coalition of trade unions, political parties and community groups.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing show there were 10,305 people registered as homeless in Ireland in March, including 3,821 children.

The protest heard demands to build more public housing, for rent controls and for the right to housing to be formally inserted into the Constitution.

John Douglas of the Mandate Trade Union said people have been “betrayed” by the Government and should be punished by voters at the European and local elections taking place on Friday.

“The Government needs to declare a housing emergency and give people a legal right to a home. The Government’s strategy Rebuilding Ireland is failing and homelessness is increasing. Voters need to send a message loud and clear to the Government this Friday and punish them for keeping the housing crisis going,” he said.

“The Government are putting millions of euro into the pockets of direct provision centre owners and B&B and hotel owners while our own citizens don’t have housing,” said Mr Douglas.

Anthony Flynn of Inner City Helping Homeless and an Independent candidate in the local elections said: “Thousands of people are out marching today because they have had enough of the Government’s indifference towards the housing and homelessness emergency. Protestors are sending a clear message to Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, we will not tolerate the crisis you preside over”.

‘Catastrophe’

The veteran campaigner against homelessness Fr Peter McVerry said the housing crisis “will soon become a catastrophe”.

“Since Rebuilding Ireland was introduced over two years ago, rents have increased to a record level and prices continue to increase,” he said.

“The Government’s Housing strategy is not working. A 12-year-old could tell us that. And yet, every month when the homeless figures come out, they keep insisting the strategy is working. The emperor has no clothes and until they realise they have no clothes, nothing is going to change.

“There are at least half a million people in the country whose housing situation is causing them stress – from overcrowded houses to those living in poor quality private accommodation who can’t complain due to fear. There are those in their 20s, 30s and 40s still living with their parents who can’t move out of home and be independent,” added Fr McVerry.

“There are people paying over 60 per cent of their wages on rent to hand over to a landlord. I think Karl Marx would have something to say about that and the transfer of wealth,” said Fr McVerry.

The Raise the Roof Rally was attended by thousands of people in Dublin city centre on Saturday. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

One woman at the rally indicates what she feels needs to be done to solve the housing crisis.

Those attending the rally heard calls for the Government to declare a housing emergency. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Bulelani Mfaco from the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland criticised the profits being made by private companies from those living in direct provision.

“Direct provision was created 20 years ago and was only meant to last six months but the Government liked it – it would deter people coming to Ireland to seek asylum and it would make a profit for those who run direct provision centres. If you have a struggling hotel, all you have to do is put a family in direct provision there and it will make the owners make thousands of euro per year,” he said.

‘Destroying families’

Orla O’Connor of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said Ireland has the highest rate of female homelessness in Europe.

“We know the devastation not having a home is having on the women of Ireland. This is the equality issue of our day. Not knowing where you will take your children tonight, where are you going to sleep, where are you going to wash, where can your children play or do their homework. This is devastating and it is destroying families,” said Ms O’Connor.

Colm O’Halloran of the Union of Students in Ireland said students cannot afford to rent luxury student residences that are being built and cannot compete with working people to rent homes.

—————————————————————–Well Said UNA MULLALLY IN IRISH TIMES! https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Una Mullally: Eoghan Murphy needs to get real or get out

Una Mullally Irish Times, Monday, May 20, 2019, 

Previously one could say that maybe ministers were out of touch, or didn’t understand the experiences of a younger generation. But Varadkar and Murphy are that generation. Why don’t they care?

The solutions to this crisis are staring Fine Gael in the face. Build more social housing. Build more affordable homes. They just don’t want to do it. Murphy and his department’s enthusiasm for doing anything but that simple solution, is getting more ludicrous and insulting by the day

On the eve of Saturday’s Raise the Roof housing protest in Dublin, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy struck a tone-deaf note. Speaking on Newstalk, he said that “what we’re doing with co-living is bringing around another option, another choice for people”.

“Co-living” is property business marketing language for high-density bedsits, a setting few aspire to live in. The privileged live in a world of options and choices. That is simply not the reality for those caught in the housing emergency. It’s time for Murphy to get real, or get out.

At the housing protest, the solidarity across all areas of Irish society was evident; United Against Racism, the Dublin Renters Union, Irish Travellers Movement, Pavee Point, Mandate, Siptu, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, USI, Age Action, UCDSU, Opatsi (Operative Plasterers and Allied Trades Society of Ireland), MERJ (Migrants and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice), and political parties including People Before Profit, Sinn Féin, the Green Party, and the Social Democrats, all marched. What was especially notable was the broad range of age groups protesting.

Last year saw something of a change in the Government’s mindset, with changes to the minimum apartment size guideline. The scene was set for co-living

The solutions to this crisis are staring Fine Gael in the face. Build more social housing. Build more affordable homes. They just don’t want to do it. Murphy and his department’s enthusiasm for doing anything but that simple solution, is getting more ludicrous and insulting by the day.

Over in Dún Laoghaire, Murphy’s co-living dream is working its way through the fast-track planning process. Bartra Capital Property Group is seeking permission for a “co-living” building on Eblana Avenue. As a “concept”, co-living is gleefully sweated over by investors and developers in cities around the world where rents are rising far beyond affordability.

What does this look like? In Dún Laoghaire, it looks like 42 people sharing a kitchen on one floor, 40 people sharing a kitchen on another floor, and 38 people sharing a kitchen on another floor. These “studio apartments” would be 16.25 sq m in size.

Devoid of big ideas, [Murphy’s] position is nevertheless solidified by his friend Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Co-living space

“Shared living is taking off in Dublin and is seen as the ideal housing option for millennial tech workers,” Bartra’s website declares. “Co-working spaces such as WeWork, Dogpatch Labs and Iconic are now well established in Dublin, providing (mainly) millennial freelancers, contractors and remote workers with an alternative to working from home, or Starbucks. Hot on its heels comes co-living, which rounds out the concept by providing them with somewhere to lay their head as well.”

It’s already here. Dublin’s first co-living space, Node, opened last year on Pembroke Street, and filled up fast, with rents from €1,300 upwards. It is hard to know how much of its success is down to the accommodation crisis, and how much down to the concept, but founder Anil Khera made it clear he is looking for more properties in the city.

Housing crisis or concept? Who knows, who cares? “Dublin looks ripe for the concept,” we’re told. Naturally, the housing Minister gets a shout-out.

It is especially galling that a government with so much youth on its side is willing to screw over members of its generation so ruthlessly

Last year saw something of a change in the Government’s mindset, with changes to the minimum apartment size guideline. The scene was set, in other words, for co-living. “It wasn’t possible to do this until Eoghan Murphy changed the planning code last year,” says Marie Hunt, executive director and head of research at CBRE.

“Up until then, the planning code stated things like if you want to build an apartment it has to be much the same regardless of who was in it, with things like dual-aspect and a car-parking space whether you wanted it or not.”

There you have it.

This is what Murphy is now championing. Young people’s housing needs are not magically different from those who came before them just because a property company calls them “millennials”. But there’s money to be made, and property companies need people to fall for this spin so they can squeeze every cent of profit from every square metre.

The result is a capital city relying on student accommodation, short-term lets and hotels – anything but decent, reasonably-sized homes. This will be this Government’s terrible legacy for years to come. It needs to stop now.

Superficiality over ability

Murphy has shown no evidence of any great ability, dependable competence or reliable authority to navigate a way towards housing solutions that are helpful, sustainable or desirable.

This ineptitude and ineffectiveness has rightly marked him as the target of ire amongst his peers across the capital and the country. Devoid of big ideas, his position is nevertheless solidified by his friend Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Murphy is loyal and has remained in his role. This triumph of superficiality over ability sees Murphy personify Fine Gael 2.0’s gravitation towards perception over proof.

I’m not excusing how previous ministers and governments with an older average age disregarded young people, but it is especially galling that a government with so much youth on its side is willing to screw over members of its generation so ruthlessly.

Previously one could say that maybe ministers were out of touch, or didn’t understand the experiences of a younger generation. But Varadkar and Murphy are that generation. Why don’t they care?

The premise of youth in government is that generations that felt ignored or disconnected from older generations in power finally get a fair hearing. This Government needs to start living up to the promise of that premise.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

——————————————————————–From Patricia King, General Secretatary ICTU

“I believe it is imperative that affiliate unions do their utmost to ensure we have as many members as possible on the May 18 Rally to send a clear signal to government that a radical shift in housing policy is needed in order to bring this intolerable situation to an end.”

Dear Colleagues,

On Saturday May 18 the trade union led Raise the Roof initiative will stage a mass rally in Dublin in protest at the ongoing and worsening housing emergency. The rally will start at Parnell Square at 1pmhttps://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

In recent days, Fr Peter McVerry has described the housing situation as one that has morphed from “a crisis to catastrophe” and most experts believe it will worsen in the short to medium term, unless there is a dramatic change in official policy.

 

This multi-faceted emergency extends across all levels of the housing sector and affects virtually all sectors of society: workers, families, women, students, pensioners, travellers and many others.

 

As part of the Raise the Roof, Congress has put forward clear solutions to this crisis, such as the urgent need to build more public housing and to create a legal right to housing, which already exists in some 80 countries worldwide. A petition in support of the Right to Housing is available at this link: https://www.ictu.ie/raisetheroofpetition

 

Huge numbers of young workers and their families now find themselves locked out of the housing market, unable to either buy or rent an affordable place to live. Housing is no  longer seen as a human right but as  a plaything of speculators and developers.

 

Therefore I believe it is imperative that affiliate unions do their utmost to ensure we have as many members as possible on the May 18 rally to send a clear signal to government that a radical shift in housing policy is needed in order to bring this intolerable situation to an end.

 

Patricia King

GENERAL SECRETARY

ICTU

30 low-income households to be evicted from Dublin homes

More than 30 low-income households in south Dublin will be evicted as their new landlord wants to refurbish and relet their homes at higher rents

Kitty Holland, Irish Times,Wednesday, May 8, 2019 https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Emmet Manor, a block of 32 apartments in Inchicore, was bought by Carnivan Bay Property Limited – owned by multimillionaire businessman Justin Keatinge – at a receivership auction last December.

Norths Property, on behalf of Carnivan Bay, is seeking vacant possession of the block to carry out “significant refurbishments” and has begun issuing termination notices.

Joelle Tungu has lived in Emmet Manor for five years with daughters Kaina (14) and Keisha (5), and got notice on March 1st.

“Your landlord plans to refurbish the apartment and must therefore issue you with a termination notice to vacate … We will need to reclaim the property on or before Friday, June 21st, 2019,” the notice read.

“We will have no hesitation in recommending you to any prospective landlord and if we can be of assistance in your search please do not hesitate to contact our office.”

A carer, she pays €830 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. In her daughters’ box room wallpaper is peeling due to damp. The larger bedroom is so damaged with mould that Joelle, who has asthma, sleeps in the living room.

There is neither window nor ventilation in the kitchen. The bathroom ceiling is scarred with mildew.

Ms Tungu agrees the apartments need refurbishing but is “very, very worried” about becoming homeless.

“I have been looking for somewhere else but it is not easy. I went to the council and they said I can get the ‘homeless HAP’ [higher rate of Housing Assistance Payment available to households facing homelessness], but no landlords want this HAP.”

Rich tenants

David Bisset was homeless with his daughter (11) before they moved in in 2012. He pays €825 a month.

“I had been in addiction, but having a base here, our lives really took off. I am working and do community work with the local football team.”

Though he hasn’t yet received an eviction notice, he has begun looking for alternative accommodation.

“I could get €1,250 on HAP but the average place around here is €2,000. I’m feeling pretty helpless and hopeless. I’m born and bred around here. It’s wrong that someone can come and throw the poor out to get rich tenants in.”

Local councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh (Sinn Féin) is working on an “exit strategy” for the tenants and is calling for “laws that protect tenants” where a block of rented homes changes hands.

“A lot of these people are very vulnerable. They have been paying their rent, living in substandard housing and now they are the ones losing out. There is nothing illegal in what the landlord is doing, though.”

Nicola Ryan, Norths Property residential manager, said “no tenant should have to live” in the “very poor” conditions in Emmet Manor.

“Unfortunately it is impossible to do the required renovations with tenants in situ” and Norths planned to empty the block in four phases over three years, to minimise disruption. She confirmed rents would increase but said current tenants would have an opportunity to return.

——————————————————–

Varadkar, Pro-Super-Rich Extremist, Deliberately GRINDING THE FACES OF THE POOR In The Private Rented Sector

State must become less reliant on private landlords- Opinion Piece, John Mark McCafferty, Threshold, Irish Times, Monday, May 6, 2019, https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“It is Government policy to place the majority of those with a long-term housing need not in secure social housing tenancies but in the private rented sector (PRS) supported by the housing assistance payment (HAP) where they can be evicted for no reason. We need to face up to the fact that the policy is failing us.

The policy is that tenants should not pay more than 30 per cent of their income in rent. However, a survey of Threshold clients published last month showed that many tenants in receipt of HAP are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent in an effort to secure a home in the private rented sector. With rents continuing to rise, this will increasingly become standard practice among HAP tenants. They are now spending essential household income on rent top-ups to the landlord because of this shortfall.

Under Rebuilding Ireland, 61 per cent of all social housing provision between 2016 and 2021 will be sourced in the Private Rented Sector via HAP. This is not sustainable at a time when the PRS is so unaffordable and insecure. It will leave a disastrous legacy, trapping people in poverty and unable to set down roots or establish the necessary security of home.”

————————————————————Varadkar,Pro-Super-Rich Extremist, Pursues Savage New Plan

Teachers, Nurses to Be Pauperised In Old Age by Paying Huge Rents https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

First Time House Buyers being Squeezed OUT as overall, cash buyers – such as the State, cuckoo funds and investors in buy-to-let housing – accounted for half of all residential properties bought last year, according to the Central Bank.

Revealed: One in five new-build homes is now being snapped up by State

Charlie Weston, Irish Independent, May 6

Rather than building their own properties, councils and housing bodies are purchasing more than funds

The State is squeezing out first-time home buyers by snapping up new homes rather than building their own.

Charlie Weston, Irish Independent, May 6

Official figures show approximately one in every five newly built residential properties was snapped up by a combination of local authorities and taxpayer-funded housing bodies last year.

In some counties the State is snapping up more than half of all new homes in estates.

And it is typically competing against first-time buyers at the same price points.

Housing experts claim county councils could build homes cheaper.

Expert in housing policy Lorcan Sirr has dubbed the State’s actions as akin to that of a magpie – a bird that is notorious for taking things off others.

22Crisis: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Frank McGrath

He said that taxpayer funds being used to buy houses meant councils were not ramping up capacity to build.

Dr Sirr warned: “There are also likely political consequences for those who stand in the way of home-ownership.”

In response, the Department of Housing claims it is buying homes offered by investment funds that are not normally offered on the open market for individual sale.

There has been huge controversy about the activities of cuckoo funds. These are international investors who snap up entire developments to rent out, thereby locking out first-time buyers and young families from buying their own home.

But figures from the Department of Housing show the State is buying far more newly-built houses than any cuckoo fund.

These new houses are known as “turnkey” houses – when the State buys new housing from a developer before it hits the market.

Last year there were 18,072 new houses and apartments completed.

Excluding one-off houses and 1,644 homes built by councils means the total falls to 11,373. Some 2,100 turnkeys were bought by local authorities and approved housing bodies, which are mostly State-funded.

This means 18pc of completed new builds last year were bought by the State, or nearly one in five.

Cuckoo investors block-purchased almost 3,000 units last year, but most of these properties were bought off the plans and have yet to be constructed. About 700 were completed homes.

The means the State was the largest purchaser of completed homes last year.

Overall, cash buyers – such as the State, cuckoo funds and investors in buy-to-let housing – accounted for half of all residential properties bought last year, according to the Central Bank.

The pressure exerted by this is one of the reasons half of new buyers will need help from mum and dad to buy their own home.

A Department of Housing spokesperson responded that it was too simple to say that it is pushing out first-time buyers.

“The notion that turnkeys are homes that are completed and the State simply buys the keys is untrue.

“In many cases the local authority is involved from the very start and the houses would not be built without the involvement and funding of the local authority.”

In some areas the local authority may not have land in places suitable for social homes.

“These homes are not being bought in a shrunken market – they are directly expanding the market because they are new homes built by and for the local authority/approved housing bodies,” the spokesperson said.

And they insisted that in some areas, acquisitions are both faster and cheaper to deliver.

————————————————————-Homeless figures hit record high of more than 10,300

You can Stop This Cruelty By Joining the Demonstration in Dublin on May 18 and by Voting  Voting All The Way Down The Ballot Papers Against Fine Gael Candidates on May 24                        https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Ryan Nugent, Irish Independent April 30 2019

Inner City Helping Homeless:   “The detrimental impact on children and adults that are homeless is immeasurable and it’s their physical and mental health that are suffering. The time for talking is over and we need to see the government treat homelessness as the national emergency that it is with an emergency sitting of the Dail,” he said.

 

The number of people living in homeless has risen again with 10,305 adults and children now in emergency accommodation.

New figures released by the Department of Housing showed a rise of 41 on last month, when the number passed the 10,000 mark for the first time.

In total there are 6,484 adults and 3,821 children with 1,733 families altogether.

Kerry Anthony, CEO of Depaul said there is a long way to go in addressing the crisis.

“The slight increase in the homeless figures shows that the issue is not going away any time soon,” she said.

This is the third successive record in as many months which indicates there is still a long road to go before we can firmly get a handle on the issue of homelessness.

“Recently we have seen in some of our emergency accommodations that over 50% of those new to homeless were between the ages of 18-34. It is important to point out that this is a sample representing Depaul’s emergency services however, for some young adults in our society that means starting your adult life off as homeless,” she added.

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO, Anthony Flynn has reiterated calls for homelessness to be treated as a national emergency.

“The detrimental impact on children and adults that are homeless is immeasurable and it’s their physical and mental health that are suffering. The time for talking is over and we need to see the government treat homelessness as the national emergency that it is with an emergency sitting of the Dail,” he said.

Commenting on the figures, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said:

“The figures for March show a slight increase on February, with four additional adults and 37 additional dependants in emergency accommodation. We continue to put considerable efforts in to prevent people from entering emergency accommodation, while also exiting as many families and individuals from homelessness as possible each month.”

 

Farmers will boycott sale of repossessed farms by ‘vulture funds’

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Jack Horgan-Jones IRISH Times  Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 18:09

The Irish Farmers’ Association has said its members will boycott the sale of repossessed farms put on the market by so-called vulture funds.

“Everyday Finance will do as much as they can, to collect as much as they can, as fast as they possibly can,” he said. Asked if this included farm repossessions, he said: “They have done, and in some cases they’ll try to do so again.”

If a repossessed farm was put on the market, he said “in effect we will boycott any proposed sale. We have done so in the past and we will do so again”

The IFA, which held a protest outside the AIB annual general meeting in Dublin on Wednesday, said the bank was including the debts of “genuine” debtors who were making an effort to repay their debts in recent loan sales to “vulture funds”.

The IFA said the organisation would support debtors who made full disclosure of their financial situation to the organisation, and who had seen their loans sold despite co-operation with the banks.

Martin Stapleton, chairman of the IFA farm business committee, said buyers such as Everyday Finance – the subsidiary of Cerberus which purchased AIB’s last tranche of non-performing loans, including farm debt – had no interest in reaching long-term arrangements with farmers.

“Everyday Finance will do as much as they can, to collect as much as they can, as fast as they possibly can,” he said. Asked if this included farm repossessions, he said: “They have done, and in some cases they’ll try to do so again.”

If a repossessed farm was put on the market, he said “in effect we will boycott any proposed sale. We have done so in the past and we will do so again”.

Such a move would depress the value the purchaser of a book of bad debt might be able to realise on its investment, and the threat in turn could mean AIB would struggle to shift the problem debts off its balance sheet.

“None of our members would buy that farm, so in actual fact, [it would] make the farm valueless,” Mr Stapleton said.

He emphasised that the IFA would closely investigate the bona fides of any borrower seeking its support. Richard Kennedy, deputy president of the IFA, said the organisation would not support strategic defaulters.

“We’re not supporting anyone who doesn’t want to pay their loans, but there’s serious hardship out there on farms throughout the country. This from a bank that purports to support farming is totally unacceptable.”

Project Beech

The IFA said up to 130 farm loans were included in AIB’s most recent loan sale, Project Beech. The bank has around €180 million in non-performing agricultural exposures, according to Investec senior bank analyst Owen Callan, compared to a total agriculture loan book across the UK and Ireland of just under €1.9 billion.

One Limerick farmer who spoke to The Irish Times described how €1.2 million in boomtime borrowings of his had recently been sold by AIB to Cerberus as part of Project Beech.

The farmer, who did not wish to be named, said that he had been keeping up with repayments on the loan, “but it came to the stage where I couldn’t make repayments any more, because I could never pay it off”.

“They wanted to make an agreement, and I wanted to try and make an agreement. I’d have to be paying it off until I was 70 years of age, and I wouldn’t have anything left after that,” he said.

He argued that the bank was not clear about the security he had offered when he borrowed the money originally. “They never told me they could get a judgement against me, effectively come back and take my house and take the cutlery off the table if it came down to it,” he said.

“The farm has been in my family for a few hundred years. It’s devastating. It’s terrible; my family would be devastated over it as well.”

Mr Stapleton strongly criticised the bank over the way it handled the most recent sale of loans. “I know from working with our members that the case is they have sold when people were engaged in a negotiating process, those loans have been sold mid-stream.”

A further loan sale from AIB is expected before the end of the year. Market sources said €500 million in bad debt had been removed from the bank’s last NPL sale after borrowers upped their engagement with the bank.

Colin Hunt, the new AIB chief executive, reiterated on Wednesday that the bank wants customers to engage.

“We have the option of engaging in portfolio sales,” he said, adding “the key message is we want to engage with out customers. Please engage with us.”

Mr Hunt’s office, AIB said, has been engaging with the IFA on the issue of farm debt sales.

Meanwhile, AIB confirmed that a member of the security detail working at the AGM was injured as protesters entered the lobby of the hotel.

The IFA protesters had been peacefully gathered outside and entered the Ballsbridge Hotel as the AGM was on, but did not enter the AGM proper. They gained access to the lobby despite the presence of the security detail, made a short statement and left again.

It is understood that the security guard was hospitalised as a precautionary measure, however the bank said it would not comment further on the circumstances of the injury. The IFA said it had no comment.

———————————————————Farmers storm AIB AGM over loan sales

At a protest at the AIB AGM at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, the IFA stormed the hotel to launch its national campaign against the bank’s plans to sell certain farmer loans as part of its most recent loan sale.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“Selling the loans to a fund that has no other way to work than to haul in the money as fast as they can is not the way to go for genuine Irish people doing their best to pay back the money they owe when often enduring considerable hardship in the process,” Martin Stapleton said.

Farmers enter into the AIB AGM, as the IFA stage a protest at Allied Irish Bank’s AGM which was taking place in the Ballsbridge Hotel. Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

Clair Fox  and David Chance, Irish Independent, April 24 2019

Farmers have urged AIB to “really back brave” and halt its decision to sell €1bn of its non-performing loans, many of which include farmer loans to US fund Cerebrus.

At a protest at the AIB AGM at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, the IFA stormed the hotel to launch its national campaign against the bank’s plans to sell certain farmer loans as part of its most recent loan sale.

IFA Farm Business Chair Martin Stapleton stated that it was time AIB followed through on its advertising slogan of “backing brave” and halt its selling of farmer loans to US fund Cerebrus.

“Selling the loans to a fund that has no other way to work than to haul in the money as fast as they can is not the way to go for genuine Irish people doing their best to pay back the money they owe when often enduring considerable hardship in the process,” he said.

The IFA stage a protest outside the Allied Irish Bank’s AIB AGM which was taking place in the Ballsbridge Hotel. Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

“AIB need to get back to backing brave and backing the brave who are willing to back themselves. Nobody needs more courage than those who are willing to give their life’s work to pay back their debt. AIB need to restore their reputation with the Irish people and get back to being a pillar bank in this country.”

IFA Inputs Chair John Coughlan stated that many of the farmers’ loans that are set to be sold off to the fund were mid negotiations with AIB and are in the position to pay back what they owe but feel totally let down by the bank’s recent announcement.

“We’ve had loans that have been under discussion with AIB, and we find that they sold them off to vulture funds. We’re here today to tell them that it isn’t on, we won’t stand for it. We won’t allow any farmers’ land to be sold where there is an ability to repay the loan,” explained the Cork farmer.

“Farmers feel totally let down at how these loans have been sold mid-negotiation but got letters this week that it has been sold off. If any bank thinks that it can work that way, the reality is they can’t. Farmers have always paid their loans.”

Mr Coughlan also urged AIB to “back brave” farmers who have the capacity to pay back their loans.

“Farmers worked hard through the downturn to bring the country out of recession, and we have AIB telling us that they are backing brave. We have brave farmers who are prepared to pay back their loans, but AIB is not backing them if it is selling their loans off to vulture loans.”

The IFA stage a protest outside the Allied Irish Bank’s AIB AGM which was taking place in the Ballsbridge Hotel. Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke.

AIB recently confirmed a controversial €1bn sale of bad loans, including mortgages, to US fund Cerberus.

The sale will see the portfolio acquired by Everyday Finance as part of a consortium with Everyday and affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management.

The bank said the collateral is mainly buy-to-let and investment properties but includes some farm land.

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/farming-news/farmers-storm-aib-agm-over-loan-sales-38046446.html

—————————————————————Charlie Weston: ‘FG is living in cloud cuckoo land if it thinks it won’t pay the price over housing crisis’ https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Having done all the right things, potential new buyers are now finding themselves shut out of the market by cash-rich institutional investors snapping up whole blocks of housing units.

One way or the other, the Government needs to act on cuckoo funds.

It will find itself shoved out of its “nest” in Government Buildings if it does not.

Charlie Weston Irish Independent   April 20 2019

People planning to buy a home have every right to feel furious about the activities of cuckoo funds snapping new developments en masse.

And the controversy has the potential to become a new scandal to match the mess created by the tracker theft debacle.

Having done all the right things, potential new buyers are now finding themselves shut out of the market by cash-rich institutional investors snapping up whole blocks of housing units.

These are the young, and not so young, buyers who have been struggling to save a deposit with rents at wallet-sapping levels.

Some buyers have had their deposits handed back to them as institutional investors buying in bulk are a more attractive proposition for developers.

Those saving for a deposit may have had to move a number of times, as renting is a precarious business in this country. Some will have been forced to move back in with their parents to help them save.

Strict Central Bank lending rules are already restricting what they can borrow.

Then just when housing supply starts to pick up, they find they are being elbowed out of the market by big funds buying 150 to 200 units at a time, before the builder has even finished constructing them.

These lightly taxed big buyers then plan to rent them back to people at sky-high rates. Hardly a situation that suits anyone, apart from those who have put money into the funds.

It is a mess, and Fine Gael will reap the wrath of voters in the local elections over it.

Having invited big funds in here to help restore our broken housing market, the mega investors are now a major problem.

No wonder the United Nations special rapporteur on housing wrote to the Government recently complaining about preferential tax laws for large investors in housing here, and complained about the “financialisation of housing”.

Cuckoo funds are effectively telling hard-working families trying to buy their own homes: go off and rent somewhere else as I want this nest, and I am getting it at a knock-down price and will pay little tax on it.

The funds are snapping up thousands of homes, yet they pay no corporation tax, no income tax and no capital gains tax.

Both Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe found themselves being forced to defend the funds this week.

They claim many apartment and housing units would not be built without the cash these funds are bringing to the market.

Mr Donohoe said only a small number of housing units are being bought by investor funds.

All of this forced Fine Gael to insist it is on the side of homebuyers, something which should be taken as a given for a party like it.

Now the Government has been bounced into saying it is considering putting more tax on cuckoo funds as the heat from the housing crisis threatens to burn it up.

And so it should. Why should a big fund, which already has an advantage as it is cash-rich and buying in bulk, also enjoy what the UN called “preferential tax laws”?

The Government will have to bite the bullet and consider levelling the playing field for first-time buyers.

There are any number of tax actions it could take.

It could increase the stamp duty on commercial residential block purchases, or apply an increased property levy or registration charges to large block landlords.

Alternatively, it could introduce fiscal measures to encourage cuckoo funds, such as real estate investment trusts (Reits), to sell early to individual buyers.

One way or the other, the Government needs to act on cuckoo funds.

It will find itself shoved out of its “nest” in Government Buildings if it does not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————–See www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-04-07/ireland/justine-mccarthy-leo-varadkar-should-discover-home-truths-on-townsend-street-q6g75t0kh for this powerful article.

Housing Minister Murphy Rejects UNITED NATIONS Criticism of Irish Housing Policy in Letter of Concern to Government From UN Commission

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says ‘institutional landlords’ are good for Irish tenants  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

IRISH Government helping vulture funds push citizens out of homes –UN Commissioner on Adequate Access to Housing

Landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants’ right to security and contributing to the global housing crisis,” the UN said in a statement.

Wayne O’Connor Irish Independent April 9 2019

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has defended the increasing numbers of homes being bought by so called ‘cuckoo funds’ and institutional investors.

Mr Murphy said the shifting housing pattern, with major corporations buying vast quantities of homes as rents continue to soar, is good for tenants.

He told the Dáil tenants are afforded greater security and have their homes managed more professionally by institutional landlords compared to a person letting a one-off property.

“It is important to recognise the positive effects that institutional investment can have in terms of supply,” he added.

“Historically the private rental sector has been largely made up of small-scale landlords who will continue to provide private rental accommodation.

“However, a more diverse sector which includes institutional investors specialised in providing and managing private residential accommodation on a larger scale provides additional stability and less exposure to property market risk and volatility. Institutional investors can also provide a variety a range of tenancy options households need across their life cycles.

“The fact that institutional investors are entering the rental market with a clear long term focus on their investment provides security for tenants who can be confident their landlord is committed in the long run.”

Recent research by Savills shows institutional investors spent more than €1.1bn on a record 2,923 Irish homes last year.

Meanwhile, rents and the number of people living in rented accommodation continues to rise.

According to Social Justice Ireland one in 10 Irish households spend more than 60pc of its income on rents.

Mr Murphy said the number of institutional landlords represents a small part of the market.

“Almost 86pc of the registered rental stock is owned by landlords with less than 10 properties, reflecting the fact that the overall proportion of the rental properties held by institutional investors is relatively low.”

 

Government helping vulture funds push citizens out of homes -UN

 

The United Nations has condemned Ireland for allowing multinational vulture funds to buy up vast swathes of properties and then rent them out at sky-high costs.

“Landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants’ right to security and contributing to the global housing crisis,” the UN said in a statement.

“They have changed the global housing landscape. Pouring unprecedented amounts of capital into housing, they have converted homes into financial instruments and investments.”

The UN said properties often deemed “undervalued” – which generally means affordable to those living there – are being purchased en masse, renovated and then offered at a higher rental rate, pricing tenants out of their own homes and communities.

Irish Independent, Charlie Weston and Donal O’Donovan March 27 2019

 

The international body hit out at what it called the “egregious” business practices of the giant private equity and investment firms.

It said they were scooping up low-income and affordable homes, upgrading them, and substantially raising rents – forcing tenants out of their own homes.

In the past 12 months alone, hundreds of new apartments distributed across several schemes have been acquired by institutional investors here with a view to offering them to the rental market.

Massive US-backed fund Blackstone has bought and sold rental properties here, including the Elysian tower in Cork.

Canada-backed Ires Reit is the biggest landlord in Ireland, with more than 3,000 houses and apartments.

Los Angeles-based Kennedy Wilson is already a big landlord which recently said it has billions of euro to buy more rental properties. US fund Starwood has put together a consortium to spend €1bn on rental properties.

In the larger cities, the rental market has already been transformed by the presence of cash-rich funds buying up entire apartment blocks and housing estates.

Some of these enjoy extraordinarily low tax bills on rental incomes.

UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha wrote to the Government in Ireland and five other countries.

She accused them of facilitating the “financialisation of housing” in their own countries through preferential tax laws and weak tenant protections among other measures.

Ms Farha also wrote to the governments in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the US.

“Almost overnight multinational private equity and asset management firms like Blackstone have become the biggest landlords in the world, purchasing thousands and thousands of units in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America,” the UN said.

“They have changed the global housing landscape. Pouring unprecedented amounts of capital into housing, they have converted homes into financial instruments and investments.”

The UN said properties often deemed “undervalued” – which generally means affordable to those living there – are being purchased en masse, renovated and then offered at a higher rental rate, pricing tenants out of their own homes and communities.

“Landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants’ right to security and contributing to the global housing crisis,” the UN said in a statement.

The UN said it has heard countless stories of tenants whose buildings had been bought by private equity firms and whose rents had sky-rocketed, sometimes by 30pc and 50pc – making it impossible for them to remain.

“What makes this practice particularly egregious is that it is being done without any monitoring or accountability mechanisms in place.”

The UN said governments have not made the connection that this new form of finance is taking place in an area which is governed by international human rights law, which imposes obligations on them.

Blackstone disputed the claims. It said the UN report contains “numerous false claims, significant factual errors and inaccurate conclusions”.

—————————————————————-Seamus Healy TD Challenges Housing Minister Murphy in Dáil But Minister Dodges The Questions and seeks to Confuse  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“The real reason the Minister and the Government will not declare a housing emergency to prevent families being evicted into homelessness is that the Minister is part of an extreme, free-market, pro-the-super-rich and pro-landlord Government”—Seamus Healy

Full Dáil Proceedings   https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2019-04-09/64/#pq_64

Deputy Healy

Will the Minister bring forward legislation to declare statutorily a housing and homelessness emergency in view of the fact that homeless figures now exceed 10,000, including 3,780 children? Will he respond to the criticisms of Government housing policy by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, who said housing is stability, security, dignity and, crucially, housing is not a commodity.

 

The right to housing is a human right but the Minister and the Government are treating housing as a commodity on the market, resulting in the biggest housing and homelessness crisis since the Great Famine. Bunreacht na hÉireann provides for the declaration of emergencies and I specifically refer to Articles 43.2.1° and 43.2.2° where the public good trumps private property rights. This Dáil has also voted for the declaration of such an emergency on 3 October 2018 by 83 votes to 43 on a Solidarity-People Before Profit motion. There is also the fact that the Government is currently using this process with the financial emergency measures in the public interest, FEMPI, legislation, where it is confiscating pension payments, which of course are private property. The declaration of a homelessness and housing emergency is constitutional, it is legal and it is a practical solution to the housing and homelessness crisis created by the Government.

Fine Gael has been in government for over eight years, and it is standing watch over more and more people becoming homeless, sleeping and dying on our streets and couch-surfing with friends and families. More and more families are fleeced by big landlords, vulture funds and cuckoo funds charging astronomical rents. The Minister has said from time to time and again today that preventing landlords evicting people on the sale of property was unconstitutional. Of course this is misleading. It is completely untrue and it is absolutely factual that the declaration of such an emergency would lead to a real tackling of the homelessness crisis but of course the real reason the Minister and the Government will not declare an emergency is that the Minister is part of an extreme, free-market, pro-the-super-rich and pro-landlord Government. It is time to declare a housing and homelessness emergency and really address the great problems that we have in housing.

 

(I have proposed a whole raft of measures to address the housing crisis ) that I have a Bill on, as the Minister knows very well.(Seamus Healy’s Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest(HEMPI) Bill proposed a whole range of measures including the statutory declaration of a Housing Emergency. The Bill was defeated by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in a Dáil Vote Tuesday Nov 14, 2018)

Niamh Randall , National Spokesperson at Simon Communities on TodaySOR

“Rents cannot be controlled while Evictions from Private Rented Sector Continue-Tenants are afraid to complain”

Seamus Healy TD  Proposes Homelessness Bill , Tuesday Nov 14,2018

Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill (HEMPI)2018

An Bille Um Bearta Tithíochta Eigeandála ar Mhaithe le leas an Phobail, 2018

                                              Mar a Tionscnaíodh

                                                   As Initiated

 

                                                 Contents

Section

1  Existence of an Emergency

2 Evictions from Buy-TO-LET Dwellings

3 Prohibition of Rent Increases

4 Reduction of Private Rents

5 Eviction from Mortgaged Dwellings

6  Citation

(No. 116.1 of 2018)

A BILL, IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD IN THE MATTER OF HOUSING.

Whereas Bunreacht Na hÉireann provides:

Art. 43.

1:1. The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods.                                                                                      

1:2. The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property.

2:1. The State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice.

2:2. The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.

And Whereas adequate housing is a fundamental human need and access to adequate housing is necessary for the common good

And whereas the continuing housing and homelessness crisis in the State is a national emergency

 

Section 1.        Dáil Éireann affirms in Law that a housing emergency exists in the state

 

Section 2.        The housing emergency will continue for three years after the passing of this Bill into Law. At the expiry of this three-year period, the government will bring a review before both houses of the Oireachtas.

 

Section 3.        During the period of this national housing emergency no tenant shall be evicted from a buy-to-let dwelling, a dwelling purchased for letting purposes

 

Section 4.        There shall be no further increase in rents of dwellings.

 

Section 5.        Existing private rents shall be reduced to reasonable levels, having regard to the differential rent that would be payable by the tenant in situ to a local authority for rental of a similar dwelling.

 

Section 6.        During the Period of this national housing emergency no resident in a mortgaged dwelling shall be evicted from the dwelling in which the resident resides.

 

This Bill, when enacted, may be cited as the Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2018.

—————————————————————–United Nations special rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha has accused the Irish Government of facilitating investment funds to buy up vast swathes of properties including through preferential tax laws and weak tenant protections https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Rents to soar again as ‘cuckoo fund’ housebuying hits record

Almost 3,000 homes were snapped up by big corporations, while families face into tight mortgage rules  Donal O’Donovan, Irish Independent, April 8

At the end of March, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha, wrote to the Government in Ireland as well as five other countries to raise her concerns.

Full UN REPORT  http://unhousingrapp.org/user/pages/04.resources/Access%20to%20justice%20Report.pdf

——————————————————————HOUSING MINISTER MURPHY TO BE QUESTIONED  By Seamus Healy TD in Dáil at 5pm To-day Tuesday

WHY won’t Government Legislate for a housing emergency to prevent Landlords from evicting children into homelessness on sale of dwelling??

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

LEO VARADKAR SHOULD DISCOVER HOME TRUTHS ON TOWNSEND STREET

The plight of some Dubliners might change the Taoiseach’s housing ideology

says Justine McCarthy, “The Times” (UK), Ireland edition, April 7:

“Fine Gael has been in government for eight years, standing watch as more and more huddled bodies sleep in doorways. As long as it is in denial about its own and society’s housing ideology, it is fighting a losing battle. Forty-six years ago, the Kenny report recommended that local authorities compulsorily acquire building land for 25% more than its agricultural value. No surprise this did not happen. For it would have been anathema to wealthy land speculators who live on the right side of the tracks, both figuratively and literally.”

 

Dublin city centre assumes quite a different complexion when you view it through your front window. To commuters and tourists, its sprawling cranes and clanging construction works may epitomise a thriving commercial capital, but what the woman who lives in a two-bedroom duplex on Townsend Street sees when she looks out her window are her neighbours going to and fro, her postman, and a small garden with her billowing clothes on the line and her pots of flowers. Because this, you see, is her home.

 

It has been so ever since the eight Dublin city council-owned houses were built 27 years ago, but not for much longer. The residents learnt a fortnight ago, from news reports and local politicians, that their homes have been earmarked for demolition to make way for MetroLink.

“I’m devastated,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be “plastered all over the papers”. She and her neighbours have never been in arrears with their €89 weekly rent. “Most of us are elderly. We thought we were going to live the rest of our lives here. We’re too old to move now.”

In the same week when the woman heard that the demolition ball was swinging her way, residents in the affluent suburb of Ranelagh breathed a sigh of relief with the announcement that they would not, after all, be inconvenienced by protracted road detours caused by MetroLink. A plan to bring the metro to the resplendent, red-brick Mecca — which has been home to government ministers, doyens of the Law Library and a Michelin-star restaurant — was abandoned after the housing minister Eoghan Murphy, a local TD, made representations on his constituents’ behalf and transport minister Shane Ross declared that disruptions to the Luas would be “intolerable”.

Something else happened that week to underscore the social-class prejudice that underpins Irish attitudes to homes, once again in Murphy’s bailiwick, where voters are said to elect ministers rather than mere common or garden TDs. A couple called Patrick Halpin and Ann Keane issued an appeal for support in resisting a court repossession order for Aberdeen Lodge, their detached Edwardian home and B&B worth between €2m and €3m. Their plight, stemming from €25m in unpaid loans and court orders, featured prominently in the media, including an interview with Keane on RTE’s Prime Time. While it is natural to feel sorry for anyone clinging desperately to their home, the attention given the Aberdeen Lodge predicament contrasted with the distinctly less clamorous reports of the Townsend Street residents whose homes have been condemned to demolition.

The taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his housing minister are as blue in the face as they are in their cotton shirts from protesting that they are not ideological about housing, but of course they are. Housing ideology is stamped on society’s DNA. Your home is a passport to social mobility, providing networking opportunities with influential neighbours and an address that may impress a prospective employer. Or the other way around.

In places where the better-off live, there are more trees and private schools. It is no wonder people talk about “the property ladder”. Housing prejudice is a universal phenomenon but it has a particular resonance in Ireland, spanning Charlie Haughey’s Abbeville mansion and island retreat, Bertie Ahern’s gifted Beresford Avenue home, and Michael Lowry’s renovations courtesy of Ben Dunne.

Remember Jerry Beades of the New Land League describing the 9,000 sq ft Gorse Hill mansion on 1.25 seaside acres in Killiney as “a bog-standard house”? Beades and his cohorts staged a protest against the mansion’s repossession from solicitor Brian O’Donnell on foot of bank loans amounting to €71.6m. Gorse Hill sold two years later for €9.5m. The whole saga betokened a certain attitude of entitlement when you live in the big house.

In the Dail last Wednesday, Varadkar espoused the ideal of home ownership, saying Ireland’s current level of 71% was too low. “The figure used to be even higher and I want to see it increase again,” the taoiseach said. If that is not an ideology, the Pope is no Catholic.

What Varadkar has not explained is how he intends increasing home ownership when existing and newly built housing complexes are being sold in their entirety to investment funds. A report by the UN special rapporteur Leilani Farha says housing is increasingly being treated as a commodity, “a vehicle for wealth and investment”, and that “landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants”. Vulture funds buy whole apartment complexes, dump the tenants out, then spruce them up and rent them out to richer tenants at inflated prices.

This was what 13 families in Cork were facing when Lugus Capital, the vulture fund which bought the Leeside apartment complex in 2017, served eviction notices to make way for renovations. The residents fought back and, after two years, Cluid Housing Association has taken over the apartment block on Bachelor’s Quay with the help of Cork city council. According to Solidarity TD Mick Barry, the victory provides a template for housing rights.

Berlin provides another. Gillian Brien of People Before Profit has proposed adopting the German capital’s rule which limits the number of properties that an individual or company may own. Both suggestions are worth exploring. But they won’t be.

On Thursday, Murphy announced more piecemeal measures, including a time extension for rent control zones and some limitations on landlords’ freedom to purge their properties to increase profits. This announcement was made to the background sound of the mantra that landlords’ rights must be balanced with tenants’ rights.

Officially, more than 10,000 people have no homes in Ireland. Unofficially, the number is closer to 15,000. Back in 2012, when the so-called New Land League was defending Gorse Hill, the burgeoning homelessness crisis was visible on the streets of Dublin but it was not part of political discourse. That really happened only when a homeless man called Jonathan Corrie died on a doorstep near Leinster House in December 2014.

Fine Gael has been in government for eight years, standing watch as more and more huddled bodies sleep in doorways. As long as it is in denial about its own and society’s housing ideology, it is fighting a losing battle. Forty-six years ago, the Kenny report recommended that local authorities compulsorily acquire building land for 25% more than its agricultural value. No surprise this did not happen. For it would have been anathema to wealthy land speculators who live on the right side of the tracks, both figuratively and literally.

justine.mccarthy@sunday-times.ie

 

 

Sent from my iPad

——————————————————————Irish film-maker Terry McMahon claims businesses and Government don’t want to end homelessness

‘The Government doesn’t give a damn whether your family is on the street’

Irish film-maker Terry McMahon claims businesses and Government don’t want to end homeless https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Siobhán O’Connor, Irish Mirror, April 6,2019

As recent homeless figures soared to more than 10,264, Terry said: “Individuals and companies are making a huge amount of money out of homelessness and they don’t want to cure it.

The Government is in cahoots with the banks and have created an environment where people are too terrified not to pay their mortgage despite the fact they might be paying 90% of their wages over, it’s a disgusting time.”

Film-maker Terry McMahon, who was homeless as a teen for a year and a half until he got a job in a chipper, says too many people are making money out of the crisis.

And he believes an environment has been(deliberately) created that makes people too terrified not to pay their mortgages.

As recent homeless figures soared to more than 10,264, Terry said: “Individuals and companies are making a huge amount of money out of homelessness and they don’t want to cure it.

“If you’re not paying your mortgage and suddenly you see a person on the streets you’re going to pay your mortgage, because you realise the Government doesn’t give a damn whether your family is on the street.

“The Government is in cahoots with the banks and have created an environment where people are too terrified not to pay their mortgage despite the fact they might be paying 90% of their wages over, it’s a disgusting time.”

 

 

Famed for the IFTA winning Patrick’s Day and Charlie Casanova, the dad-of-four said being homeless was like getting cancer.

He added: “I was homeless as a teenager for a year and half. I never knew what loneliness was and then suddenly it hits like a cancer and rips you asunder.

“The fear is the recognition that nobody gives a “f**k, that’s a horrible thing to discover.

“Your leaders are happy to watch you die as long as they’re getting a piece of the pie and even family who are too busy dealing with their own problems and can’t deal with yours.

“There are no accidents in life it’s an ideological deliberate action, there’s real money to be made in misery.”

The director was one of the campaigners alongside Damian Dempsey and director Jim Sheridan who spearheaded the homeless activist movement to take over Apollo House in 2016.

 

https://www.irishmirror.ie/showbiz/irish-showbiz/irish-film-maker-terry-mcmahon-14240509?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar&fbclid=IwAR0tCrcoAzGZhHN9BHMThCD3vzB0txtqFi09mCt0oRyvlrd7dXXcDKKE7GQ

————————————————————

Prof Fitzgerald: Why Should we believe him now?? https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Prof John Fitzgerald, Repeatedly Predicted a “Soft Landing” to the Excesses of The Celtic Tiger. He is a Brother of Mark Fitzgerald, who was chief executive of Ireland’s Biggest Estate Agent “Sherry Fitzgerald” during the Celtic Tiger Period.

Now he makes the case for Banks against a Sinn Féin Bill designed to prevent mortgages being sold off to Vulture Funds without the consent of the borrower

Fitzgerald: “While abuse of securitisation, through the disguised sale of risky loans, contributed to the global financial crisis that erupted in 2008, nevertheless it is important to recognise that, properly used, securitisation remains a vital instrument for reducing risk for financial systems.

But if we want to avoid the risk of another bank crash, then it is important that no further legislative obstacles are put in the way of future securitisation by Irish banks. One such obstacle could be Sinn Féin’s No Consent, No Sale Bill, whereby a loan could not be sold on by a bank without the approval of the borrower.” Irish Times March 5

—————————————————————–Government Scoundrels Make 160 more Children Homeless With Support of Finian McGrath and John Halligan

Number of homeless people climbs above 10,000 for first time https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc   Colin Gleeson  Irish Times, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 

Official statistics from the Department of Housing showed 6,480 adults and 3,784 children/dependants accessed emergency accommodation during the week beginning  February 18th,  a total of 10,264 people. This represents an increase of 277 people on the January figures, including a rise of more than 160 in the number of homeless children/dependants to 3784.

Figures showing the number of homeless people in the State climbed above 10,000 for the first time last month, have been described as “hugely disappointing” by the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.

The Peter McVerry Trust has pointed out the figures do not include people sleeping rough, people couch surfing, homeless people in hospitals and prisons, those in direct provision centres, and homeless households in domestic violence refuges.

“The increase in homelessness in February is hugely disappointing,” said Mr Murphy. “Our plans to fix the supply of both social and private housing are working and this is borne out by the most recent build figures.

Despite new figures showing rent rates falling at the end of the year “ still we see more people entering emergency accommodation,” he said.

He said he was working with local authorities to help “move families out of emergency accommodation and into sustainable housing solutions”.

“As well as the increased supply of social housing, HAP [Housing Assistant Payments] will continue to play a vital role in providing families with a place to live until supply catches up. We will continue to work with families to demonstrate the benefits of this scheme over emergency accommodation.”

Mr Murphy said “further reforms” to the rental sector with new protections for the most vulnerable in the housing sector will be coming before Cabinet in the coming days. These will include longer notice periods, and details are to be published next week.

Focus Ireland chief executive Pat Dennigan said the latest increase must be treated as “a line in the sand” in tackling was has become an “ever deepening crisis”.

“Despite all the good work being done, it is clear that current Government policy is failing to tackle the scale of the crisis,” he said. “Reaching this appalling threshold must be a line in the sand that helps bring some honest reflection.

“For the last few months the Government has been accused of repeatedly redefining ‘homelessness’ to avoid reaching the 10,000 figure. This spin has been a distraction and the spotlight must now return to what needs to be done to fix the problem.”

Mr Dennigan said the State must focus on building more houses rather than more emergency accommodation.

Depaul chief executive Kerry Anthony said the increase last month was “hugely disheartening”.

“The numbers have now risen two months in a row, each time representing a new record for those experiencing homelessness in Ireland,” she said.

“To see the figures reach over 10,000 is hugely disheartening.

“It indicates that many challenges remain with regards to homelessness in Ireland. We need to be continuously looking at and monitoring the reasons behind these increases. However, it is not enough to identify the reasons.

————————————————————Government helping vulture funds push citizens out of homes -UN

The United Nations has condemned Ireland for allowing multinational vulture funds to buy up vast swathes of properties and then rent them out at sky-high costs.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Irish Independent, Charlie Weston and Donal O’Donovan March 27 2019

The international body hit out at what it called the “egregious” business practices of the giant private equity and investment firms.

It said they were scooping up low-income and affordable homes, upgrading them, and substantially raising rents – forcing tenants out of their own homes.

In the past 12 months alone, hundreds of new apartments distributed across several schemes have been acquired by institutional investors here with a view to offering them to the rental market.

Massive US-backed fund Blackstone has bought and sold rental properties here, including the Elysian tower in Cork.

Canada-backed Ires Reit is the biggest landlord in Ireland, with more than 3,000 houses and apartments.

Los Angeles-based Kennedy Wilson is already a big landlord which recently said it has billions of euro to buy more rental properties. US fund Starwood has put together a consortium to spend €1bn on rental properties.

In the larger cities, the rental market has already been transformed by the presence of cash-rich funds buying up entire apartment blocks and housing estates.

Some of these enjoy extraordinarily low tax bills on rental incomes.

UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha wrote to the Government in Ireland and five other countries.

She accused them of facilitating the “financialisation of housing” in their own countries through preferential tax laws and weak tenant protections among other measures.

Ms Farha also wrote to the governments in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the US.

“Almost overnight multinational private equity and asset management firms like Blackstone have become the biggest landlords in the world, purchasing thousands and thousands of units in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America,” the UN said.

“They have changed the global housing landscape. Pouring unprecedented amounts of capital into housing, they have converted homes into financial instruments and investments.”

The UN said properties often deemed “undervalued” – which generally means affordable to those living there – are being purchased en masse, renovated and then offered at a higher rental rate, pricing tenants out of their own homes and communities.

“Landlords have become faceless corporations wreaking havoc with tenants’ right to security and contributing to the global housing crisis,” the UN said in a statement.

The UN said it has heard countless stories of tenants whose buildings had been bought by private equity firms and whose rents had sky-rocketed, sometimes by 30pc and 50pc – making it impossible for them to remain.

“What makes this practice particularly egregious is that it is being done without any monitoring or accountability mechanisms in place.”

The UN said governments have not made the connection that this new form of finance is taking place in an area which is governed by international human rights law, which imposes obligations on them.

Blackstone disputed the claims. It said the UN report contains “numerous false claims, significant factual errors and inaccurate conclusions”.

 

———————————————————————————National Housing Protest March -SAT MAY 11

Number of homeless reaches record high at almost 10,000-RTE  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“Biggest social crisis in generations.” CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland Paula Byrne

Homelessness(Persons)  Jan 2014   3258        Jan 2018   9,104         Jan 2019    9,987

Increase over a year  883   Increase over 5 years  6,729

The figures show the number of children in emergency accommodation now stands at 3,624, an increase of 65 on December 2018.

In March, April and August 2018 the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government decided to change the definition of homelessness used to compile these statistics, and remove a number of families which had previously been counted as homeless. The increase of 883 over the past year is less than the real figure.

At Oireachtas Housing Committee, Independent TD Catherine Connolly said there were 71,858 households waiting for social housing and 43,000 that are getting Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) who are excluded from the housing list. She put it to Mr McCarthy (Housing Department), “they’re off the waiting list and they’re considered adequately housed… Isn’t that shocking?”

Mr McCarthy said: “That’s the policy”. He added that €423m would be spent on HAP this year.

Ms Connolly said this was “going straight into the private market”. She said that with almost 10,000 in emergency accommodation and millions being spent on hotels and family hubs, she found Government policy to be “unacceptable”.

—————————————————————————————-Sr Stan is “watching with horror what is happening in our country today”

Market forces are dynamic, but they won’t solve homelessness

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy-Sr Stanislaus Kennedy is founder and life president of Focus Ireland

Irish Times,  Monday, December 24, 2018, https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

After working for decades, through the lean times and the boom times and under governments of various types, to try to alleviate and abolish homelessness, I am watching with horror what is happening in our country today.

This is the worst homelessness crisis I have ever seen, with almost 10,000 people homeless this Christmas in Ireland, 4000 of them children. As fast as Focus Ireland helps a family to settle into a new home – and we are doing this at the rate of almost a family a day – another three families fall into homelessness. No matter how hard and how fast we work, the misery keeps outpacing our efforts.

Many of you reading this will have seen for yourselves, in Roddy Doyle’s moving film, Rosie, the distress caused to ordinary families struggling to bring up their kids that is caused by our heartlessness and our ineptitude as a society. Homelessness may be on the rise all over Europe, but it is not like Brexit or the weather. We are not hapless victims of circumstances. Successive governments, voted in by successive generations of Irish people, have chosen to allow the market to provide a basic human requirement: a place to call home.

This is a policy that is bound to fail. The market has no conscience. The market – and particularly the unregulated rental market that we have here – has no commitment to families. The market couldn’t care less whether a child wakes up on Christmas morning in an overcrowded hotel room, whether a parent has a place to cook a proper meal for their children, whether a teenager studying for an exam has a quiet corner to work in, whether a baby is born into homelessness. That’s not the market’s business.

We chose to outsource housing provision to people whose interests are obviously financial rather than social

It is our business, as a people that professes values of decency and compassion, to provide a home for every family that needs one. And a hotel room is not a home. A family hub is not a home. A hostel is not a home. A home is a place where a family can close their own front door, spend time together in reasonable comfort, can cook a meal, put on a wash, watch a TV programme, read a bedtime story, play some music, have a discussion or an argument, make peace, make a cup of tea, play with the kids, have a laugh, invite a friend in.

Not only is reliance on the market to provide social goods a policy that is bound to fail – it is a policy that we always knew was bound to fail. And still we did it.

We simply stopped building social housing. We abandoned a practice that for generations had ensured that generally only small numbers of people with particular kinds of issues fell into homelessness. We chose to believe – we codded ourselves into believing – that private landlords could provide the accommodation needed to house those people who could not provide homes for themselves. We chose to outsource housing provision to people whose interests are obviously financial rather than social. We chose to allow a profit-driven rental market to escalate rents way beyond the reach of people on low or even average incomes. We have played the market with people’s basic human needs. And here we are at the end of 2018, wringing our hands at the monster we have created and looking for someone to blame.

It is we who are to blame. The results of our prolonged failure to develop and implement socially beneficial housing policy created the current severe housing crisis. It is responsible not only for mass homelessness but also for unaffordable rents for working people, widespread overcrowding and for limiting the life chances of a whole young generation who can barely afford to rent their own home, let alone aspire to buying one.

Unless we start taking our responsibility as a society seriously, we are never going to be able to undo the appalling damage that we have done. Taking our responsibility to provide homes for our people seriously starts with acknowledging that the market cannot solve this crisis. We have no developed ethic about the right to a home. The government said only last week that it has no intention of including the right to a home in the constitution. But if we do not recognise the right to a home as a human right, we have little chance of integrating this way of thinking into our policy-making.

Important though funding most certainly is, we can’t simply spend our way out of this crisis

In spite of some improvements in housing policy, the government’s Rebuilding Ireland is not delivering. The Taoiseach talks about the amount of work being done and the amount of money being spent in an effort to solve homelessness.

However, important though funding most certainly is, we can’t simply spend our way out of this crisis. We need a change of mind and a change of heart in order to have a change of policy. Rebuilding Ireland still relies way to heavily on the private rented sector. Delivery of social housing is still only a trickle, at only 601 newly built social homes in Dublin in the first nine months of this year. We certainly need to give fair consideration to mechanisms that speed up delivery as long as they are compatible with building decent homes in sustainable communities.

Meanwhile, we need measures to prevent homelessness. And we urgently need more effective measures to protect tenants from excessive price rises and to protect them when banks take possession of rental properties. Until our thinking about these things is rectified, we will undoubtedly repeat the errors of the past and homelessness will continue to rise.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy is founder and life president of Focus Ireland

———————————————————Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan Is To Re-Evict the Strokestown 3 using Gardaí

But Agreement of Denis Naughten and All Other Government Ministers is Necessary to Allow Him To Proceed! What Will Denis Naughten Do??

GOVERNMENT CARRIED OUT THE ORIGINAL EVICTION and ARE NOW THREATENING A RE-EVICTION!!!

When “security workers”are carrying out an eviction, THEY ARE NOT ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE BANK OR OF THE SECURITY COMPANY! THEY ARE ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE STATE!!
Gardaí have informed the evicted residents who have returned to the house in Roscommon that they are “trespassers” as they do not own the repossessed house!
It appears that the security workers who carried out the original eviction are employed by the sheriff, and therefore by the state while they are carrying out the eviction. They are acting as “bailiffs” not as security employees. When the eviction is over they cease to be state employees and resume employment with the security company!!
Any new eviction will be carried out by gardaí on behalf of the Minister For Justice, Charlie Flanagan, and under the rules of collective government responsibility, by ministers Finian McGrath, John Halligan and Boxer Moran among others!

———————————————–

Let Us Prevent Evictions Everywhere Now by Mass Action!! Stand By Your Neighbours! https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Cavan Housing Action Deterred an Eviction Today.

All housing activists should listen carefully to the Video at the link above. Well Done Cavan!

 Let us restore human values and human solidarity everywhere in Ireland!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/cavanhousingaction/posts/

  —————————————————-

STOP Press- https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

It is worse than I thought! It has just been revealed that eviction gangs are not covered by legal identification requirements applying to other private security workers! Government has known this and deliberately allowed it to continue. That is why Flanagan did nothing since the Dublin incident 3 months Ago!!!

Fianna Fáil Facilitated the Evicting Hoodlums!

Jim O’Callaghan, Senior Counsel and Front Bench Spokesperson for Fianna Fáil, admitted on RTE that he knew since September Last, 3 months ago, that security personnel involved in evictions were not required by law to wear an identification number and a photograph. But FF allowed this to continue!! https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Shame!

 ———————–

 Did Roscommon Eviction Gang Wear IDENTITY NUMBERS and PHOTOGRAPHS as required by Law? photographs on Social media say no.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

IF not, why did Gardai collaborate with them and facilitate their violent removal of residents?

Why did Minister for Justice allow this activity by security companies to continue?

Irish Times:Law on how private security firms carry out High Court orders to be examined-Minister FlanaganEmail App

The Department of Justice is to examine the law in relation to the execution of High Court orders by private security firms,Minister Charlie Flanagan has told the Dáil.

NO! This is not the announcement made to-day. It was made 3 months ago after private security firm protected by balaclaved Gardaí removed Take Back the City protesters from a Dublin property. The report reference is Irish Times  Wed, Sep 19, 2018.

RTE Report Dec 17

“In a statement, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he has requested his officials to examine the regulations and licensing of personnel enforcing court orders by the Private Security Authority.Minister Flanagan also said that he has convened an interdepartmental group to examine the administrative, legislative, resources, security and any other matters required to provide for the regulation and licensing of personnel enforcing court orders by the Private Security Authority.

The group is to report to the minister in January 2019.”

Why has the Government allowed continued illegal behaviour by security firms? Why did Gardaí collaborate with illegal behaviour by security company in Roscommon eviction?

—————————————————————

Luke Ming -You should have a word with Fitzmaurice!

MICHAEL FITZMAURICE TD-YOU MUST BE JOKING! https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Michael Fitzmaurice TD on RTE Just Now; “The only thing that will solve anything is talking and negotiating with banks”

You must be joking Michael!!! There has been years of talking in Dáil and with individual banks and with the Central Bank. Yet KBC could send in a hired eviction gang to “peg two elderly people out on the road” as you yourself put it in your recent Dáil speech!! FG, FF, Ind Alliance will defend the interests of the super-rich at all costs and no talking will move them!

————————————————————————————————————–

“Following The Battering Ram” was never Tolerated in Ireland

EVICTION GANG DRIVEN OUT OF HOUSE AND FARM IN Co ROSCOMMON

ALL attempts to legislate to prevent evictions in Dail had been defeated by Fine Gael , Fianna Fáil and the Independent Alliance. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

 

Michael Fitzmaurice TD said in Dáil that gardaí had blocked off two roads while between 20 and 30 men from the North “pegged three people out of a house, two of them elderly, and left them on the side of the road”.

Extract from Irish Times Dec 16: The eviction of two brothers and a sister from their home near Strokestown earlier this week has sparked an angry response.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, dozens of men arrived at the farmhouse at Falsk and in the ensuing melee the eight security men were injured,and four vehicles were burned out. A vet was later called to the scene to put down a dog which was injured

Online footage of last Tuesday’s eviction in which security men dressed in black and with dogs are seen removing the family from the house, has sparked a furious reaction locally. One of the security staff who is told that he should be ashamed as an Irish man, is heard on the video telling one of those objecting to the eviction that he is British…..


In the Dáil earlier this week, Independent TD Michal Fitzmaurice said gardaí had “aided and abetted” those involved in the repossession.

He said that gardaí blocked off two roads while between 20 and 30 men from the North “pegged three people out of a house, two of them elderly, and left them on the side of the road”.

 

RTE REPORT

Eight injured in attack at house in Co Roscommon  Sunday, 16 Dec 2018 16:33

Gardaí are investigating an attack at a house in the early hours of this morning in Co Roscommon.

Eight people were injured, three of whom required treatment at Sligo and Mullingar hospitals.

Four vehicles were burned out and one dog was killed.

The attack took place at around 5.30am this morning at a recently repossessed house and farm in Falsk near Strokestown.

Security personnel were at the scene when a large number of men in high-viz jackets arrived and attacked them with baseball bats.

The eight people who were injured are all security personnel and the dog that was killed was a security dog.

The farm and house have been sealed off as a crime scene and gardaí have begun a criminal investigation.

————————————————————-

Leo Varadkar, in Government for 7 Years, says housing crisis keeps him awake at night on Late Late Show!!!!

Varadkar:“Particularly when it comes to kids, people find it [homelessness] offensive, and I find it offensive too that children are in emergency accommodation. That impacts on their education and lots of other things,” he said during an interview on RTÉ’s Late Late Show on Friday, Dec 7.  Irish Times  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

 But his government has just sold 1.3 billion in PTSB mortgages to Secret US Vulture Capitalist so that FG/IND. Alliance/ can’t be blamed for evicting or financially harassing  them

 ——————————————————–

Government Recently Sold 1.3 Billion of Permanent TSB Mortgages to Secret Tax Exempt American Vulture Capitalist

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe consented in writing to the planned sale at the end of November, Permanent TSB CEO Jeremy Masding said.

Permanent TSB is 75% Owned by the Irish Government https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Permanent TSB, AIB and Bank Of Ireland wish to keep down the number of evictions they seek in their own name for fear of deterring future Irish customers. Government is selling Permanent TSB Loans to a Secret Company which will do the dirty work of evictions for them.

Revealed: Secretive buyers of €1.3bn of mortgages from Permanent TSB will pay no tax on profits

Donal O’Donovan, Irish Independent, December 6, 2018

THE secretive buyers of €1.3bn of mortgages from Permanent TSB will pay no tax on their profits, the State owned bank’s chief has admitted.

The heads of Permanent TSB, which is selling the home-loans, and Pepper Ireland, which will take over their day-to-day management, told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that they were barred from naming the ultimate beneficial owner of Glenbeigh, the financial vehicle that will be the true beneficial owner when the loans are sold.

That’s because both had signed non disclosure agreements, they said.

Executives refused to confirm whether US bond investor Pimco is the main investor.

Permanent TSB CEO Jeremy Masding also admitted the structure to facilitate the controversial sale will be tax free – using a so-called Section 110 company.

Use of low tax Section 110 companies by so-called vulture funds had led to the rules being tightened in 2016 but Permanent TSB’s retention of a 5pc interest means the Glenbeigh structure will be tax exempt.

The bank is obliged to retain that stake, Jeremy Masding said. That’s under so called “eat what you kill” regulations brought in after the Crash to stop banks

Permanent TSB’s sale is particularly controversial because many of the 6,272 borrowers affected had engaged with the bank after falling into arrears and agreed restructuring deals.

 

It includes thousands of so called split mortgages – where the borrower and bank agreed that part of the debt would be serviced and the rest parked for an agreed period.

Almost all of the debt is secured on the borrowers’ primary homes.

Under intense questioning from TDs and Senators including Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty and Fine Gael’s Kieran O’Donnell, executives explained the anonymous and tax free structure of the new ownership.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was informed of the planned sale, and consented in writing at the end of November, Permanent TSB CEO Jeremy Masding said.

Pepper and Permanent TSB both said the terms of any restructuring agreed between customers and Permanent TSB will be unchanged after the deal.

Once the sale goes through, responsibility for day-to-day decisions about the mortgages including interest rate setting and any potential new restructuring will be taken by Pepper as master servicer, Pepper Ireland CEO Cormac Ryan said.

Pepper, which is regulated by the Central Bank here, will have legal responsibility for those decisions, he said.

However, he said Pepper and representatives of the unnamed Glenbeigh backer will hold monthly meetings to consult on the performance of the portfolio.

The latest mortgage sale comes as Permanent TSB along with other banks has come under intense pressure from regulators at the European Central Bank (ECB) to slash its stock of impaired loans. Ahead of the latest sale, Permanent TSB’s bad loans make up 16pc of its total lending, compared to a Euro zone average that has fallen to 3.5pc.

 

————————————————–

Varadkar  Attacks Labour on Housing Though, as a Cabinet Minister, He Had Full Responsibility For The Actions Of Labour Ministers in Government

When Thieves Fall Out!

Cynical Varadkar: “This Christmas there will be 20,000 Irish families sitting around a tree in houses that did not exist this time last year”

In Response To Brendan Howlin (Labour) https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The Deputy is right to point out that I have political responsibility for housing in this jurisdiction, but he should not forget that there was a time, not that long ago, when he and his party had political responsibility for it. Sitting beside him are Deputies Jan O’Sullivan and Kelly who, together, held the housing brief for five years. Deputy Kelly promised to abolish homelessness by 2016 and introduced measures that most people now accept probably made a bad situation worse.Does the Deputy have confidence in his deputy leader? Does he have confidence in Deputy Jan O’Sullivan, given her performance and that of Deputy Kelly when they held the housing brief together for five years?It appears that Deputy Howlin is applying some pretty unfair double standards in that regard because the situation emerged and got worse during the tenure of the two former Ministers. Itis unfair to target the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, personally when the Deputy is not willing to express a lack of confidence in his own colleagues. Let us not forget that 40% of the Labour parliamentary party held the housing brief for five years.

Deputy Brendan Howlin

“I am not interested in rewriting history or the rules of collective Cabinet responsibility” ( Varadkar as a full cabinet Minister had full responsibility for everything done by Labour Party cabinet ministers in the previous government-PH)

In response To Mary Lou Mc Donald (Sinn Féin)

The Deputy is, however, correct that this is about people. I, too, read a story in the newspaper today. It was a very heartwarming story about James McClean who I know is a republican and also a very able footballer. He is paying out of his own pocket to accommodate homeless people in the city of Derry. That is really admirable for him to do. He must be a very generous person. Derry is the city that has a Sinn Féin MP and a council in which Sinn Féin is the largest party.

It is in Northern Ireland where Sinn Féin is supposed to be in government. Deputy McDonald comes into the House to make out once again that her party has a monopoly of compassion.

The Deputy does not. If she really did care about homeless people, she would get busy in dealing with homelessness in Derry where there is a Sinn Féin MP and Sinn Féin is the largest party in the council. It should be at Stormont. According to Simon Communities, there are 200,000 people homeless in Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin does not want to do what I suggest because it does not really care.

Tipperary Bus To National Housing Demonstration in Dublin This Saturday

Seamus Healy TD and Cllr Pat English  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Bus leaving Cashel Road, Queen Street Junction, Clonmel at 9.30am on Saturday 1st December to the National Housing Demonstration in Dublin.

To book your seat, please phone Seamus Healy T.D.’s office on 052-6121883

Garden of Remebrance, Dublin,   2 PM Sat Dec 1

 —————————————————————

After FF, FG, Independent Alliance vote Down Housing Emergency Bill in Dáil

National Housing Demonstration NEXT SATURDAY   Dec 1  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc  

2.00 PM Garden of Remembrance, Dublin

Tell Government- “Homes For All Now”; 4000 Children Homeless for Christmas! SHAME!  SHAME!

Sponsors: National Homeless & Housing Coalition. , Dublin Council of Trade Unions, SIPTU, Union of Students in Ireland (USI)Threshold Ireland, Dublin Renters’ Union, Dublin Tenants Association, Threshold Ireland, , Dublin Central Housing Action ,Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Barnardos Ireland, Irish Refugee Council , Workers and Unemployed Action, Sinn Féin Ireland, Irish Traveller Movement, Dublin Simon Community, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland – MRCI, Social Democrats, People Before Profit, The Workers’ Party of Ireland, Solidarity – The Left Alternative, Labour Youth

 ——————————————————————-

Housing Crisis Worsens But Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Independent Alliance Voted Down Seamus Healy’s Housing Emergency Bill in Dáil Last Week

The number of new homes (private and public) constructed in the State this year is expected to be in the region of 19,000. The ESRI estimates the level of housing demand is closer to 30,000.

Two-thirds of renters ‘struggle to meet their monthly bills’

Separately, a report from the ESRI said more construction workers will be needed to increase housing supply – but rental costs will hamper efforts to attract them here, particularly around Dublin.

Paul Melia, Irish Independent, November 21 2018 https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Two-thirds of people renting their home struggle to meet their monthly payments and are increasingly locked out of home ownership, a startling new survey shows.

The Housing Agency also found that people are paying up to 40pc of their monthly salary on their housing needs, compared with 20pc or 25pc a number of years ago, as the shortage of homes fuels record rental prices.

Many of this cohort would ordinarily be seeking to buy a home but cannot save the necessary deposit, it said.

The findings of the survey of 1,400 people will be revealed at the agency’s annual conference today, and also show that one-in-three mortgage holders has problems meeting their repayments.

“There are people who in the normal course of events rent, but a few years ago were spending 20pc or 25pc of their income on rent but now find they’re spending 40pc of their income, particularly in Dublin,” said Housing Agency chief executive John O’Connor.

“They are people who would probably have always rented but some would be aspiring to home ownership, but it’s more difficult for them because they cannot save a deposit.

“That’s the single biggest issue, because so much of your income is being used to pay rent, there’s no surplus there to save.”

Separately, a report from the ESRI said more construction workers will be needed to increase housing supply – but rental costs will hamper efforts to attract them here, particularly around Dublin.

————————————–

Foreign workers are required to meet housing targets, says ESRI

Eoin Burke-Kennedy Irish Times, Wednesday, November 21, 2018,

reland will need an influx of foreign workers to meet the State’s housing targets, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said. And that, it warns, may add to rental pressures and housing demand generally in the short term.

In a research paper assessing the capacity of the Irish economy to cope with a big upturn in construction activity, the think tank said employment in construction is relatively high and growing fast. Figures from the CSO published on Tuesday show there has been a 14 per cent jump in the number of people working in construction in the past year.

However, the number of new homes being built remains low, and well shy of the level needed to meet annual demand.

“This suggests that employment in construction would have to increase to elevated levels in order for increased housing supply to be provided,” said Dr Kieran McQuinn of the ESRI.

This posed a capacity constraint on the Irish economy and on the construction sector specifically, which could only be alleviated by bringing in foreign workers to build the new homes required, he said, similar to what took place in the mid-2000s.

However, this is likely to place additional pressure on the already-stretched housing market mainly in the form of higher rents as the new workers needed to be housed themselves.

Supply vs demand

The number of new homes constructed in the State this year is expected to be in the region of 19,000. The ESRI estimates the level of housing demand is closer to 30,000.

The mismatch between supply and demand has seen average rents in Dublin soar to nearly €1,600 a month, €500 higher than they were in 2008.

Because wages have not risen by the same rate, many households are now spending up to half their income on housing.

The Department of Housing has compiled a “watch list” of projects totalling more than 2,000 homes which it said it is “absolutely essential” councils complete by year-end. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
The number of new homes being built remains low, and well shy of the level needed to meet annual demand. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

“At present, we already have a very low unemployment rate, which suggests there is no slack in the economy and so therefore you’re going to have to rely on a lot of inward migration in order to meet housing demand,” said Dr McQuinn, the report’s author.

“But if you have a sizeable increase in net inward migration, those people need a place to live in the short run and this may add to rental pressures and housing demand pressure generally,” he said.

“Over the longer term, we need those workers to come in if we are to meet the supply-side targets set out for the housing sector by the Government,” Dr McQuinn said, noting the already-high cost of accommodation, particularly in the greater Dublin area, may act as a disincentive for some workers.

Credit bubble

The ESRI’s report also warned that big increases in housing activity in the past have been associated with big increases in lending by banks, which posed the risk of another credit bubble forming at the heart of the Irish economy.

While the Central Bank’s strict lending rules limited what individuals could borrow, the overall stock of credit could rise significantly in the event of another housing boom.

“The presence of macroprudential policy is imperative in preventing the build-up of another domestic credit bubble,” the ESRI said.

The CSO Labour Force Survey, published on Tuesday, showed employment in the Irish economy hit a new record high of 2.27 million in the third quarter of 2018, while unemployment fell to a 10-year low of 5.5 per cent.

Employment increased in 10 of the 14 economic sectors, with the largest rate of increase recorded in construction, which has added 17,900 jobs in the past year and now employs 146,500 people. At the peak of the boom in 2007, employment in construction was in excess of 233,000.

The CSO cautioned that, while employment had risen sharply in recent years, the State has a bigger population and a larger workforce now than in 2007 and that employment and participation rates are still below the pre-crash levels.

————————————————-

Family homelessness continues to rise in Dublin, new data shows

Homeless figures show families ‘not gaming system’, says charity

Kitty Holland   Irish Times  Nov 16  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The number of families becoming homeless in Dublin has continued to rise despite the abolition of a “housing priority” policy that had been accused of elevating the figures.

Focus Ireland says the increase indicates families are not “gaming the system”, as had been suggested, by making themselves homeless to get “bumped” up the housing waiting list.

According to the charity, 415 families, including 893 children, became newly homeless in the capital in the four months (June, July, August and September) since Dublin City Council abolished the policy of prioritising homeless families in housing allocations.

This compares with 383 families who became homeless in the four months immediately prior to the decision (January, February, March and April).

 

—————————————————————————————————————-

Professor Tony Fahey  ”, of the School of Social Policy,UCD, Speaking at  Social Justice Ireland Seminar said on Tuesday Nov 13.

“The political issues of fair rent and fixity of tenure are looming again 100 years after the land wars.”

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

One of the “great achievements of social policy in late 20th century” was to increase home ownership among low-income households, said Prof Fahey. It increased equality of wealth-holding, and provided housing security to poorer families.

“This is what we are moving away from. The growth in private renting is going to dismantle this, and will exacerbate inequalities because low-income households – the bottom 30 per cent of the income distributions – are now facing into a lifetime of substantial rents.”

Complete change

“The political issues of fair rent and fixity of tenure are looming again 100 years after the land wars.”

It was “striking” how favourably Government policy viewed the dramatic growth in the private rented sector – which was a complete change since the 1990s – and “puzzling” how little “kick-back” there had been from the electorate.

“Prior to the end of the 1980s we accepted landlordism was a bad thing. It was exploitative, it drove people into poverty, it gave people very poor security, and suddenly we have gone 100 per cent in the other direction to say that landlordism is a good thing and we should cultivate it.

“The political issues of fair rent and fixity of tenure are looming again 100 years after the land wars.”

 —————————————————————

Niamh Randall , National Spokesperson at Simon Communities on TodaySOR

“Rents cannot be controlled while Evictions from Private Rented Sector Continue-Tenants are afraid to complain”

Seamus Healy TD to Propose Homelessness Bil , ToMorrow Tuesday

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2018

An Bille Um Bearta Tithíochta Eigeandála ar Mhaithe le leas an Phobail, 2018

                                              Mar a Tionscnaíodh

                                                   As Initiated

 

                                                 Contents

Section

1  Existence of an Emergency

2 Evictions from Buy-TO-LET Dwellings

3 Prohibition of Rent Increases

4 Reduction of Private Rents

5 Eviction from Mortgaged Dwellings

6  Citation

(No. 116.1 of 2018)

A BILL, IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD IN THE MATTER OF HOUSING.

Whereas Bunreacht Na hÉireann provides:

Art. 43.

1:1. The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods.                                                                                      

1:2. The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property.

2:1. The State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice.

2:2. The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.

And Whereas adequate housing is a fundamental human need and access to adequate housing is necessary for the common good

And whereas the continuing housing and homelessness crisis in the State is a national emergency

 

Section 1.        Dáil Éireann affirms in Law that a housing emergency exists in the state

 

Section 2.        The housing emergency will continue for three years after the passing of this Bill into Law. At the expiry of this three-year period, the government will bring a review before both houses of the Oireachtas.

 

Section 3.        During the period of this national housing emergency no tenant shall be evicted from a buy-to-let dwelling, a dwelling purchased for letting purposes

 

Section 4.        There shall be no further increase in rents of dwellings.

 

Section 5.        Existing private rents shall be reduced to reasonable levels, having regard to the differential rent that would be payable by the tenant in situ to a local authority for rental of a similar dwelling.

 

Section 6.        During the Period of this national housing emergency no resident in a mortgaged dwelling shall be evicted from the dwelling in which the resident resides.

 

This Bill, when enacted, may be cited as the Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2018.

—————————————————————

Dáil Record  Nov 8  2018

VIDEO of Speech Further Down

Seamus Healy TD  I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to, in the public interest, serve the common good in the matter of housing.

This Bill seeks to declare formally the housing and homelessness crisis a national emergency. The Bill provides for the delimiting of the rights of landlords, banks and finance houses, including vulture funds, in order to prevent tenants and mortgage-holders from eviction, as provided for in Bunreacht na hÉireann and as advocated by Focus Ireland.

On 29 March of this year the Taoiseach addressed the Oireachtas Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach and said, “I have no difficulty whatsoever describing the housing shortage or the homelessness crisis as a [national] emergency.” The situation has worsened significantly since the Taoiseach’s statement, comparing like with like figures. By September 2018 the total number homeless had increased by 1,497 persons, including 442 extra adults and a shocking 1,055 extra children, reaching a total of 11,304 persons. Focus Ireland has also pointed out that 193 additional children became homeless in September of this year alone. Just this morning Professor Eoin O’Sullivan, head of the school of social work and social policy at Trinity College Dublin, advised the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government that the housing situation would get worse next year. As legislators, we have a responsibility to halt this process for the common good. Already Dáil Éireann has by a majority called on the Government to propose emergency measures to do so. That Private Members’ motion called on the Government to declare the housing and homelessness crisis an emergency and to reduce the flow of adults and children into homelessness with emergency legislation to make it illegal for landlords, banks and investment funds to evict tenants and homeowners in mortgage distress into homelessness; to provide real security of tenure and real rent certainty; and to introduce measures to reduce the cost of rent, introducing a target to end long-term homelessness and the need to sleep rough.

As an Opposition Deputy, I am not allowed, under Standing Orders, to propose a money Bill. Accordingly, this Bill implements only measures to halt the worsening situation. Focus Ireland has repeatedly highlighted through its services and research that the main reason for families becoming homeless is that they are being evicted from their homes by private landlords due to properties being sold or repossessed. To remedy this, the right to private property must be delimited, as provided for in Bunreacht na hÉireann in Article 43.2.2°, which states: “The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.” In addition, a large number of citizens are being subjected to unreasonable and extortionate rents, contrary to the common good.

Section 1 of the Bill provides that Dáil Éireann affirms in law that a housing emergency exists. Section 2 provides that a housing emergency will continue for a period of three years after the passing of the Bill and that the Government will bring a review before both Houses of the Oireachtas on the expiry of this three-year period. Section 3 provides that no tenant shall be evicted from a buy-to-let dwelling, that is, a dwelling purchased for letting purposes, during the period of this national housing emergency. Section 4 provides that there shall be no further increase in rents on dwellings. Section 5 provides that existing private rents shall be reduced to reasonable levels, having regard to the differential rent that would be payable by a tenant in situ to a local authority for rental of a similar dwelling. Section 6 provides that no resident of a mortgaged dwelling shall be evicted from that dwelling during the period of this national housing emergency.

Under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts, the State delimited the exercise of private property rights by public service pensioners. This Bill seeks to use the same provision in Bunreacht na hÉireann to delimit the powers of landlords to evict people and to oppress them with unreasonable and extortionate rents. The measures enacted under this Bill would supersede all existing law on the matters concerned while the emergency continues, and the housing emergency formally brought into existence by this measure will continue for a three-year period from enactment. This will allow time for the fundamental causes of the housing emergency to be addressed. This will require large-scale public housing on public land. At the end of the three-year period the Oireachtas will review the situation and consider how to proceed for the common good in the context of the housing and homelessness situation.

An Ceann Comhairle

Is the Bill opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Seán Kyne)

No.

Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle

 

Since this is a Private Members’ Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members’ time.

Deputy Seamus Healy

I move: “That the Bill be taken in Private Members’ time.”

Question put and agreed to.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

An Bille Um Bearta Tithíochta Eigeandála ar Mhaithe le leas an Phobail, 2018

Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2018

                                              Mar a Tionscnaíodh

                                                   As Initiated

 

                                                 Contents

Section

1  Existence of an Emergency

2 Evictions from Buy-TO-LET Dwellings

3 Prohibition of Rent Increases

4 Reduction of Private Rents

5 Eviction from Mortgaged Dwellings

6  Citation

(No. 116.1 of 2018)

A BILL, IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD IN THE MATTER OF HOUSING.

Whereas Bunreacht Na hÉireann provides:

Art. 43.

1:1. The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods.                                                                                      

1:2. The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property.

2:1. The State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice.

2:2. The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.

And Whereas adequate housing is a fundamental human need and access to adequate housing is necessary for the common good

And whereas the continuing housing and homelessness crisis in the State is a national emergency

 

Section 1.        Dáil Éireann affirms in Law that a housing emergency exists in the state

 

Section 2.        The housing emergency will continue for three years after the passing of this Bill into Law. At the expiry of this three-year period, the government will bring a review before both houses of the Oireachtas.

 

Section 3.        During the period of this national housing emergency no tenant shall be evicted from a buy-to-let dwelling, a dwelling purchased for letting purposes

 

Section 4.        There shall be no further increase in rents of dwellings.

 

Section 5.        Existing private rents shall be reduced to reasonable levels, having regard to the differential rent that would be payable by the tenant in situ to a local authority for rental of a similar dwelling.

 

Section 6.        During the Period of this national housing emergency no resident in a mortgaged dwelling shall be evicted from the dwelling in which the resident resides.

 

This Bill, when enacted, may be cited as the Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2018.

————————————————————

——————————————————–

Listen to Seamus Introducing the Emergency Housing Bill in Dáil To-Day

Seamus Healy TD to Introduce Emergency Housing Bill in Dáil To-Day at 12.30PM

The Bill seeks to formally declare the Homelessness Crisis a national Emergency

This will enable the rights of Landlords, Banks,and Finance Houses including Vulture Funds to be delimited in order to prevent tenants and mortgage holders being evicted

—————————————————————

‘Government appears to just accept this as a natural phenomenon’ – 193 children became newly-homeless last month-Irish Independent

“Focus Ireland has repeatedly highlighted though our services and research that the main reason families are becoming homeless is that they are being evicted from their homes by private landlords due to properties being sold or repossessed”.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Kathy Armstrong  Irish Independent October 24 2018

THE number of homeless people here rose by 171 last month compared with August, new figures have revealed.

5,869 adults and 3,829 children are classed as homeless, according to the Department of Housing’s September Homelessness report.

193 children became newly homeless last month, there are now 207 families without a home – 88 entered emergency accommodation and 45 left it last month.

In total 9,698 people are in emergency accommodation in hotels, family hubs and B&Bs.

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said that more needs to be done to tackle the housing crisis.

He said: “Focus Ireland has repeatedly highlighted though our services and research that the main reason families are becoming homeless is that they are being evicted from their homes by private landlords due to properties being sold or repossessed.

“The Government appear to be just accepting this as a natural phenomenon it can do nothing about.

“But in fact it can take several meaningful steps to make people more secure in their homes. Much more can – and must be  – done if we are to end this terrible human crisis and protect the childhoods of nearly 4,000 children currently homeless.”

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that we are “still very much in the midst of a crisis in homelessness in this country, despite the increasing numbers of new social houses being built and house building more generally.

“Until we have caught up with supply, we will continue to face a serious challenge.

“More effort is needed and more emergency responses are needed, and the provision of extra money in the budget, for this year and next year, is demonstration of the government’s determination when it comes to our homelessness crisis.

“Regulation of the short term rental market as well as greater protections for tenants, both of which are imminent, will also play an important role in making better progress.”

Minister Murphy said that more than 160 family preventions and exits in Dublin last month is “very welcome.”

He noted that an extra €30 million was allocated for homelessness services in Budget 2019, bringing the total to €146m – there is also €60m more in capital funding for additional emergency accommodation and €1.25bn for the delivery of new social homes.

 

—————————————————————

Apartments-Snap it Up!-One Bed for Over Quarter of a Million , Two-Bed Half a Million in Dublin

Usher’s Quay, Dublin 8  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

8 Mellowes Quay is a light-filled one bedroom apartment in the much sought-after area of Dublin 8. Rooms consist of an entrance hallway, a bathroom and an open plan living/dining area and kitchen with access to the bright balcony offering views over the Liffey. The double bedroom also has access to the balcony.

The apartment block is located within minutes’ walk to many of the city centre. Heuston Train Station, the LUAS and plenty of bus routes make everything very convenient.

Yours for €265,000.

Source: Daft

The Gasworks, Dublin 4

A dual aspect Dublin 4 apartment, thanks to an interesting layout, 45 Clayton is a two-bed two-bath home that’s close to everything. The layout consists of a hallway that leads to an open plan living/dining room that has direct access to a terrace. The fully-equipped kitchen, two double bedrooms, the master with an en suite bathroom, completes the space.

An easy stroll into town takes less than half an hour.

Snap it up for €490,000.

—————————————————

Landlords ‘gorging’ like ‘some starved waif’ on increased rents – Children’s Ombudsman

Lorna Siggins Irish Times 10/10/18   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon has criticised State reliance on landlords who lost out during the economic crash and are now “gorging . . . like some starved waif” on increased rents.

The current housing and homelessness situation is a “crisis of epic proportions” with “monumental impacts” over the course of this century, Dr Muldoon said, and it may be “decades before we understand its full impact”.

Dr Muldoon was speaking at Wednesday’s publication of an annual report by Cope Galway, which provides services to the homeless, victims of domestic violence and to older people.

The organisation has reported an 80 per cent increase in the past year in the number of families it is working with in Galway, at 242 families with 576 children and 695 single people.

It assisted 339 women and 214 children experiencing domestic violence, but was unable to accommodate 258 women with 441 children on 326 occasions in 2017 due to lack of space. It is involved in providing a larger refuge in Galway’s Forster Street, and also provides meals and runs lunch clubs for senior citizens.

Dr Muldoon, who was clearly moved by a visit he undertook to a refuge run by Cope Galway on Wednesday morning, spoke of a “Dublin centredness” approach by media and politicians to the housing crisis.

He described it as a national problem and one which was “not just driven by a shortage of houses, but by an economic decision to rely on the rental market”.

Landlords who “lost out in the crash” are “gorging..like some starved waif sitting at the bank waiting for it to close”, he said.

As a psychologist, Dr Muldoon said he was well aware of the long term impact on children of domestic violence, which was being exacerbated by the housing shortage and homelessness.

Lessons

“I don’t think we learn enough from lessons from the past,”he said, referring to children previously caught in industrial schools and mother and baby homes and now suffering in the current economic climate.

He said he was “appalled” at the lack of change in the rental market here, and the inability “as a society” to provide security of tenure.

“We are now the fourth or fifth richest country in Europe, and we can’t provide for families,” he said.

He concurred with last year’s call by United Nations housing envoy Leilani Farha for a “paradigm shift” where housing is “recognised as a fundamental human right and not an economic commodity” dominated by the global credit market.

“We comfort ourselves with the idea young children won’t remember…but research is showing the impact on the neural pathways” from an early age, Dr Muldoon said.

He quoted author Neil Postman’s observation that “children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see”.

Dr Muldoon called for sustained investment in social and affordable housing and a secure, stable and affordable rental sector which other European countries were able to provide.

He expressed some hope that the Government was “beginning to see it as a priority”, but warned of the dangers of over-reliance on family hubs which should only be used as a short term solution.

Some €60 million has been provided in the budget for emergency accommodation, including family hubs, but “ a lot of houses could be built for that money”, Dr Muldoon noted.

Cope Galway’s chief executive Jacquie Horan says “bricks and mortar” need to be provided, and this was echoed by Galway Simon in a comment on this week’s budget. It said while it welcomed the €2.3 billion allocation to housing next year, it wondered how many social housing units would be built.

A total of 1,728 households are currently on the social housing waiting list in Galway city, and rents are increasing at a rate of 16 per cent annually – four times the rent pressure cap of four per cent, Galway Simon said.

——————————————————

Social Justice Ireland Criticises  Housing Budget

#Budget19 prioritised private landlords over homes for families

Colette Bennett is research and policy officer with Social Justice Ireland

Iridh Examiner  Wednesday, October 10, 2018 https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The Government has failed again to address housing needs, writes Colette Bennett.

Budget 2019 was an opportunity to address the housing crisis that has blighted our society over the last number of years.

Instead it has prioritised levies to private landlords over homes for ordinary families.

By allocating an additional €121m for the housing assistance payment (HAP), raising the total estimated spend to almost €500m, over building the necessary number of social and affordable homes, Government has failed, once again to address this housing need.

Budget 2019 allocated €1.25bn for the delivery of 10,000 new social homes in 2019, a mixture of construction, acquisitions and leasing.

While this represents an increase of 20% from 2017 (and it is worth noting that just over 1,000 homes were attributed to local authority construction in 2017), it is still less than 10% of the actual need.

According to the latest Summary of Social Housing Assessments, published in September, almost 72,000 households were assessed as being in need of social housing.

This figure apparently represented a reduction of almost 14,000 on 2017 and was lauded as an indication that Rebuilding Ireland is working. But working for whom?

When you add the almost 38,000 households in receipt of the Governments’ HAP, the number in need jumps to 110,000. The reason for this difference is that households on HAP, unlike those on rent supplement, are counted as having had their social housing needs met and are therefore not included in the official figures.

 

However, there is very little difference in the security of accommodation between those households on HAP and those on rent supplement (and even less for the 7,000 households who were transferred from the former to the latter since HAP was introduced in 2014).

It is estimated that, by the end of 2019, 49,700 tenancies will be provided through HAP.

HAP does not provide social housing, it is a rebrand of rent supplement, not a housing solution, a subsidy paid by Local Authorities to landlords in part payment of rent.

The tenant must find a suitable property, convince the landlord to accept HAP (irrespective of the fact that refusal to accept HAP is a discrimination ground under the Equality Acts), pay the deposit (which in some cases can be multiples of the monthly rent) and any shortfall between the HAP payment and the market rent (which can be far more than the differential rent intended).

The tenancies are standard private tenancies, with no greater protections for social housing tenants than any other at a time when competition for accommodation is fierce.

Budget 2019 provided further supports to landlords by reinstating the full rate of mortgage interest relief. This means that, from next year, landlords will be able to deduct 100% of the interest on any loans used to buy or upgrade their rental properties from the total rent received before calculating their income tax.

An additional €60m was allocated to increase the provision by local authorities of emergency accommodation and “family hubs”.

Much like with social housing, the numbers don’t add up on homelessness either. In February this year, homelessness looked set to rise above 10,000 for the first time.

The department discovered that some local authorities were categorising the temporary accommodation of people in local authority owned or leased stock as homeless and directed that this be stopped.

At least one local authority resisted stating that these were temporary arrangements, in much the same way as hostels, hotels and B&Bs. In a circular issued last month, the department puts the number accommodated in this way at 741 — consisting of 251 adults and 490 children accessing emergency temporary accommodation, but left out of the official figures. Reclassification is not a housing solution.

It does nothing to change the situation for over 10,000 homeless people. It is therefore disappointing that the government has chosen to focus its resources on providing short-term solutions to what has become a long-term problem.

Choosing family hubs and emergency accommodation over permanent housing goes against the recommendations of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission whose report on the provision of emergency accommodation expressed concern that family hubs could normalise family homelessness causing families to be institutionalised.

This report recommended limiting the amount of time a family may spend in Family Hubs to counteract this. If Government persists with this policy of making homelessness an acceptable part of Irish society, Social Justice Ireland urges the introduction of a time limit by which long-term accommodation will be provided in line with recent calls for a right to housing.

Adequate shelter is a basic human right. Budget 2019 has continued to subsidise a precarious private rented market over the provision of long-term housing for its inhabitants.

Colette Bennett is research and policy officer with Social Justice Ireland

————————————————————————————————————–

People At the Rent Increase Protest today at the Tipperary Co Council Offices in Nenagh To-day including Seamus Healy TD, Cllr. Pat English and Cllr Seamus Morris

Click Here for Photo
https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.211498236…/2114982255429372/…
Well Done To All!

——————————————————————–

 “The protest to-day is the start of a national campaign, including work stoppages, demanding the building of social and affordable houses on public lands. ”  Seamus Healy TD in Dáil

Full Dáil Record  of Seamus Healy’s Speech in Support of Housing Motion   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“There is a huge housing and homelessness crisis that is devastating families and damaging children. The 10,000 protestors at the Raise the Roof demonstration outside the Dáil today are an indication of the depth of that crisis.”

The protest is the start of a national campaign, including work stoppages, demanding the building of social and affordable houses on public lands. The protest was supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and its affiliates, the Union of Students in Ireland, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, housing NGOs and political parties in opposition.

It is blindingly obvious that the private market has utterly failed. It is also blindingly obvious that seven years of Fine Gael, Labour Party and Independent Alliance housing policies have also failed and are further damaging children and families. The time for talking is well and truly over and the 10,000 homeless people and 100,000 families on local authority housing lists are demanding action now. The key action identified in the motion is the declaration by the Oireachtas of a housing and homelessness emergency. That means the Oireachtas must pass legislation declaring such an emergency. It must curtail the rights of private property. This is not new or unique. It was done by the previous Government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party when it introduced an emergency regulations, including the financial emergency measures in the public interest or FEMPI legislation, which interfered with the private property of pensioners.

What will a declaration of an emergency do to address this crisis? It will allow the Government to stop all evictions by banks, building societies, vulture funds and landlords. Evictions into homelessness are driving the homelessness crisis. It will allow the Government to reduce and freeze rents and fast-track the compulsory purchase of vacant properties. It will also allow it to commence an emergency, large-scale, public, local authority social and affordable house building programme. Public housing on public land is what is needed. The Minister must do it and do it now.

————————————————————

Michael Lowry Was the Only Opposition TD To Support Government Against Housing Motion

Government Defeated by 83 votes to 43! on Housing in Dáil!

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Seamus Healy TD Speaking In Support of Dáil Motion Calling for Action To End Housing Crisis. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Watch and Listen

 https://youtu.be/K4LAuhXsWcs

(Full Written Dáil Record Further Down)

Let us go on to a monster National Housing March on a Saturday after the budget. If that does not succeed in changing government housing policy, Work STOPPAGES will be necessary.

Taoiseach Refusing to do a FEMPI on Vultures and Rich Landlords

Taoiseach just saying there is an emergency is not enough.This Motion calls for the Oireachtas to Legislate for the Declaration of a National housing Emergency. This will enable the state to limit the right to private property by fully freezing rents and by preventing Banks, vultures and landlords evicting people into homelessness and to fully freeze rents.

FF-Fg-Lab declared a national Emergency to enable confiscation of private property in even small public service pensions. But they will not do the same to the private property of rich landlords

When the government wanted to confiscate part of even low public service Pensions, it declared a Financial Emergency through the Financial Emergency Measures in The Public Interest Acts. This was necessary because pensions in payment are the private property of the pensioner protected by the constitution.

But the government is refusing to legislate for a Housing Emergency because it would enable restriction of the rights of rich landlords, banks, vultures. Varadkars admission that there is an emegency is just the usual manipulative spin
.
After the success of the housing protest, let us go on to a monster National Housing March on a Saturday after the budget. If that does not succeed, WORK STOPPAGES will be necessary-Seamus Healy TD

——————————————————————–

Huge Success– 10,000 Protest at Savage Government Housing Policy outside Leinster House https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Please Hold Similar Local Protests in The Coming Weeks!

THEN LET US GO ON TO A MONSTER SATURDAY DEMONSTRATION AFTER BUDGET!

 Up to 10,000 attend rally demanding end to housing crisis

Kitty Holland, Vivienne Clarke, Irish Times

The housing and homelessness crises are now affecting “everyone” and could become “the new water charges” in terms of mobiling protesters, those at a rally demanding action on the issue said on Wednesday.

Up to 10,000 people, from all age groups, sectors and parts of the country, took part on the #RaiseTheRoof protest outside Leinster House in Dublin.

Organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the National Homelessness and Housing Coalition the rally was supported by all political parties except Fine Gael, the Union of Students in Ireland, Traveller organisations, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), church groups, grass-roots housing activist groups and organisations working with asylum seekers.

Protestors began gathering at 12.30pm, while student groups – which accounted for about 3,000 of those present – marched from the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square. Many of these could not enter Molesworth Street, which faces Leinster House, as it was full and had to remain on adjoining South Frederick Street.

Some of the crowd at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.
Some of the crowd at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Students carried placards with such slogans as ‘€255 a week is not a solution’ and ‘We should not pay an arm and a leg to broaden our mind,’ while chanting such slogans as, “When housing rights are under attack, stand up, fight back” and “One, two, three, four, this is class war.”

Scores of senators and TDs were there, including a contingent from the Labour party which was greeted by chants of “Labour, Labour, Labour, out, out, out” from other protestors for several minutes. This was, explained someof those hanting, for Labour’s perceived role in policies precipitating the housing crisis while in government with Fine Gael between 2011 and 2016.

Orla O’Connor, chief executive of the NWCI, said the housing crisis was the “most serious equality challenge” facing society and was disproportionately affecting women.

Invisible

“Every day women and children are being driven out of their homes due to rent increases. There are now 2,500 women who are homeless.

“Women are more likely to be in invisible forms of homelessness, more likely to stay and move between friends and family and current figures do not represent the women in domestic violence refuges or direct provision centres.”

A view of the crowd at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.
A view of the crowd at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

She said homelessness was “devastating” lone parent families who make up 60 per cent of families in emergency accommodation.

Housing campaigner Fr Peter McVerry, said there were “at least half a million people…whose housing situation is causing them serious distress.

“The reliance on the private sector to resolve our housing crisis has been clearly a failure. We need to let [the Government] know: ‘Change your policy’. We have the same mantra from the Government again and again and again ‘Our homelessness policies are working’. There is no evidence that they are working…There will be an election coming…Let our politicians know: We are going to vote homelessness out.”

Amy Carey was there with six colleagues from the Solas Project, which works with young people in the north inner-city. “We’re all here because we see the impact the crisis is having on young people and children.”

Suzy Kell, from Islandbridge, Dublin, had never been on a protest. “Every single day I walk past homeless people on the street and I cannot offer them anything. It’s getting worse and I feel so frustrated.”

Tom Mooney from Belverdre Place, Dublin, at the Raise the Roof Protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/ The Irish Times.
Tom Mooney from Belverdre Place, Dublin, at the Raise the Roof Protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/ The Irish Times.

Louise McLarron, (21) from Belfast, studying International Relations at Dublin City University was there with her sister, Katie, (19) also at DCU. “If this crisis is not solved we are facing a cross-border commute daily to go to college. It’s good they are building student accommodation but it’s luxury. It’s €10,000 for ten months. We don’t need gyms and cinemas. We need affordable student accommodation.”

‘Dragging his feet’

Pasty Doolin (64), from Ringsend, was with neighbours who have been campaigning for public and affordable housing for the Irish Glass Bottle factory site.

“We’re nearly three years waiting years for social and affordable housing. The Minister is dragging his feet…Everyone is being hurt by it now, like the water charges. There’s going to have to be nothing short of a rebellion in this country.”

Miska Vigasova from Dublin at the Raise the Roof Protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.
Miska Vigasova from Dublin at the Raise the Roof Protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Organisers said they were “overwhelmed” with the numbers that had mobilised “for a lunch time protest in the middle of the week” and said there would be a Saturday afternoon protest in coming weeks to which they hoped many tens of thousands would attend.

Speaking in advance of Wednesday’s protest the president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) Sheila Nunan said there will be more protests about the housing crisis and they will be “larger and noisier”.

Ms Nunan told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that it was important to highlight the people’s frustration.

The State needs to dramatically improve its approach to social housing, she said.

“HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) is haemorrhaging money in the wrong direction. The State needs to take a much stronger direction.”

Housing project

Models such as the O’Cualain affordable housing project in Ballymun indicated that it is possible to provide houses at good prices, she said.

Eden Mayeye and Vivien Magos pictured at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.
Eden Mayeye and Vivien Magos pictured at the Raise the Roof protest. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

However, there appears to be a resistance in the Government to providing social housing as there has been “appalling slow progress” in local authorities providing housing “while HAP continues to seep out”.

“The evidence speaks for itself. The only way to do this is with a Government-driven social housing policy.”

If the Government gets its housing policy correct then other benefits will follow, said Ms Nunan, who called for an increase in funding for social housing in the forthcoming Budget.

She acknowledged that many of the people affected by the housing crisis might not be able to attend Wednesday’s protest because they have to work or are busy trying to find emergency accommodation.

“This isn’t about numbers. The Government has to listen to the mood music. There is only one coherent way to solve this issue.

“People are now at boiling point, this is going to lead to more protests. People need to be convinced that this is a central plank for government. They need hope. The protests are going to get larger and noisier.”

On the same programme Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty defended the Government’s housing policy. “People are right to be angry, it’s a democracy.

“We are in year two of a six-year programme, we had to cut, cut, cut for the first five years of being in government. For the first five years there wasn’t a bean.

“When the economy started to recover the first thing we did was introduce a housing policy. Project 2040 is going to deliver 100,000 houses in the next 10 years. Maybe progress is not as quick as people like, but it is going in the right direction.”

Ms Doherty acknowledged the speed with which social houses are being built may not be fast enough, “but they can only be built at the rate that they can build them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

———————————————————————————————————-

Fair Play to Justine McCarthy, Columnist in Sunday Times Ireland

ICTU has called a demonstration demanding the statutory declaration of a housing emergency at 12.30 outside the Dáil, this Wednesday. It is being supported by  all housing groups including Take Back The City/Raise the Roof

See Accounts of Seamus Healy TD’s Several Unsuccessful Attempts to Have Dáil declare a housing Emergency further down

Full Article;   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Justine McCarthy –If Parties Really Cared There’d be No Homeless

Dáil never Challenges Constitutional Property Right’s Reign over human Need!

Politicians can cite all the statistics available, they can exorcise numbers from the official homeless figure, bicker about how long homelessness has been an issue and quote every report on the subject-but that’s all just words. Empathy requires emotional understanding.

If the government truly empathised, it would have devoted itself to eradicating the problem. It would challenge supposed constitutional property rights in the courts and not hand over state land to private developers while, as Mick Wallace said, they sit on their own lands watching their value increase.

People have not forgotten how Michael Noonan, as Finance Minister in 2016, said the public should stop “scapegoating” property developers over the economic crash. That was the year the government halved the requirement for developers to include social and affordable housing in their estates.   People see how the state never challenges the dogma that constitutional property rights reign supreme over human need. People see, as Wallace said, how the new land Development Agency will invite developers to build homes on state owned land while the developers’ own fallow lands grow in value.

On Wednesday, there will be a Raise The Roof protest against homelessness outside Leinster House at 12.30.

It is likely to be big and angry . It may even prove that protests can actually build houses, when the state hasn’t.

 —————————————————————

Details of Vote on Sinn Féin Motion of No Confidence in Minister For Housing Defeated by Government With Fianna Fáil Abstaining

 

Comment : Notable Votes- Noel Grealish (Independent Galway) and Michael Lowry (Independent Tipperary) voted with Government against motion. All independent Alliance TDs including Finian McGrath and John Halligan voted with Fine Gael ( As Did Catherine Byrne FG !!!)

Michael Harty (Independent Clare) formally abstained with Fianna Fáil

20 Deputies Absented themselves from Vote!!!! (a small number may have valid excuses)

Believe it or Not: After a TD registers with Ceann Chomhairle after being elected, the deputy gets paid the salary until the next election even if they never turn up in Leinster House again!!! Some rarely turn up in order to attend to their constituency and/or business/profession!

Dail Record 25/09/2018

Question again put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 59; Staon, 29.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O’Brien, Jonathan.
  • O’Reilly, Louise.
  • O’Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl  (FG unless otherwise stated –PH)

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán. (Ind)
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D’Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel. (Ind)
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John. (Ind Alliance)
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael. (Ind)
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian. (Ind Alliance)
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer. (Ind Alliance)
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O’Connell, Kate.
  • O’Donovan, Patrick.
  • O’Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.(Ind Alliance)
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon  (FF unless otherwise stated-PH)

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Browne, James.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Harty, Michael. (Ind)
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • O’Brien, Darragh.
  • O’Callaghan, Jim.
  • O’Dea, Willie.
  • O’Loughlin, Fiona.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.

Question declared lost.  59 votes to 49

Deduced From Above

NOT PRESENT/NOT RECORDED
Byrne, Thomas (FF)
Casey, Pat. (FF)
Chambers, Lisa. (FF)
Cowen, Barry. (FF)
Curran, John. (FF)
Fleming, Sean. (FF)
Haughey, Seán. (FF)

Michae Healy Rae (Ind)
Martin, Micheál. (FF)
McGrath, Michael. (FF)
McGuinness, John. (FF)
O’Keeffe, Kevin. (FF)
O’Rourke, Frank. (FF)
Ó Cuív, Éamon. (FF)
Rabbitte, Anne. (FF)
Smyth, Niamh. (FF)
Troy, Robert. (FF)
Penrose, Willie. (Lab)
Sherlock, Sean. (Lab)
O’Sullivan, Maureen (Ind)

————————————————————–

Government Plan for 3,500 social homes delivers just 15 countrywide

Brian Hutton Irish Times, Monday, September 24, 2018,

A Government plan for 3,500 social homes has delivered just 15 countrywide, Minster for Housing Eoghan Murphy has admitted. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) was launched in February 2017, with then minister for housing Simon Coveneypromising it would convert up to 800 empty properties into social houses during the first year.

Under the initiative, local authorities pay for the refurbishment of a rundown property up to the value of €40,000, in return for the homeowner leasing it to the council for a minimum of 10 years.

After just nine houses were delivered under the scheme last year, Mr Coveney’s successor Eoghan Murphy relaunched it last February with changes to make it more attractive. Despite these changes, latest figures show just another six homes have been delivered and 52 agreements for lease have been signed, out of a total of 942 applications.

There are more than 180,000 empty homes throughout Ireland, according to the Central Statistics Office.

——————————————————

Spoof and Bluff on Housing-Stephen Kinsella , Sunday Business Post

 

“Of the persistent, soul-gnawing soundbites used about the housing crisis, the worst has to be ‘building houses takes time’. Yeah. We know. The other common soundbite is that there is a shortage of homes, and increasing the supply of them by whatever means necessary is what will solve the problem.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Neither of these is true, by the way. During the boom years of 2006 and 2007 boys and girls in hard hats were lashing up housing estates at speeds only the O’Donovan brothers could match, on land which had stood idle for generations.

So the next time you hear someone spout these awful soundbites, you have my permission to scowl at them and slap them on the wrist for being bluffers.”-Stephen Kinsella

Paddy Healy:   At Peak Boom a massive number ,78,000, houses were being built every year but the price of houses was growing to outrageous levels. Demand was growing faster as internationall borrowed money was churned out by the banks. Now Irish people are being directly outbid for accomodation by international finance houses as government has facilitated a huge increase of GLOBAL DEMAND for Irish property

The fundamental problem is as follows:

Housing is a fundamental  need for human beings to live healthily

In the modern world, a stable long term housing situation is required to facilitate the education of children and, even more so, to care for  younger children at the same time

YET All recent governments (FF, Fg, Labour, Greens and now former socialists Finian McGrath and John Halligan) have allowed all aspects of housing to become commodities on  on a totally uncontrolled private commercial market.

The land on which houses are built is a commodity, the service of house building is a market commodity, the home or apartment being purchased is a commodity, rental accomodation is a commodity.  One of the outcomes of this is that landlords, including vultures, do not even need to rent vacant properties to earn a large money return. The vacant property appreciates in value! This is in addition to outrageous rents, soaring house prices, mortgage interest double the Eu average! In addition to the huge numbers in emergency accomodation, we have many more couch surfing, families living with parents and  grandparents etc

Well Done to Take Back the City!!

The very rich, at home and abroad are making huge money out of the Irish Housing Crisis with the assistance of successive Irish governments

THIS MUST BE STOPPED

——————————————————————-

Remembering Dublin Housing Action Committee and Denis Dennehy in the late Sixties

As one of the Leading People in the Labour Party Young Socialists (before I was expelled from Labour NEC in 1970) I was involved in DHAC and all the all the solidarity actions with Denis. His son, also named Denis, posts regularly on the British Socialist Fight Group Facebook site.  Full Post https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

From Manus O’Riordan on Irish Republican Education Forum Facebook Site

REMEMBERING DENNIS DENNEHY – SQUATTER, COMRADE AND FRIEND

Dennis Dennehy (1938–1984) was an Irish political activist. A founding member of the Irish Communist Organisation and a founding member and Secretary of the Dublin Housing Action Committee. Dennis Dennehy, was born in 1938, a native of Bushmount, Ballyduff, Co Kerry. He emigrated to London, and became active in CND and amongst Communist groups there with other Irish emigrants. Following the 1965 split in the Communist Group, he sided with the wing which became the Irish Communist Organisation / British & Irish Communist Organisation. Returning to Ireland in the mid sixties he served as secretary of the Dublin Housing Action Committee, and was arrested for squatting in No. 20 Mountjoy Square. During his time in prison in January 1969 he went on hunger strike. He worked as driver in Dublin Bus and was member of the ITGWU. He died of cancer on June 14, 1984.
See http://www.historyireland.com/volume-22/heckling-dev/ for my own personal recollections of the January 1969 Dáil protest in solidarity with Dennis.
See also http://www.wsm.ie/c/squatting-politics-dublin-housing-action-commi… – from which the following account is extracted:
Of all the DHAC squatters taken to the High Court, the most high profile was perhaps Dennis Dennehy. During the summer of 1968, Dennehy, a member of the Irish Communist Organisation, squatted with his wife Mary and children at 20 Mountjoy Square, the property of landlord, Ivor Underwood. Up to that point, the family had been living in a leaking caravan with the children ‘shivering at the side of the road’. Local residents had previously signed a petition demanding that the square be rebuilt as working-class housing (not as offices or gentrified, single-family dwellings), and marched to the Custom House to raise awareness of the city’s housing shortages. When Underwood sold a number of houses on Mountjoy Square to a development company, slogans denouncing the sale were painted on the walls of his Dalkey residence and his car was damaged by a home-made pipe-bomb. Although the Dennehy family offered to pay rent, the landlord refused and subsequently sought an injunction to restrain them from occupying the premises. Dennehy was subsequently imprisoned for failing to comply with the order.
The imprisonment of DHAC members focussed media attention on the state’s housing policy and ignited popular discontent at housing shortages. When Denis Dennehy went on hunger strike, a wave of protest erupted across Dublin. Public meetings took place outside the GPO where nightly marches would set off for Mountjoy prison to support imprisoned squatters. Hundreds also took part in regular sit-down protests at O’Connell Bridge. Joseph Clarke, a veteran of the 1916 Rising, interrupted State celebrations in the Mansion House commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the first Dáil to protest Dennehy’s treatment. As security guards carried Clarke outside, students greeted them with banners proclaiming ‘Evictions: English landlords, 1868; Irish landlords, 1968- 69’. People’s Democracy, en route from Belfast to the GPO as part of its campaign for civil rights for Northern Ireland’s Catholic minority, held a meeting of 800 people outside Dennis Dennehy’s squat at 20 Mountjoy Square to protest about the housing situation on both sides of the border. The Dublin Trades Council passed a resolution calling for street demonstrations by trade unionists. Dennehy was eventually released and found housing. Undeterred, he supported a more extensive campaign of squatting.
As one of the Leading People in the Labour Party Young Socialists (before I was expelled from Labour NEC in 1970) I was involved in DHAC and all the all the solidarity actions with Denis. His son, also named Denis, posts regularly on the British Socialist Fight Group Facebook site.

——————————————————————–

 Take Back The City Makes Even The Irish Independent Wake Up!!!

Irish Independent:Images of substandard accommodation and record-hitting homeless figures don’t shock people any more as they expect it in 2018 Ireland, but what unfolded on Tuesday( at North Frederick St) made people take notice. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Hence why up to 1,000 people marched through the capital the following night.

Whether you condone activism or not, at least it has brought housing to the forefront of the political and public agenda.

And perhaps certain political commentators should direct their anger at those responsible for this (housing) mess, not those protesting against it.

Irish Independent Editorial  15/09/2018

———————————————————

Fair Play To Columnist Una Mullally in Irish Times!!!

North Frederick Street Eviction looks like proof that the system is conspiring against the people

Full Article   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wcUna Mullally, Irish Times  Thursday, September 13,

 “Activists will seize on what happened on North Frederick Street as proof that “the system” is conspiring against “the people”. And they’re right.

Occupations and squatting are normal responses. What is radical, what is dangerous, what is unnecessary, what is unjust, what is reckless, is the housing crisis, not those protesting it….. Why were members of a unit (Garda Emergency Response Unit) that generally handles operations such as counter-terrorism incidents, hostage rescue, and high risk drug raids deployed to remove squatters?”

FULL ARTICLE

If you look at the photographs and videos from the protest at North Frederick Street where housing activists occupied and vacated an empty building, the obvious question is : whose side were the gardaí on?

Perhaps this is an unfair question, but it’s one plenty of people following the events online and on the streets will ask. After protesters marched to Store Street garda station, they stood outside chanting “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”

Unidentified men wearing balaclavas emerged from a van to enter and then seal the property on Tuesday. The photographs show them standing at a door with gardaí in the foreground. Gardaí were also wearing balaclavas. Garda sources say they are part of the Public Order Units protective uniforms and have have also said that the Garda involved would have been concerned about reprisals on foot of being identified on social media.

This may be the case but if anyone was seeking images or an incident to stoke the embers of an incendiary mood in Dublin, they need look no further. For the gardaí to enter the fray in this manner, masked and brandishing batons, was brutish and foolish. The housing crisis is emotionally charged, and on North Frederick Street, the gardaí merely escalated the situation. Protestors were arrested, some ended up in hospital. What’s going on?

This is not the first time in recent weeks there has been a seemingly disproportionate response to the small, but growing, number of occupations of vacant properties. In Cork, housing activists were reportedly removed from two houses they were squatting in by an operation which included gardaí from the Emergency Response Unit. Why were members of a unit that generally handles operations such as counter-terrorism incidents, hostage rescue, and high risk drug raids deployed to remove squatters?

Activists will seize on what happened on North Frederick Street as proof that “the system” is conspiring against “the people”. And they’re right. We now have a toxic combination of a market-worshipping Fine Gael in power and an ineffectual housing minister. There are few consequences for landlords who leave properties and sites derelict and vacant. The greed of developers is unchecked. Nonsensical lethargy over building social housing is married with a lack of political will, or action on tenants rights such as rent control and longer leases. Rents are insane and we are reliant on private entities to take charge of housing when their sole aim is to pursue the maximum profit that can be squeezed out of every square foot in a development.

The consequences of this is that the type of development that is actually happening in the city is astronomically expensive student accommodation, and hotels.

All of this has caused not just resentment and anger, but desperation and urgency. Some people have moved that sense of urgency on to the streets in protest. Good on them. Bundle this heightened atmosphere up with the actions and response from the still unidentified balaclava-wearing-men, and the gardaí, and you have a situation that is birthing a new housing movement.

As this housing movement grows – assisted by galvanising moments such as the one on North Frederick Street – there will be the inevitable tedium from conservative quarters about how protesters should act. These instructions generally come from those who are both cynical and apathetic, who do little to change things themselves, yet then benefit from the society activists forge. Why shouldn’t properties that are empty longterm, or that landlords have been sitting on for years, be occupied, and squatted? Either as a means of protest or to provide housing to those who need it? Why shouldn’t people be out on the streets about the housing crisis? Where has doing nothing got us? Such actions are not radical responses.

Direct action, which is what these occupations are, is perfectly justified in this scenario. Reasonability is in the eye of the beholder, and often being “reasonable” is a futile tactic in an unreasonable situation, which is what the multifaceted housing crisis is. The obedience with which Irish people tend to act, and the politeness people tend to demand of those who want to effect change is ineffective, unrealistic, and patronising; it merely exists to uphold the system that needs to be dismantled. We know that disobedience, direct action, and protest that has brought us some of the most beneficial social changes in this country.

Occupations and squatting are normal responses. What is radical, what is dangerous, what is unnecessary, what is unjust, what is reckless, is the housing crisis, not those protesting it.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/north-frederick-street-looks-like-proof-that-the-system-is-conspiring-against-the-people-1.3628003

 

———————————————————-

Work for this Protest Must Be Done NOW!

 

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions have called a rally at the Dail at 12.30pm on Wednesday October3rd to coincide with a cross party motion tabled by the political parties in the National Homeless and Housing Coalition.The National Homeless and Housing Coalition are proud to join forces with community and campaign groups, trade unions, women’s organisations, housing agencies and political parties in the biggest yet united campaign to fight for an end to the housing crisis. More than 80 bodies have come together under the slogan #RaisetheRoof.
Among other things the motion calls for government to enact legislation that would make it illegal to evict tenants in the private sector into homelessness, to lower rents, to double the capital expenditure on public housing in the upcoming budget and to insert a right to housing into the constitution.
Join us on the streets outside the Dail to #RaisetheRoof and demand radical action on housing.
If you want to help us build for a protest so big that we force the government into policy change, get in touch at nhhchousingcrisis@gmail.com.

If we do not make this Protest Huge, government will believe that they have faced down demands for a change of housing policy!!! The Private Members’ Bill also calls for the formal declaration of a national housing emergency. This would make it legal to put a public good such as housing above the right of landlords, vultures, land hoarders, vacant house owners etc to their private property. The FG/Labour government used the rights of buy to let landlords to private property to defeat the Focus Ireland amendment which prescribed that tenants could remain in the house/aparment when sold. The right of landlord to vacant possession for the purpose of sale is the single biggest source of homelessness.

—————————————

“Boxer” Moran’s Home Debt Law Stalled to Protect Vulture Sales; A new law to protect homeowners facing repossession has been stalled by Government after the Central Bank and Department of Finance said the new measures could threaten the ability of banks to sell off bad loans to private equity firms, including vulture funds.

SB Post By Hugh O’Connell Sep 9.    https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The Department of Finance and the Central Bank have said that provisions in the Courts and Land and Conveyancing Amendment Bill could “jeopardise” future loan sales. The bill provides additional protections to mortgage-holders facing repossession in the courts and was agreed by the cabinet last May.

But The Sunday Business Post can reveal that progress on the legislation has been halted after the Department of Finance and the Central Bank told the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan that it needed to be referred to the European Central Bank. The attorney general subsequently advised Flanagan that it is “obligatory” to refer the bill to the ECB.

The development has been disclosed in a letter from Flanagan to junior minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, who originally proposed the legislation. Flanagan told Moran that the Department of Finance had said that a section of the bill “could potentially jeopardise the sale by financial institutions of their non-performing loans and may restrict their ability to return to financial good health. We understand that the [Central Bank] shares this view”.

The bill will allow for courts dealing with repossession hearings against homeowners in mortgage arrears to consider the overall proportionality of granting a repossession order, the circumstances of the resident, and their participation in government schemes for distressed borrowers.

It also provides for the court to consider the amount a distressed borrower owes on their original loan against the amount which a fund may have paid a bank to take over the loan. It is this section of the bill which the Department of Finance believes could threaten a bank’s ability to sell non-performing loans and improve its balance sheet.

Flanagan told Moran that the ECB may not return its verdict until October.

The legislation has its genesis in Moran’s Keeping People in their Homes Bill, which he first tabled in the Dáil as a backbencher in 2017. In a letter responding to Flanagan, seen by this newspaper, Moran has expressed concern over the ECB referral and said that the ECB is obliged to consider human rights law as it relates to housing and respect for the home.

Moran wrote: “While I do not wish to pre-empt or second-guess the pending ECB opinion, I remain to be convinced that the ECB, looking at previous opinions in this area, is giving equal balance to its obligations under human rights law enshrined in the Treaties with the rights of corporate mortgage lenders.”

NUIG housing academic Dr Padraic Kenna has raised concerns about what he describes as the “inconsistency” in the recent ECB opinions on repossession laws. “The failure to carry out a human rights impact assessment by either the ECB or the Commission in these proposals and NPL [non-performing loans] guidance raises questions of non-compliance with EU law and breaches the Treaties,” he said.

Minister Moran said the passing of the amending bill remained a political priority of his, and that of his Independent Alliance colleagues.

“I have to say that while the governor of the Central Bank [Philip Lane] sees merit in banks selling so-called non-performing loans to vulture funds, it is important for banks to realise that they are dealing with real lives and real people.

“The repossession of a person’s home should be a last resort, not something that is looked for in haste, without taking into account the borrower’s circumstances, that of his family circumstances, the length of time that they have lived in the home and how much the loan is discounted.”

——————————————————————–

Alan Kelly Supported Noonan

He is Equally to Blame for housing Crisis. Kelly was minister for housing

………………………………………………………

Misleading Spin from Varadkar and Housing Minister Murphy To Avoid Blame for Homelessness

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Spoof and Spin:

It is a “supply problem”. We need to build houses but “it can’t be done overnight in a quick fix”. We are making progress. Already social housing provision reached 7,000 in the past year. Local authorities,with government, are equally responsible to create a solution . Some are refusing to create “homeless hubs” etc, etc.

What is wrong with the above? What is the Fundamental Problem?

I am preparing a detailed reply to this

But for now: There were only 786 local authority houses built in the entire state last year. Government includes Housing Assistance Payment to private landlords in “social housing provision”!!!! Did you think 7,000 local authority houses were built to “remedy the supply problem? That is what Government hoped you would think!!!

———————————————

Is the Persistence of the Housing Problem caused by Government bowing to short termpressure from Irish interest groups (Economidt,Stephen Kinsella) or by the fact that housing policy makes no sense(Inner City Helping Homeless)???

OR is there something more fundamental ? (Paddy Healy) https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“Imagine you created a system where the government buys things when they are expensive, and sells them when they are cheap”-   

Consider for a moment that Ireland could, very simply, change to the Austrian system. One large housing agency, which supplies public housing ….There are signs people within the system understand the need for these changes, but the change is taking place through the private sector, for profit, rather than for the long-term benefit of our society.Stephen Kinsella  SB POST

Inner City Helping Homeless:”They were sold at a heavily discounted rate by our government, by Nama, to this vulture fund and now the government are buying them back at full market price. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever as far as we are concerned.”-Irish Examiner

  ———————————————————-

Government criticised for buying mortgages from vulture fund at full market value

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/government-criticised-for-buying-mortgages-from-vulture-fund-at-full-market-value-864997.html

Irish Examiner,  Tuesday, August 28, 2018 

A group representing homeless people has criticised plans for the state to pay market value for homes previously owned by Nama.

It comes after it emerged the Housing Agency is looking to buy 200 homes, 26 of which had been sold in the past, at a discount, to a vulture fund.

Opposition parties have raised concerns about whether the state is getting value for money.

The head of communications with Inner City Helping Homeless, Brian McLoughlin, says it does not make any sense;

“We are seeing cases where banks are selling off mortgages that are actually performing to vulture funds,” he said.

“We saw in the Sunday business Post how there was a huge volume of Nama-owned properties that were sold to an American vulture fund called Cerberus.

“They were sold at a heavily discounted rate by our government, by Nama, to this vulture fund and now the government are buying them back at full market price.

“That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever as far as we are concerned.”

—————————————————————————————–

Stephen Kinsella

https://www.businesspost.ie/business/stephen-kinsella-housing-market-424335

Stephen Kinsella on the Housing Market

The system we have set up is driving the negative outcomes we are seeing, where The Economist calculates house prices are 25 per cent overvalued, 10,000 people are homeless, and we can expect another boom/bust cycle in property to come

“Home ownership is fast becoming something only older, or wealthier, households can aspire to. This despite the fact there is enough residentially zoned land in the country for 414,712 dwellings right now. In Co Dublin alone there is enough zoned land for 116,705 dwellings. Last year, Fingal Council built 78 social houses. Rebuilding Ireland’s figures show 166 new homes were built or purchased by local authorities in the first quarter of 2018.

“The entire zoning, planning, costing, re-costing and building process is a Keynesian stimulus for red tape merchants. There has been a trebling of state-funded social tenancies at the IRES Residential Investment Trust. This is a large, professional body which mirrors the kind of organisation we see in the public sector elsewhere in Europe. The state will pay €300 million for one scheme which supports income tenants, the housing assistance payment, in 2018. This is €300 million which goes directly to landlords.”

 

Stephen Kinsella August 2, 2018

 

Imagine you created a system where the government buys things when they are expensive, and sells them when they are cheap, where certain groups get valuable assets at steep discounts, where those at both the top and the bottom of the income distribution scale are supported to varying degrees by those in the middle, where there is no incentive to ever keep these assets from depreciating, and where, after decades of this exact same system in operation, the media react in surprise that the system doesn’t work, and continually pin the blame on one person in a revolving-door job.

Imagine there are also enough market interventions on both supply and demand sides to choke a small pony, and that when ‘the market’ fails to do what it is patently not in its interests to do, the media immediately converge on the ‘solution’ of slotting someone else into the revolving door job, or coming up with a new market intervention.

Now imagine you created a system where the asset gets created and maintained by one central body. If you can afford it, you pay its market value to use the asset. If you can’t afford it, you pay its market value, but the state helps you do so, conditional on your income. So there’s always money to keep the assets maintained, and there’s always a buffer stock against market movements. When other assets are expensive, that’s grand, because these assets aren’t going anywhere. When they need to be replaced, they are.

The first system is the Irish public housing sector. The second is every other housing sector in the OECD, folks. Ireland has a system which today seeks to induce the private sector to provide some social housing through tax breaks, subsidies and some direct payments. When the private sector fails to meet demand, because that isn’t what it is set up to do, prices explode, poor people get pushed out, sometimes onto the streets, and risk-taking property developers begin thinking very carefully about land banks, hoarding and accessing credit.

There is a slew of terrible outcomes, from families living in hotel rooms to homeless people dying, to hotels profiting from all of this misery while enjoying hundreds of millions in tax breaks from the Irish taxpayer.

This isn’t rocket science. Probably the first place to go to learn about the difference between Ireland’s housing system and everyone else’s is UCD professor Michelle Norris’s 2016 book on Ireland, housing and family, Property, Family and the Irish Welfare State. Norris has also written a highly accessible report with Dr Aideen Hayden on the future of social housing which I’d urge everyone to read.

I’d also urge everyone to see beyond the immediate media scrum around one person.

 

Think of the last few housing ministers: Coveney, Kelly, Hogan, Ó Cuív, Gormley, Roche and Cullen. All were good, smart people, all committed to public service, and all failed to fundamentally change the system as it evolved from the 1970s. Lambasting the incumbent because of their background is mendacious politicking without proposing a plan to address decades of housing failures. Ireland is governed by a minority right now. Anybody with a decent set of ideas could get those ideas through the Houses of the Oireachtas, quick-smart.

But to do so would be to upset those at the bottom of the income distribution and those at the top, and we just don’t do that, do we? Those in social housing have a deep incentive to want to keep the system the same — they can avail of steep pricing discounts when allowed to sell, or pass the asset along to a family member.

Any sale converts a publicly-owned asset into a privately owned asset, increasing prices in that area, depletes the public housing stock, and typically generates fees for banks which raise mortgages to allow the tenant to buy their previous social housing home, flip it, and then raise another mortgage for the new home they will move to.

The provider of the housing has a tiny revenue stream to maintain the house, and no incentive to do it up or even keep it rented, as it never makes a market rent. This is a toxic set of incentives. When credit allows a housing boom, the incentives on all sides are to deplete the social housing stock.

Today, 22 per cent of our housing stock is social housing. But not all social housing is used for its intended purpose, and, as I’ve said, this has changed over time. In 1994, council housing tenants accounted for 73.2 per cent of low-income renting households in receipt of government housing supports.

By 2016, this had fallen to just 53 per cent. Since the 1990s at least, the Irish government has outsourced the provision of social housing to the not-for-profit sector via approved housing bodies and the private sector. The trend started in the late 1970s.

 

There are today a raft of government subsidies for private rented housing such as rent supplement and housing assistance payment. None actually pays the market rent for the property. So you have a crazy system where someone on a low income (perhaps from the state’s Department of Social Protection) pays a tiny amount in rent, which another part of the state, or a not-for-profit backed by the state, has to use as its cashflow. The house might require a little or a lot of maintenance, but it isn’t economical to maintain it.

So thing falls into disrepair. Meantime, at the top of the distribution chain, landlords and the owners of land always make out like bandits because they have a price floor during a bust, thanks to the state, and no price ceiling during a boom.

As in everything, there’s a distributional inequity. The very poorest in our society don’t pay all that much in taxes (though consumption taxes like Vat can be deeply regressive for them), and those at the very, very top don’t pay all that much in taxes either, because that’s what accountants are for. The middle classes, and particularly the upper middle classes, pay for most things through their taxes. You can see the effects on median house prices and sales by looking at the chart for Dublin, where this effect is most pronounced.

Austrian model

Contrast the these two pictures, drawn from the Europe-wide Survey of Income and Living Conditions. You have Austria, which has a large, well-developed public housing system, especially in cities where these houses are most needed; and Ireland, which, obviously, doesn’t.

In Ireland in 2008, some 13.4 per cent of households held tenancies for reduced or free housing. In 2016, that is 17.1 per cent. Ireland’s private rented sector has boomed, increasing from 9.3 per cent to 13.2 per cent in just eight years. Home ownership is fast becoming something only older, or wealthier, households can aspire to. This despite the fact there is enough residentially zoned land in the country for 414,712 dwellings right now. In Co Dublin alone there is enough zoned land for 116,705 dwellings. Last year, Fingal Council built 78 social houses. Rebuilding Ireland’s figures show 166 new homes were built or purchased by local authorities in the first quarter of 2018.

The entire zoning, planning, costing, re-costing and building process is a Keynesian stimulus for red tape merchants. There has been a trebling of state-funded social tenancies at the IRES Residential Investment Trust. This is a large, professional body which mirrors the kind of organisation we see in the public sector elsewhere in Europe. The state will pay €300 million for one scheme which supports income tenants, the housing assistance payment, in 2018. This is €300 million which goes directly to landlords.

Next year, Ireland’s taxpayers will undoubtedly pay more. And the housing assistance payment is only one such support. We often call this social welfare, but it really isn’t. It’s private welfare for the property owners within our state. It doesn’t need to be like this. In fact, as I’ve already said, it is not like this anywhere else.

Austria, which is roughly our size at eight million citizens, is a pillar of stability. It didn’t have a massive banking crisis, or a boom or bust in housing completions or house prices. But its system copes with a far larger proportion of people in social housing than Ireland because Austrian social housing is not strictly targeted at low-income households. Private landlords in Austria qualify for the same subsidies available to housing associations which provide social housing, if they charge ‘cost rents’ which reflect the cost of housing provision rather than the market price.

So there’s always an incentive to keep the housing stock in public ownership, and to keep the houses in good order, and this buffers the private market against large shocks. Because, of course, house prices go up and down rapidly in Austria like everywhere else, once in a while, and the market responds to this. But when the market fails, as it always does, there’s a large stock of social housing there to take up any slack.

Real change

Consider for a moment that Ireland could, very simply, change to the Austrian system. One large housing agency, which supplies public housing (not ‘social’ housing — these aren’t houses just for the poor), which is well resourced and which is designed to finance the creation and maintenance of the housing stock over decades. These are just rules, after all. Even a five to ten-year transition period could work well.

There are signs people within the system understand the need for these changes, but the change is taking place through the private sector, for profit, rather than for the long-term benefit of our society.

Consider who would lose out if we made a real change over to the Austrian system. Those in social housing now would lose the right to buy the property they live in. Landlords would lose the suite of price supports, tax breaks and subsidies they currently enjoy as part of the private welfare programmes the state generously runs.

 

Property developers would be cut off at the knees. If you own your house, or have a mortgage, the price of your house would not rise as quickly as it is doing under the current system. Your ‘pseudo wealth’ would not accrete as fast at all. You stand to lose out too.

Who would win? Those who desire a house right now, who don’t have one, especially in urban areas like Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The homeless. Those coming into the housing market into the future. Local authorities, as they would finally be divested of the burden of providing social housing. Society as a whole, and especially the middle and upper middle classes who aren’t landlords, who would benefit from not having to bail out banks or governments who do silly things.

We must understand that the system we have set up is driving the negative outcomes we are seeing, where The Economist magazine calculates house prices are 25 per cent over-valued, where 10,000 people are homeless, and where we can expect another boom/bust cycle in property to come. Why? Because the system is designed to produce this outcome. Having a pop at one person, whoever they are, whatever their political stripe, is failing to see the wood for the trees.

———————————————————–

Following Seamus Healy TD, FF Deputies McGuiness and McSharry Call for Recall of Dail To Deal With Housing Crisis

FF TD accuses party leaders of having ‘no backbone’ on Regulation of Vulture Fund Bill  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Kitty Holland ,Irish Times  Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 00:54

Fianna Fáil TD and chair of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, John McGuinness, has written to his party’s public representatives accusing the FF leadership of losing its “backbone” and seeking their support for an early recall of the Dáil.

In particular he wants the Dáil to come back early to address the mortgage arrears issue and progress his bill to regulate “vulture funds”.

The Affordable Housing and Fair Mortgage Bill,written by the Master of the High CourtEdmund Honohan and introduced to the Dáil last month, was unopposed and reached its second stage.

The European Central Bank (ECB) last month however warned the draft law, if enacted, could damage banks’ ability to lend.

In his letter, sent last Friday, Mr McGuinness tells the party’s 255 councillors, 44 TDs (in addition to himself) and 13 Senators, senior members of the party have failed to support him.

He says PTSB and Ulster Bank are selling almost 16,000 mortgages to a vulture fund and other banks are likely considering such a move.

“Complete silence from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on this matter says much for the state of Irish politics today,” says Mr McGuinness.

“Remember, it is not just mortgages that are being sold, it’s the lives of Irish people, many of whom are where they are because of the reckless lending of the very banks now selling them into destitution.

It’s time Fianna Fáil “stood up and spoke out,” he says.

He says Mr Honohan came to him with a bill he had drafted to tackle the mortgage arrears crisis last year.

“I brought him to meet senior Fianna Fáil members, but he got little thought or time. I defended and promoted the bill at parliamentary party meetings and got no support from the leadership, both elected and unelected.

“Fianna Fáil needs to find its soul and regrow its backbone, become the opposition it should be, rather than the supine partner in government it is, and force the government to act by promoting decency instead of tolerating greed and keep our people safe by strongly curtailing the actions of all those who seek to reduce their lives to numbers on an enormously profitable balance sheet.”

He asks them to “join with” him “and make it clear to HQ that the members of this great party want its voice raised on this matter? Will you demand that the Dáil be recalled in the first week of September to discuss Ed Honohan’s Bill, now in second stage.

“From its history and roots and from its activists, its cumainn and its public representatives Fianna Fáil needs to draw the strength to get behind this Bill. Most of the parliamentary party want to support it and our people want action. It’s time the voice of the Fianna Fáil party in the country was heard.”

The Dáil can be recalled only with the agreement of Government.

Party colleague Marc McSharry is “supportive of recalling the Dáil”.

“Nothing serious has been done to tackle this crisis. But when we discuss the Bill no doubt the wagons will circle and officialdom will rain all over it out of fear of spooking the markets.”

Fianna Fáil did not respond to requests for a comment.

Recall The Dáil Immediately To Declare National Housing  Emergency-Seamus Healy TD

Sunday, 19th August, 2018- Deputy Seamus Healy has called for the immediate recall of the Dáil to declare a Statutory National Housing Emergency to deal with the crisis in Housing and Homelessness. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

He Said:

“The Dáil should be recalled immediately to legislate for a housing emergency, to declare a moratorium on all evictions until the emergency is over, and to give the government powers to instruct NAMA not to sell land and property it owns to private developers and to make such properties available for social housing. The government must also be instructed to actually issue such an instruction to NAMA immediately”

 

Full Statement by Deputy Healy

Deputy Healy welcomed the statement by the St. Vincent de Paul Society calling on the government to declare a National Housing Emergency on Housing and Homelessness.

It’s President, Kieran Stafford, correctly identified the,

“root cause of the crisis- an overreliance on the private sector to meet housing need.  Children’s well-being can no longer be collateral damage to a dysfunctional housing system.”

The statutory declaration of such an emergency is necessary to put the rights of families to a home above the rights of private property. Under the Constitution, such a declaration enables the public good to be placed above the private property rights of vultures, banks and commercial landlords.

I have made three attempts, two under the previous government and one under the current government, to have the statutory declaration put into law without success.

In December 2016, the FG-Lab Government defeated my amendment to their housing bill: “29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person.”

When I made a similar proposal through a private members motion under the current government, it was defeated by FG and the Independent Alliance while Fianna Fáil abstained.

 

The government has the advice of the Attorney General. It knows that such a declaration is required to place the common good in housing above the rights of vulture capitalists.

 

Instead, the current government is leaving a shameful anti-human housing measure enacted by the previous government on the statute book. Under the measure a vulture fund selling a dwelling can evict tenants if it can get a price which is 20% higher with vacant possession than with continuing tenants. Then Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, had told the Oireachtas Housing Committee that this was the maximum interference with private property allowable under the constitution!

 

The Dáil should be recalled immediately to legislate for a housing emergency, to declare a moratorium on all evictions until the emergency is over, and to give the government powers to instruct NAMA not to sell land and property it owns to private developers and to make such properties available for social housing. The government must also be instructed to actually issue such an instruction to NAMA immediately

 

Seamus Healy TD   087 2802199

————————————————————-

Huge Flood of Evictions on the Way

“I have tracked vulture funds for a number of years, visiting regions and areas internationally where they have been most active. In Barcelona, the level of repossessions was so high that it fostered a political movement, with an anti-eviction activist winning the mayoralty of the city. Across Spain by 2017 half-a-million people had been evicted from their homes. The scale was so great that there was simply no stigma attached to losing a home; it impacted upon every family from every socio-economic class.

Down on the east coast of the US, funds were busy repossessing homes from Florida to upstate New York. In the suburbs, away from the glitz and the shops, you could barely walk down a street without seeing a foreclosed sign.

To believe that the funds will not seek evictions here is to assume they will abandon a strategy that has served them well and made them fortunes in other jurisdictions.” From Ian Kehoe, Sunday Business Post

———————————————

So many households are ‘hidden homeless’ doubling and tripling up with friends or relatives living with daily uncertainty, some not knowing where they will sleep tonight, next week or next month.-Niamh Randall, Simon Communities

Rents more than 26 per cent higher than the high point during the Celtic Tiger-Daft.ie   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Average rent across the country reached yet another peak of €1,304, more than €560 higher than the trough in 2011 and more than 26 per cent higher than the high point during the Celtic Tiger.

Having set a new all-time high for the last nine consecutive quarters, rents grew by an average of 12.4 per cent in the year to June, outpacing growth in residential property prices as the stock on the market remains the lowest on record.

According to the quarterly rental report from property website Daft.ie, prices across the State are €274 per month higher than the 2008 peak.-Irish Times 17/08/2018

Irish Examiner  17/08/2018

However, the Simon Communities said the latest Daft figures showed more needs to be done to support struggling tenants.

It said rent pressure zones need to be urgently reviewed and more strictly enforced to ensure rogue landlords are not pushing rents up by more than the maximum of 4%.

Enhancing security of tenure has to be an urgent priority to ensure that people can keep a roof over their heads and have greater certainty,” said Simon Communities national spokesperson Niamh Randall.

“In addition, loopholes that allow section 34 evictions to continue for reasons of sale or renovations — so called ‘renovictions’ — must be closed down.”

She pointed out that many people in emergency accommodation are there because they have already lost their rented home.

“It is nearly impossible for people to move on from emergency accommodation and homeless services because there is nowhere for them to go,” said Ms Randall.

So many households are ‘hidden homeless’ doubling and tripling up with friends or relatives living with daily uncertainty, some not knowing where they will sleep tonight, next week or next month.

The extent of the “hidden homeless” is exemplified by the fact that, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, there are almost 440,000 grown-up children currently living at home, almost 60% of them men.

In light of the Daft figures, John-Mark McCafferty, chief executive of national housing charity, Threshold, said it is abundantly clear that the housing market is broken. “Consecutive governments have done little to stop this, leaving families right across the country struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” he said.

———————————————————————————-

From EVOKE.IE By  Aoife Ryan Christensen   12/08/2018

The Society of St Vincent de Paul has called on the government to declare a national emergency on homelessness.

Full Statement   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“‘Unhelpful narratives that seek to blame people for their circumstances can’t be used to distract from the root cause of the crisis – an overreliance on the private sector to meet housing need. Children’s well-being can no longer be collateral damage to a dysfunctional housing system,’ said SVP National President, Kieran Stafford.

This week Margaret Cash and her six children were pictured sleeping in a Tallaght garda station, prompting national outcry.

The Society says that the Government must act now as an unprecedented number of families seek emergency accommodation.

The use of hotels to meet the needs of homeless families  has been labelled as ‘entirely inappropriate.’

SVP National President, Kieran Stafford, said: ‘It is utterly unacceptable that any child should have to spend a night sleeping in a car or a Garda Station.

‘Childhood is short, and at this time of year, children should be enjoying their summer holidays with friends and family. No child should have to worry about where they are going to sleep at night.’

‘We first heard reports of children sleeping in Garda Stations in May 2017 and nothing has changed 14 months later. It is clear that the current policy has failed.

‘The Government must ramp up the delivery of social housing, and end the long-term use of emergency accommodation for children and families.’

The Society has also called on the government to address the ‘dysfunctional housing system’ by increasing levies on vacant property.

‘We need a compassionate and empathetic response to the crisis.

‘Unhelpful narratives that seek to blame people for their circumstances can’t be used to distract from the root cause of the crisis – an overreliance on the private sector to meet housing need. Children’s well-being can no longer be collateral damage to a dysfunctional housing system,’ said Kieran Stafford.

————————————————————————————————————–

Sunday Independent  12/08/2018

Gene Kerrigan: Housing, health, horror and hopelessness https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Disgust is not enough. The horrors of homelessness are firmly rooted in the politics of greed, writes Gene Kerrigan

‘The shape and content of our society is being decided by greed’

“(Former Housing Ministers) Hogan, Kelly(Lab), Coveney and Murphy aren’t the brightest, but they’re not incompetent fools. Their leaders – Enda Kenny, Leo Varadkar, Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton – have had enough competence to achieve and retain high office year after year.In serving us, though, one failure follows another. The problem is politics. The same hopeless right-wing obsession with the power of the ‘free market’.”

August 12 2018 6:30 PM

So, are you “morally outraged” about the homeless family who had to sleep on plastic chairs in Tallaght garda station?

Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, said she’s “morally outraged”.

Peter Burke, the Fine Gael TD selected to defend the party’s record, said he’s “morally outraged”.

It seems to be the officially approved response, but I’m not buying.

We’re all shocked by what happened, says Simon Harris.

No, minister, we’re not.

Every now and then some brutal event triggers our moral outrage and we smack our foreheads and demand that “this must never happen again”.

Next Christmas will be the fourth anniversary of the death of Jonathan Corrie, sleeping rough in a doorway across the road from the Dail. Gave us a right jolt, that did. We were “morally outraged”.

At that stage, December 2014, homelessness was at a soaring level of 2,858.

We knew about the people we saw sleeping on cardboard, in shop doorways. Increasingly, we learnt about the hidden thousands in hostels and in squats, sleeping in cars and in tents.

And above all the kids in hotels and B&Bs, suffering Christ knows what psychological blows that may still affect them 20 years from now.

Clearly, we had a problem of too few roofs over the heads of too many of our people.

But not to worry, because in February 2013 the Government produced a ‘Revised National Homeless Policy’.

And this had a “key commitment”. Guess what? It would “end long-term homelessness by 2016”.

Big Phil Hogan was in charge of housing, reassuring us he was on the ball. Followed by high-powered Alan Kelly, loudly galloping off in all directions.

Followed by quiet-but-efficient Simon Coveney.

And now, with his sleeves rolled up to show he means business, Eoghan Murphy is being dynamic in directions even Alan Kelly couldn’t imagine.

Yet, despite all the dynamism, quiet or loud, in June of this year the homeless numbers hit 9,872.

And we responded with occasional eruptions of moral outrage.

It was a solvable problem. Count heads, produce the required number of roofs, to schedule, in the appropriate places.

Hogan, Kelly, Coveney and Murphy aren’t the brightest, but they’re not incompetent fools. Their leaders – Enda Kenny, Leo Varadkar, Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton – have had enough competence to achieve and retain high office year after year.

In serving us, though, one failure follows another.

It’s not that they don’t want to end homelessness – if only to save themselves the embarrassment.

The problem is politics. The same hopeless right-wing obsession with the power of the ‘free market’.

This political fetishism requires incentives for the private sector, in the hope it will produce the necessary services.

Simultaneously, the public sector must be run down, so that it leaves the field clear for the entrepreneurial set.

The ‘free market’ politics requires that the public sector provides little more than a safety net for those who can’t afford the private services.

When this doesn’t work – as it hasn’t, for instance, in the hospitals – the free market fetishists say it’s a management failure. And they hire more levels of management, create new layers of bureaucracy, outsource to more expensive private ‘consultants’.

This is the mess we face today, in housing and in health.

Of course, in one important sense, those free market policies have worked – for those already on the upside of life. We’ve never had so many millionaires, our well-off are better off, they ooze optimism.

Profits and dividends rise for those who hoarded land, for the renters and their agents, for the accountants and lawyers who brokered the deals that brought in the companies well named as vultures.

The political base of the right-wing parties will include most of the shareholders who enjoy nice dividends from all this. Many of the entrepreneurial types will be – in every sense of the word – classmates of the politicians.

It is a cruel, inefficient, lopsided ideology that has produced a generation of politicians who can’t house their people, and who can’t treat us when we’re sick. Ten thousand homeless, a million on hospital waiting lists, children in agony, their health declining by the month, by the year, as they wait for operations.

Free markets are fine for establishing how many different types of coffee or phone or car people need to choose from in order to feel fulfilled. When it comes to the basics, it has failed miserably.

Housing and health are held captive to an ideology that requires huge rewards for some as a condition of providing basic services for the many. And while the system delivers the huge rewards, increasing numbers suffer as it fails to deliver the basic services.

Here’s the core of it.

From the lips of Leo Varadkar.

It has been for years clear that there’s a severe shortage of hospital beds and the resources to make them function. In 1980 we had nine beds for every 1,000 of population.

By 1990 the politicians had cut this to six beds for every 1,000 people.

Today, the OECD average is 4.8 beds per 1,000.

And we in Ireland have about half that.

Here’s Leo.

In 2016, with an election pending, he did an interview with Niamh Horan, of this newspaper. She, of course, raised the issue of waiting lists and A&E chaos and here is what our leader, then health minister, said: “What can happen in some hospitals is sometimes, when they have more beds and more resources, that’s what kind of slows it down.”

Was he really saying the problem isn’t a shortage of beds, but a surplus? Perhaps Niamh misunderstood. Leo explained.

“When a hospital is very crowded, there will be a real push to make sure people get their X-rays, get their tests and – you know – let’s get them out in four days.”

Yeah?

“When a hospital isn’t under as much pressure, you start to see things slowing down and it might take five, six or seven days to get a person discharged.”

Huh?

It’s a bit like saying the fire brigade will perform better if you don’t give them too much water to squirt all over the place – with less water they’ll aim better.

This is the sincere belief, the deeply felt truth about the health system, as seen by the man who is now Taoiseach.

When he was challenged on this he said he didn’t mean front-line staff, he meant managers. He knows it’s always popular to have a pop at managers. But the original interview showed, in context and without doubt, that he was referring to doctors and nurses.

And here’s the thing: he and his type have indulged their ‘free market’ fetishism for years, and we’ve been shown over and over that it can’t do the job.

The solution is – as it was in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s – an emergency programme of building, State-directed, all obstacles brushed aside.

This would do the job – but it would also eat into the vast rewards now reaped by the usual suspects, their battalions of consultants and the pricey PR types who police the media for them.

Young people are being driven out of Dublin by high rents. Some of our most skilled people have left the country, and they’ll be reluctant to return. The shape and content of our society is being decided by greed.

—————————————————————————

Homeless family of seven forced to sleep in garda station  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Thursday, 9 Aug 2018 19:40

The family presented themselves at Tallaght Garda Station (Pic: @AnthonyICHH)

By Conor Hunt Reporter

Six children, aged from one to 11, and their mother had to sleep in a Dublin garda station last night after they could not find emergency accommodation.

Gardaí at Tallaght say the family presented themselves at the station as they had nowhere else to go.

Gardaí contacted the various emergency shelter phone lines, as well as a number of local hotels, but no accommodation could be found.

The family was cared for at the station and left this morning.

The woman – Margaret Cash – posted several images of her children sleeping on chairs at the station on social media. The baby slept in a buggy.

Ms Cash has said there are no words to describe what she and her family went through last night.

She said she did not sleep, was minding her children all night, and that is why she decided to post the images on Facebook.

Ms Cash said she was referred to the garda station after alternative accommodation was not secured.

She said a place was offered to her late last night but it was unsuitable because it was in Co Meath and had room for just five children.

Ms Cash said she has secured accommodation until at least Monday through the Inner City Helping Homeless charity.

She added that she and her family have been homeless for a year and have spent three nights in garda staions in that time.

She said she hopes the Government will open its eyes to the problem.

Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless said a number of families were referred to garda stations last night as other suitable accommodation could not be sourced.

He described the situation as a disgrace.

In a statement, Dublin Regional Homeless Executive said it is aware of the “difficult circumstances that families experiencing homelessness have to face”.

It said an “unprecedented” number of families presented out of hours seeking emergency accommodation last night and that the Family Homeless Action Team engaged with ten families who could not find accommodation themselves.

The DRHE said accommodation was found for five of the families, one family refused the offer of accommodation and two were “linked back in with the region (outside of Dublin) and two did not seek further assistance”.

The head of the executive, Eileen Gleeson, said there is no need for a family requiring emergency accommodation to sleep in a garda station.

On RTÉ’s News at One, Ms Gleeson said the DRHE has contingency beds that meet standards for families or individuals in crisis.

This is what homeless service are reducing families to tonight. This is one Dublin Garda Station. I’ve never seen the likes of this, someone must be held accountable. Millions of Euros pumped into NGO’s and Hotels and this is what’s in offer. I’m shocked!!@aoifegracemoorepic.twitter.com/HsN6qHsHRu

— Anthony Flynn (@AnthonyICHH) August 9, 2018

Focus Ireland said it was “totally wrong and unacceptable” that the family had to sleep in a garda station.

It said services are “stretched to breaking point as there is a constant rise in the numbers becoming homeless every month”.

It added that while last night was “exceptional”, it was “part of an escalating crisis for families that it has been warning the Government about for over two years”.

———————————————

Scroll Down For “Why are we not Having Mass Demonstrations on  Housing?”

Discussion Currently Taking Place on Blog:Cedar Lounge Revolution

https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/…/what-you-want-to-say-…/…

Demonstration For Emergency Action To Remedy Housing and Homelessness Crisis -Change Of TIME

Today, Aug 7, 6.30 pm NOT 5 pm, GPO Dublin

Direct Action: Take Back The City!!
Sponsored By Dublin Central Housing Action, Irish Renters Union, North Dublin Bay Housing Crisis Community, Take Back Trinity, Blanchardstown Housing Action Committee, Brazilian Left Front, Migrants and Ethnic Miniorities for Justice

———————————————

Government ‘ideologically incapable’ of addressing homelessness – Father Peter McVerry

(Ministers Finian McGrath and John Halligan are supporting this !How are they avoiding criticism even from the left?-Paddy Healy)

Irish Examiner   Tuesday, July 31, 2018   https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The homelessness crisis is getting worse and the Government’s solutions are not working, according to Father Peter McVerry.

Father McVerry says he has not changed his mind that the Government are “ideologically incapable” of addressing the problem.

There are now just under 10,000 people living in emergency accommodation in Ireland.

Father McVerry cannot see things changing.

He said: “They will address the private rented shortage at the top level rather than at the bottom level where low-income families have to try find a place in the private rented sector.”

———————————————————-

Chairman of Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee Accuses Minister Donohoe of Lying on Protection of Homeowners and Tenants following PTSB Sale of Loans to Vultures-Irish Independent

 Deputy McGuinness(FF) said it was wrong of the Minister for Finance to say that the protections the borrowers had with PTSB on their loans would travel with the loan to the new lender.

“It’s wrong of the minister to say that tenants and borrowers are protected at present, they’re not protected from these vulture funds,” he told RTÉ 1’s ‘Today with Miriam’.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

“That is simply not true, it’s not correct and Paschal Donohoe knows it.”

“We’re constantly told by Government that the protections that are in place travel with the loan and that simply has not been the experience of those caught up with vulture funds. This will be that a significant number of people will lose their homes.

 

Mr McGuinness, who last month introduced the Affordable Housing and Fair Mortgages Bill to the Dail, said because the Government owns 75pc of PTSB, that a debate was needed on whether or not this was the “right way to go in Irish society”.

He said vulture funds should be stopped from buying loans and said an ethical fund should be set up to buy distressed mortgages to help people stay in their homes on a sustainable basis.

“What’s missing here from this debate is the fact that PTSB have…put before us facts that were challenged and found to be incorrect.

“It’s easy for the bank to say that these are non-performing loans, that people simple won’t pay. This is not the full truth.”

Mr McGuinness has also said the Dáil must be recalled to deal with his Affordable Housing and Fair Mortgages Bill, which is at second stage.

———————————————————————————-

PTSB Shareholdings -Minister for Finance  340,661 (74.92%)

Government Making it Easier to Evict Home Owners And Tenants by Authorising Sale Of PTSB Loans to Vultures. Over 20,000 people to be threatened of which 50% likely be Evicted (David Hall)  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Leo Varadkar, Asked to Comment on RTE said: “ I hadn’t Heard of That, that is news to me to-day”!!!

Varadkar, Finian McGrath and John Halligan and all other ministers are responsible.

 Denial by Finance Minister Donohoe on Morning Ireland is misleading. He only denied that he couldn’t reverse the ECB requirement not that he couldn’t prevent the sale !!

The 1.3 Billion Euro sell-off of 2 billion worth of loans will make  22,000(Home Residents) + 4,750 (Buy-to-Let Tenants) =26,500 people liable to eviction

10,700 loans,  2300 in buy to let loans and  7400 in private home loans, to be sold by PTSB to Start Mortgages, sub-prime lender, subsidiary of Lone Star which has refused to appear before Oireachtas Housing Committee.

While Start Mortgages, “a mortgage service provider” is technically subject to the same legal constraints as PTSB in relation to repossessions, its owner Lone Star is not regulated by the Central Bank

Public pressure on Start not to evict People will be far less effective than on PTSB which is 75% owned by the Minister For Finance, Paschal O’Donohoe, on behalf of the Government.

RTE:”A big driver behind the sale was Pressure on PTSB from ECB.? Wrong! Pressure from the European Central Bank is to clear up loan books only- This could be met by write-off or write down of debt. But that would hurt shareholders! PTSB could also have pursued the loan holders in the courts but that would politically damage Fine Gael, and Ministers Finian McGrath and John Halligan and would also damage PTSB in the public mind

David Hall on RTE: Vast majority of 7000 home owners are not “won’t pay”, they are “can’t pay”

They represent a 10 years failure of PTSB to manage its affairs

Hall Suggested Debt for Equity Swap

Catastrophy for 7,400 home owners, 22,000 people—not even informed in advance of sale

Lie Perpetrated by Banks that 3,400 are strategic defaulters

Shameful response by Varadkar -He didn’t bother to even inform himself of  this

These are 170,000 Euro priced homes-Half the 22,000 residents will be made homeless

Other banks are queing up to do the same

( Because of Refusal of FG-Labour government to support the Focus Ireland Amendment proposed by Seamus Healy TD, those renting houses purchased through buy-to-let mortgages by landlords(2,300) will be evicted if the vulture seller can get 20% more with vacant possession even if the tenants are paying the full current rent and are not in arrears!!!!

At c. 2.5 residents per dwelling, this means a further 4,750 residents will be vulnerable to legal eviction!! )

The sell-off will make  22,000 + 4,750 =26,500 persons vulnerable to eviction by Vulture Funds

—————————————————

Capitalist Savagery By VARDKAR, FINIAN McGRATH AND JOHN HALLIGAN in the Housing of Human Beings!

Gene Kerrigan: With the ‘reit’ stuff you can rake in the money

Tackling the housing crisis is difficult enough without daft plans to “incentivise” the private sector, writes Gene Kerrigan Full Article  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Nama has brought in the vultures, to buy and sell vast accumulated packages of housing.

The “reits”, too, are happy. David Ehrlich, former CEO of Ireland’s largest landlord, Ires Reit, explained: “We’ve never seen rental increases like this in any jurisdiction that we’re aware of.”

“Asked if the legislation should be reviewed, Leo Varadkar said no. He said, the (Tax)“exemption” Dad took advantage of helps build houses and apartments. Therefore it’s a good thing.

Mr Varadkar will put up with anything as long as it might eventually, in some roundabout way, do the job his ideology forbids him allowing the State to do in an orderly way — build, build, build.”

Gene Kerrigan , Irish Independent  July 30 2018

Seven of the top lads in Hibernia Reit were due to be rewarded with a financial boost. About €21m, give or take.

Separate from this, the salary of one top lad is due to be doubled, with another getting a huge increase. Advisors to company shareholders were unhappy about that, but I suspect it’ll all work out fine in the end.

This is an uplifting tale of life in the property business. Leo Varadkar turns up later, bless him.

This world can be depressing. Cruelty, homelessness, unfairness, conflict. For light relief, I read the business pages.

There, it’s all uplift. “Remuneration packages” and “second quarter growth” sound so positive.

In the photos, business people smile confidently as they tell us their philosophy of life.

If things such as homelessness bring you down, read the business pages. You’ll see that even an accommodation crisis has its bright side.

It was there that I came across Hibernia Reit.

Now, the business pages are written in a lingo that suits corporate strivers, not envious, lurking no-hopers like you and me.

So, I’ll do my best, but bear in mind that in my world “cash flow” is what happens when I get lucky with a slot machine.

First, I saw a nice Irish Times photo of a man named Bill Nowlan. Bill, the paper said, “is widely credited with a successful campaign to encourage the Irish Government to introduce legislation that has facilitated the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Ireland”.

“Reits” provide a “tax efficient” way for investors to get into property. They were part of the Fine Gael/Labour Government’s 2013 solution to the collapse of the financial business.

Today, the housing market is unsustainable. Prices go through the roof, the market is unbalanced. So much so that the head of the National Treasury Management Agency told a Dail committee that the market has failed. Even those earning up to €50,000, he said, have been unable to afford homes.

Some expect rents in Dublin to hit €2,000 a month by the end of the year.

Traditionally, the State provides local authority housing at affordable prices and rents. This stabilises the market and ensures the workforce has a roof over its head.

Since the 1980s, however, right-wing politicians have had a fetish about eliminating local authority housing. In Ireland, no party is more a slave to this fetish than Fine Gael.

Figures from Dr Rory Hearne, of Maynooth University, suggest that local authority housing in the UK (where Tory politicians hate it) is at 17pc, as opposed to 33pc in the Netherlands. In Ireland it’s 9pc.

Now, at the front of the newspapers — and, in my case, on the back page — we’re kind of obsessive about homelessness. The State can’t even properly count the numbers of houses built – though we know it’s far fewer than are needed.

In the joyful business pages, they’re exuberantly positive. It seems the desperation for a roof over people’s heads produces opportunities for those with the money to get creative.

Bill Nowlan was one of the founders of Hibernia Reit, along with Frank Kenny.

With the financial clout of numerous investors eager to get a steady income from housing needs, the “reits” have had a cash tsunami.

Politicians are adamant that the private sector is the answer to everything, so an unceasing deluge of State cash flows into private hands — subsidising landlords and builders and speculators.

Nama has brought in the vultures, to buy and sell vast accumulated packages of housing.

The “reits”, too, are happy. David Ehrlich, former CEO of Ireland’s largest landlord, Ires Reit, explained: “We’ve never seen rental increases like this in any jurisdiction that we’re aware of.” He added, “I truly feel badly for the Irish people.”

David got a bonus top-up of €376,500 added to his €753,000 salary that year. And, when he subsequently moved on he sold his stock options for €4m.

And, as the State sought to avoid building affordable housing itself, it ensured the private sector wallowed in a comforting bath of money. The Irish Examiner predicted, “a scramble amongst professional firms to be part of the first phase of the Government’s €300m social house building Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme”.

They even set up a “speed-dating” system, at an event in the Round Room of the Mansion House, last March. There, firms were given five-minute slots to pitch for a tender for services, moving from table to table as they tried to woo buyers.

Remember that PhD that Bill Nowlan got? It was for research into “funding models for social and affordable housing”. The Hibernia founders set up another company, Dad Property Fund, aiming to invest up to €200m a year in rental properties for the “affordable” market.

Remember that €21m financial top-up the seven lads were looking forward to at Hibernia Reit? Long story short: by the time the dust settled the €21m was €39.9m.

That’s the kind of “remuneration package” you might expect if you invented a cure for a deadly disease. It seems to me a little on the generous side for people whose achievement is to sell property in an accommodation crisis.

What about those unhappy shareholders? Hibernia bumped up dividends, the kind of move guaranteed to warm shareholder hearts.

Meanwhile, the Government was dicking around with whatever scatty plans its advisers thought up, in an effort to look busy. The obvious thing to do was to follow the lead of the politicians of the 1930s and 1940s. Declare a housing emergency, take the reins and build solid, habitable houses at a steady rate.

But that’s against their ideological beliefs. Instead, they had to find ways to “incentivise” the private sector. And the private sector, as it always must, did what it needed to do to maximise profit. It’s not in the housing business, it’s in the money-making business.

Guessing what will “incentivise” people to do what we need is not only slow and inefficient – it’s bloody expensive.

Alan Kelly gave way to Simon Coveney, who gave way to Eoghan Murphy, all of them announcing imaginative ways to do nothing much.

All’s well, then?

Slight glitch, I’m afraid.

The number of homeless continues to rise. Businesses worry about locating here if their workers have nowhere to live.

Dad Property got an €8m State investment, but it was in a terrible hurry.

It found an “exemption” that allowed it raise rents by 6pc in a “rent pressure zone” where the limit was 4pc (those zones were one of Simon Coveney’s gimmicks for doing nothing much).

Then Dad Property announced a rent review but didn’t notice that the law said they had to wait a year.

Oops, they said, sorry about that.

Sounds to me like they were pawing the ground with eagerness to ramp up rents.

But, that’s the nature of the beast.

Asked if the legislation should be reviewed, Leo Varadkar said no. He said, the “exemption” Dad took advantage of helps build houses and apartments. Therefore it’s a good thing.

Mr Varadkar will put up with anything as long as it might eventually, in some roundabout way, do the job his ideology forbids him allowing the State to do in an orderly way — build, build, build.

——————————————————–

Why Are We Not Having Mass Demonstrations On Housing?

We are on our way back to before the land war and the land acts in the late 1800s. Except this time its urban living accomodation not farming land. Labour-Fine Gael Government Caused This -Paddy Healy    https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Comment By Barnes on Cedar Lounge Revolution

“The goal appears to be short term stability and no one worries about the mid term.
It’s the same in many cities across Europe. Should we do as new Zealand does and recognize that open markets mean the ability for huge amounts of outside cash to come in and exploit the local populace without giving much return.
I think we should. It’s clearly an issue. ” 

Reply by Paddy Healy

We are on our way back to before the land war and the land acts in the late 1800s. Except this time its urban living accomodation not farming land. Huge and increasing amounts of rent leaving the country. Irish citizens excluded from buying over-priced houses and forced to pay exorbitant rents. Remember the Land League’s 3 Fs-Fair Rent, Fixity of tenure, Freedom of Sale. Its needed again!
Fine Gael and Labour introduced the vulture system with tax incentives added for the vultures-and Almost No building of local authority houses.-Total dependence on the market including over-use of Housing Assistance Payments which drive up rents. Mortgage repayment on one bed apartment in Dundrum-1000 Eu per month, rent on same apartment 1500 Euro per month- landlord makes massive profit because renter cant get mortgage! This must not continue
Why are we not having mass demonstrations?

Earlier Discussion: On Cedar Lounge Revolution

Alibaba – April 8, 2018
I see the Housing march yesterday attracted 10,000 people. That’s not exactly setting things on fire. Not yet. But that is not to say it cannot happen in time to come.
It won’t be helped by the non mobilisation of some parties like Sinn Féin, as mentioned by Paddy. Nor will it be helped by those who insisted on staying away because of Labour party members in some organisational ranks. If a demonstration is called on the housing crisis, to shun it is simply sectarian.
On the plus side, the demo had some union sponsorship. It attracted a broad coalition of organisations and it could make headway if political cop on prevails.
Liked by 1 person
Reply
Paddy Healy – April 8, 2018
I agree with that. If any demonstration is called to force statutory declaration of a housing emergency it is damaging the movement to shun it.

Paddy Healy To-day Aug 6, 2018:

The claim by organisers including Sinn Féin that 10,000 marched is big exaggeration. Other reports put the number as low as 3000. I attended the demonstration. As an old “demo” hand since the early sixties (civil rights, PAYE, H-Block, Water Charges etc), I was surprised at its small size. I therefore walked back through the march estimating the numbers behind the banners of large organisations to inquire further.. The total number who actually marched was about 5,000 at most.
Clearly there are huge problems on the left and in the trade unions which have not been solved and need to be solved URGENTLY!

——————————————————

Expert warns of another boom and bust in Irish house prices Due to Huge Demand From Vultures From Abroad for Property to Rent–Central Bank controls on domestic lending will not prevent Bubble    https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

University College Dublin academic Dr Michelle Norris said a feature of the current market had been the influx of big investment funds and foreign buy-to-let firms, which had bought up a huge segment of the market.

These “internationally mobile” funds “could disappear in the morning” if conditions changed, potentially sending prices crashing, she said.

Dr Norris, who is head of UCD’s School of Social Policy and chairwoman of the Housing Finance Agency, said in these circumstances “you could have a bubble without very significant credit availability”.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Irish Times, Thursday, June 21, 2018

The current boom in property prices could trigger another housing bubble, even though it is not being fuelled by a boom in credit, a leading housing expert has warned.

University College Dublin academic Michelle Norris said a feature of the current market had been the influx of big investment funds and foreign buy-to-let firms, which had bought up a huge segment of the market.

These “internationally mobile” funds “could disappear in the morning” if conditions changed, potentially sending prices crashing, she said.

Dr Norris, who is head of UCD’s School of Social Policy and chairwoman of the Housing Finance Agency, said in these circumstances “you could have a bubble without very significant credit availability”.

Her comments echo a similar warning last month by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which raised the possibility of “another property bubble” if house price inflation – currently at 13 per cent – continued.

The warning also comes as new figures from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) revealed the full extent of the Republic’s previous boom and bust. They showed house prices here rose by a dramatic 431 per cent between 1995 and 2007, more than previously thought.

The rapid acceleration in prices during the boom was followed by an equally precipitous fall during the crash, with prices dropping by nearly 50 per cent in the five-year period between 2007 and 2013.

Most volatile

Since 2013, prices have risen again by 57 per cent. The rise and fall and rise again of Irish house prices was more pronounced than any other country, the ESRI study indicated, making Ireland’s property market the most volatile in the world.

In the UK, the next most volatile market, house prices rose by 240 per cent during the boom, but fell by only 7 per cent during the downturn. In Spain, which has similar housing problems to the Republic, prices rose by nearly 200 per cent in the boom and fell by 30 per cent during the crash.

In Germany, which avoided the boom and bust seen in other countries, house prices actually fell by 5 per cent during the boom and rose by 13 per cent during the downturn.

The findings, part of an ongoing three-year research programme by the ESRI in conjunction with the Department of Housing, were revealed at an ESRI-hosted conference on housing.

The think tank’s Kieran McQuinn said even by the “very volatile” circumstances of international house price developments “we really do stand out”.

Nonetheless, he played down the possibility of another bubble, noting the current level of price growth was consistent with underlying fundamentals.

——————————————————-

Joint Letter of Fr Peter McVerry And Sr Stanislaus Kennedy to Irish Times

“With the publication of figures showing that the number of people who are homeless has yet again increased  we have lost all confidence in either the ability or commitment of the Government to solve the housing and homelessness crisis currently being experienced by this country.”

Full Letter

When will homeless numbers go down?

 Friday, March 30, 2018,

Sir, – With the publication of figures showing that the number of people who are homeless has yet again increased (Home News, March 28th and 29th), we have lost all confidence in either the ability or commitment of the Government to solve the housing and homelessness crisis currently being experienced by this country.

Despite the promises to address homelessness made by the Government in its Action Plan, Rebuilding Ireland, the numbers living in hostels, hotels, B&Bs and Family Hubs have continued to rise over the 20 months since that Plan was published with such fanfare in July 2016.

The February figures show record levels of homelessness, with 9,807 individuals, including 3,755 children, now homeless. Indeed, since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland, the total number of people living in emergency accommodation has risen by over 3,300, with the number of children increasing by over 1,400.

When the Taoiseach was asked just before Christmas when could we see the number of people in homelessness going down, he replied that he was unable to say when this might happen.

We are deeply concerned by the Government’s continued emphasis on the delivery of Family Hubs to tackle the human crisis that is family homelessness. While the Government admits that hubs are only a “first response”, it still shows little if any sense of urgency about delivering a second, substantive, response that is adequate to the crisis we are facing.

Families experiencing homelessness need homes, not more hubs. But the Government is neither delivering adequate numbers of new homes nor sufficiently protecting families in their existing homes. Focus Ireland research shows that even a short period of homelessness often has a very negative impact on families and their children. With one-third of the families in emergency accommodation now being in this situation for more than 12 months, the Government needs to urgently rethink its approach.

A deeply flawed action plan and a stack of press statements aimed primarily at presenting a positive picture of developments are no substitute for the coherent, joined-up strategy which is required to address this issue.

Such a strategy must include a far more ambitious drive to provide real social housing, rather than relying on the subsidisation of rents in the private rental sector; the bringing back into use of the thousands of empty houses and flats that blight every city and town, using compulsory purchase orders if necessary; making it illegal to evict people into homelessness, except in exceptional circumstances; the imposition of a punitive tax on land that is being hoarded, and strengthening the rights of tenants.

Housing is a fundamental human right. The inability or unwillingness to assure this basic right to tens of thousands of people in Ireland today is an indictment of our society. The current situation constitutes an emergency that requires far more radical action than we have seen so far.

Homelessness in Ireland today is not inevitable and nor should it be considered normal. It can be eliminated if the political will is there. – Yours, etc,

Sr STANISLAUS KENNEDY &

Fr PETER MCVERRY SJ

Dublin.

—————————————-

ICTU Calls for Action to End Housing Crisis

The numbers don’t lie. The latest official figures confirm that there are now almost 10,000 people homeless across the country, including nearly 3,800 children – an increase of 32% on last year’s figure. https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc
The government’s plan is not working. Alongside the homeless crisis we have thousands of families and young workers who can no longer afford to buy or rent a home.
Right now union members up and down the country are engaged in an intensive lobbying campaign, meeting with TDs in their constituencies and urging them to support the Congress Charter for Housing Rights, to help bring an end to this crisis.

You too can take action and play a part in this national campaign. Click on this link to directly contact your own TD now and request that they support the Charter for Housing Rights. They have a responsibility to state clearly where they stand on this crisis and if they will support the Congress Charter.

https://www.google.ie/search?q=ICTU+Housing+Charter&rlz=1C1PRFE_enIE774IE774&oq=ICTU+Housing+Charter&aqs=chrome..69i57.10238j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

—————————–

Irish People Must Depend On Our Own Peaceful Mass Action to Resist Dispossession! Let us Build on The Success at Balbriggan!

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

We Must not Rely on the Puppet Parties To Protect US!

FG, FF, Independent Alliance, Labour are Puppets of the Vultures and the Super-Rich, both Irish and Foreign

Boycott All Those Involved in Evictions!

——————————————————–

Balbriggan Eviction Reversed!!!!

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Neigbours and housing activists put Evicted family back in home

Listen to 1916 Society Video by Clicking Below

https://www.facebook.com/dublin1916societies/videos/1815658208734260/

#KBC Bank had family under siege at 37 Hamlet Avenue Chieftans Way Balbriggan Co Dublin

There have been allegations that the evictiing heavy gang contained loyalists    (similar allegations have been circulating for months)

Facebook groups are now geared to summon activists and neighbours to the targeted house to oppose evictions

Think of the crisis for government and the banks when evictions become impossible. Would vultures or anybody else be interested in buying such impaired loans????

—————————————————————

The Single Supervisory Mechanism of The EU( related to the European Central Bank) does not require that impaired loans including mortgages be sold to Vultures! It requires that the proportion of impaired loans in European banks be reduced towards the EU average of 5% of the loan book.  https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

This can be done in a number of ways.

The banks could write down the debts of  distressed loan and mortgage holders. This would significantly reduce the value of the bank. It would reduce the value of the shares of investors including very wealthy investors.

But banks and government are determined not to do this!

On the other hand, the banks could continue to sell off the impaired loans to vultures. This would do maximum damage to distressed loan holders. This would result in many mortgage holders and renters of buy to lets being evicted.

It would do minimum damage to the value of the bank and the value of shares in the banks. This is because the state has put in place tax and other arrangements which make the distressed loans particularly profitable to purchasing vultures.

Ultimately the citizens generally would have to bear the cost through provision of  Housing Assistance Payments and other housing benefits to those evicted.

Selling impaired loans to vultures is a new bail-out of wealthy share holders in banks , an outsourcing of the dirty work of evictions of unfortunate home owners and renters of buy to lets, and an imposition on all citizens of the state including the poorest.

The state is the majority shareholder in PTSB and is a significant shareholder in other banks. As owners of banks and legislators government can stop this ultra-capitalist social savagery.

—————————————————-

Where does the Minister for Finance expect those people to go?” McVerry Trust

Selling mortgage debt to vulture funds ‘could make up to 2,500 people homeless’

Housing and Homelessness Crisis     https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

The Peter McVerry Trust has said it is concerned about the moves being made on distressed mortgages.

The national housing and homeless charity said it is worried about the timing and impact of the planned sell-off.

The charity’s CEO Pat Doyle said that financial institutions should take into account the impact on people living in the homes involved.

“Signing 25,000 units between Ulster Bank and TSB over to private organisations means that they will eventually move on the 10% of worst-case bad debt,” he said.

“And 10% of 25,000 is 2,500 distressed mortgages. Where does the Minister for Finance expect those people to go?”

——————————————————————

 “Sales process of loans by PTSB has already begun” Minister for Finance, “Dodgy” Donohoe on RTE,News at One.

Donohoe continued:“As I said, my permission was not needed…I will be consulted at a later stage… I will be meeting Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath to see if we can build on his Bill”( FF Bill provides for regulation of Vultures but Master of High Court says Regulation is not enough to protect homeowners-PH) “I will also be consulting with the Central Bank” (Central Bank has no power to control foreign registered vultures-PH).

Masters of High Court on Morning Ireland: “Holders of impaired loans will get the chop”

Taoiseach’s Advice to Home Owner Faced With Repossession is Completely Wrong—Master of High Court- “Regulation of Vultures is not Enough”

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Master Honaghan sends his own Bill to protect home owners to Ceann Chomhairle for Debate in Dáil

Meanwhile Permanent TSB continues with sell off of impaired loans of home owners, farmers, business people to vultures despite opposite information supplied to Dáil by Veradkar

Requirement of European Central Bank to reduce Non Performing Loans to 5% of Loan Book Does Not Require Sell Off of impaired loans

————————————————————–

Eviction of Homeowners, Farmers and Business people being outsourced to foreign unregulated vultures by government!
https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc
Dodgy Donohoe misleads by saying PTSB “does not need government permission” but he omits the fact that government can stop the sale it at any time because it owns the bank.!!
We drove the battering ram out of Tipperary before-we will do it again if necessary!

——————————————————————

Dublin Housing Crisis Worsens-Government Policy is Failing Says Head of Dublin City Council Housing Committee

The Government has been accused of sleep-walking through the housing crisis.

https://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Dublin City Council’s housing list has increased by more than 2,000 over the past year – with 27,602 now waiting for accommodation.–Irish Examiner   Feb 17,2018

——————————————————————-

Dublin homeless charity hits out at ‘foolish’ reappointment of Housing Agency Head  As Ministers Finian McGrath and Halligan allow Government to Reappoint Conor Skehan as Chair of The National Housing Agency -Recently he accused homeless people of “gaming the system” to jump the housing queue
Mr Skehan had previously said Ireland’s housing crisis was “completely normal” and that its level of homelessness is one of the lowest in Europe.!!!!

Irish Examiner -Dublin homeless charity hits out at ‘foolish’ reappointment of Housing Agency head

The head of a homeless charity has criticised the Government’s decision to reappoint the Chair of the Housing Agency.

It comes in the wake of Conor Skehan’s remarks earlier this week, claiming some people in emergency accommodation could be “gaming the system” to get housing.

He also called for performance targets for charities working in the sector.

CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless, Anthony Flynn, does not agree with the appointment.

Hesaid: “The reappointment od Conor Skehan is a very foolish one on behalf of the department.

“To think that Conor has made his bed in regard comments he has made, he has slated homeless services right across the board and individuals that are accessing homeless services.

“He has gone as far as to say some of those individuals are gaming the system.”

——————————————————————–

Moratorium on evictions would stop growth of homelessness–Irish Times

Pause would give State more time to build new housing

Michael O’Loughlin-Poet

Moratorium on Evictions

But a very obvious solution presents itself, even if it is a temporary one. We are in a crisis. The homelessness problem is desperate, and requires desperate remedies. So why not a moratorium on all evictions, for any reason, of any type, for the next 12 months? This would stop the growth of homelessness, and would give the State more time to build new housing, either on its own or in public/private partnership. If there hasn’t been any improvement after a year, it could be extended. Not only would it halt to some extent the growth of homelessness, it could reduce the psychological stress caused by fear of homelessness in those people who are at all times no more than a month or two away from it.

Of course, the Government would oppose a proposal like this on ideological grounds, as interfering with the sacred right of property. The Minister, or perhaps some hapless Minister of State, would be sent out to do a Fr Jack around the radio and television studios, endlessly repeating, in response to every question, that “that would be a constitutional matter”.

—————————————————

Government Policies Worsening the Housing and Homelessness Crisis

IRISH TIMES-20/12/2017-Rents rise to above boom-time peak in third quarter of 2017

Aine McMahon 

Irish Times     Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 00:05

Rents surpassed their boom-time peak in the third quarter of this year, moving 7 per cent above the previous high which was recorded almost a decade ago, the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has said.

The rents paid by new tenants around the State rose between July and September to an average of €1,056 per month, up 9.5 per cent (from €965) in a 12-month period.

In Dublin, the average rent paid was €1,518 (up from €1,382 a year earlier) with the average in the greater Dublin area (Meath, Wicklow and Kildare) at €1,086 (up from €1,020 a year earlier).

Elsewhere, the average rent paid by new tenants was €811 (up from €743).

The data comes from the Quarterly Rent Index compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) for the Residential Tenancies Board.

The previous high, a national average rent of €988 per month, was recorded in the final quarter of 2007. Following the economic crash in 2008 rents went into decline and hit a low point in the RTB’s index of €746 a month in the first quarter of 2012.

Dublin prices

Rents in Dublin increased by 4.1 per cent during the third quarter of this year, up from 3.1 per cent in the previous three months and 9.9 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

The RTB, a Government agency responsible for registering tenancies and dealing with disputes between tenants and landlords, said a total of 29,528 new tenancies were registered between July and September. This represents an increase of over 6,000 registrations since the last quarter.

RTB director Rosalind Carroll said strong demographic and economic growth matched with low levels of supply are “continuing to put significant pressure on the private rental market and those trying to find a place to live”.

This is the third rent index report published since Rent Pressure Zones were introduced one year ago. Landlords renting properties in these designated areas are prevented from increasing prices by more than 4 per cent.

After a moderate slowdown in the pace of growth in the first quarter of this year, the pace increased between April and June and further took off between July and September.

The report’s authors said these findings reflected the unprecedented situation of continued low supply of properties and high demand in a volatile rental market.

© 2017 irishtimes.com

 

———————————————————————————-

People ‘should be marching’ to protest at homelessness

(SEE ALSO ON THIS BLOG; Seamus Healy Proposal for FORMAL DECLARATION OF HOUSING EMERGENCY DEFEATED IN DAIL http://wp.me/pKzXa-Rd

SR. STAN SAYS:

People ‘should be marching’ to protest at homelessness

Irish Examiner, Monday, November 06, 2017 By Caroline O’Doherty

 

A leading campaigner on homelessness has said the plight of children growing up without homes is an evil that the public should be on the streets marching to oppose.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, president of Focus Ireland, was speaking as she launched the most urgent Christmas appeal the charity has ever had to make.“The problem is much worse than what it was last year. This year we have over 3,000 children in bed and breakfasts.

It’s awful, it’s devastating, it’s shocking,” she said.“We should all be out on the streets about this. It is not only shocking and a scandal, it is evil because of the damage it is doing to people.”

Latest figures show 8,374 people, including 3,124 children, were in emergency accommodation in September, many of them now facing spending Christmas in single rooms in hotels or bed and breakfasts.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy admitted when the figures were released a fortnight ago that progress on alleviating the problem was not happening fast enough.

Focus Ireland helped 290 families, including 556 children, to secure a home through its housing and housing support projects up to the end of September this year — 600 more than in the same period last year.

Sr Stan said while the charity was helping to house a family a day, it could not keep up with the demand as 2-3 more were becoming newly homeless each day.-Irish Examiner

————————————-

GOVERNMENT DEFEATS Amendment Calling For Formal Declaration of a Housing Emergency

Dail Proceedings    December 2016 (More further Down)

Deputy Seamus Healy: I move amendment No. 53:

In page 38, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:

“29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person— – –

 Amendment Declared Lost.

 Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Staon, 24; Níl, 59. Missing 40

Tá : Independent Seamus Healy,Rural Independent Michael Collins, Sinn Féin,AAA, PBP,Independents 4 Change

Formal Abstention: Fianna Fail

Against  :Fine Gael,  LABOUR,GREENS, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE (Including Finian McGrath), Rural Independent Michael Fitmaurice, Indepenent Michael Lowry,

Missing : Rural Independent Mattie McGrath,Independent Dr Harty,  D Healy Rae, M Healy Rae, John Halligan (Independent alliance),Some FF and FG Deputies also missing

———————————————

Why the Government refuses to intervene in the housing crisis

Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Irish Times Friday, August 25, 2017,

Extracts-full article below

There’s a notion that should be instantly dispatched to the annals of wishful thinking: that the Government will, one of these days, do something significant to address the housing crisis.——

The Government remains ideologically wedded to the idea that the market is the most efficient model for dealing with the State’s housing needs, and by extension opposed to the type of large-scale social housing projects we’ve had in the past.

Since coming to power in 2011, it has presided over the lowest social housing build in the State’s history, building just 1,300 units in its first five years in office, culminating in a record low of 75 in 2015.

Even the social housing element of the Government’s flagship Rebuilding Ireland strategy, which promises 47,000 units by 2021, is entirely predicated on the private sector—-32,000 of them will come from private sector rentals (if it actually happens-PH)

 

There’s a notion that should be instantly dispatched to the annals of wishful thinking: that the Government will, one of these days, do something significant to address the housing crisis.

It assumes that the colossal spike and collapse in property prices that drove the State to the point of bankruptcy in 2008/2009 and the now seemingly endless headlines about soaring prices and “generation rent” has prompted a rethink about how we deliver housing in this country. It hasn’t.

The Government remains ideologically wedded to the idea that the market is the most efficient model for dealing with the State’s housing needs, and by extension opposed to the type of large-scale social housing projects we’ve had in the past. The crash has only served to harden its stance.

Since coming to power in 2011, it has presided over the lowest social housing build in the State’s history, building just 1,300 units in its first five years in office, culminating in a record low of 75 in 2015.

These build rates would have been unthinkable even to the penurious Irish administrations of the 1950s. In 1975, for instance, local authorities built 8,794 social housing units, while the private sector built 18,098 homes.

Even the social housing element of the Government’s flagship Rebuilding Ireland strategy, which promises 47,000 units by 2021, is entirely predicated on the private sector.

The bulk of the units (32,000) will come from what the Department of Housing dubiously calls “social housing solutions”, which is a euphemism for private sector rentals.

A further 4,700 units will be delivered via the Part V planning regulations, which require developers to allocate 10 per cent of their estates for use as social housing.

Rehabilitation of the banks

Since the crash the Government has had two overriding objectives; the rehabilitation of the banks, necessary to restore the sovereign’s credit rating and allow the Government borrow on international markets; and the successful execution of its Nama plan to deal with bad loans removed from the banks’ balance sheets.

Both these aims have required the reinflating of property prices.

A major State intervention in the housing market to address the supply deficit and the affordability gap might have worked against this, just like more pointed action on variable mortgage rates, while politically popular, would have delayed the banks’ return to profitability.

The big beneficiaries of the Government’s policy have been the banks, developers and, increasingly, international capital and vulture fund investors who have bought up significant chunks of the Irish real estate market since the crash.

Having been established in 2014, Ires Reit (Irish Residential Properties Real Estate Investment Trust) has already amassed a portfolio of nearly 2,400 apartments. Last year it told shareholders that a “deep imbalance between demand and supply in Dublin’s housing market” meant the firm’s profit outlook was “very positive”.

Similarly, US real-estate firm Kennedy Wilson, which controls €1 billion of property assets here, recently described Dublin as “the most attractive property market in Europe”.

Investors

Blaming investors for crowding out conventional buyers is, however, too simplistic. With the Government essentially vacating any meaningful role in the supply of affordable housing, investors are the only ones who will deliver rental accommodation for a growing proportion of people who can’t afford to buy.

The idea that the Central Bank’s mortgage restrictions could restrain house-price inflation over the longer term is now also in question.

While the rules initially prevented some people from buying, causing a temporary slowdown in the market, these buyers were simply pushed into renting, which has driven up rents.

This has enticed more rent-seeking investors into the market, a process that has triggered a further surge in house-price inflation, completing a not so virtuous circle at the heart of the Irish property market

A 2017 May Day march in Dublin protesting at the Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Since the 1980s successive Irish governments have moved away from funding social housing projects, deeming the private market a more efficient model for the delivery of housing.

The aversion to State intervention can be traced back to the 1980s when the Irish economy stagnated and there was a consensus around the need for budgetary tightening, embodied in the so called “Tallaght Strategy”, which slashed local authority budgets for social housing, a process that was enabled by mass emigration.

The ideology was also part of a wider international shift away from state intervention toward privatisation and deregulation, now loosely referred to as neoliberalism.

Financial asset

In the property sector this process ran in tandem with what sociologists refer to as the hyper-commoditisation of property, which transformed housing from an infrastructure into a financial asset, a process that eventually led to the securitisation of sub-prime mortgages, a trigger for the financial crash.

It’s naïve to think of rolling back this tide given how enmeshed the global financial system is in real estate.

Despite the availability of brown-field sites and the possibility of borrowing at historic low rates, the Government appears resistant to funding a major State intervention.

Every now and then it gives succour to the rumour that it is lobbying hard in Brussels for a derogation from the EU’s fiscal rules to facilitate a major infrastructural spend, but this has been going on for years and nothing ever comes of it.

Either way, the notion that a certain proportion of people won’t be adequately housed by the market is now an accepted fact of life, in Anglo-Saxon countries at least, a deficiency that the Government here will endeavour to ameliorate through rent subsidies.

© 2017 irishtimes.com

————————————–

The bad news is that our FG/FF government has resolved to let “the market” handle housing.

Gene Kerrigan   Sunday Independent, Aug 20,2017

Let’s go back to that CSO figure – 17pc of the homeless are working. That’s one in six. What does that tell us?

It tells us two things: first, it tell us that people get up early in the morning, do as much work as they can – but the wages they’re paid are so low there’s no chance of affording rent.

Why are wages so low? Because entrepreneurial folk have found new ways of squeezing more work out of people for less pay. They’ve got all sorts of tricks for that – the bogus “self-employed” gimmick is very fashionable today, where an employer takes responsibility for nothing apart from screwing you as ruthlessly as possible.

What’s the second thing this 17pc statistic tells us?

It tells us that while employers are pushing down wages, landlords are pushing up rents.

If you look in the statistics you’ll find that those who earn through capital – through shares, through profit or through taking rent – have been taking an increasingly bigger share of the income generated by the economy.

And those who earn through their labour have been getting an ever-smaller share. This has been going on since long before the recession began.

Capital has become increasingly aggressive, demanding more; labour has been docile, acquiescent. Labour has bought the story that we must be modest in our demands, think of others and make do with less than we think might be fair.

Capital has put on boots with bigger hobnails.

Government has been servile towards capital – look at the deference to vulture funds, the use of Nama as a servant of the property classes, look at the slavering over Apple and the aggression towards the mild EU attempts to tackle corporate tax-dodging.

Where labour has dared flex its out-of-shape muscles – most notably in the transport sector – it’s been dumped on by a media that instinctively sides with the biggest brute in the room.

What those flat statistics of capital and labour translate into is bodies in doorways and tents confiscated in the Phoenix Park, while Christmas always comes early for the Brown Thomas set.

The bad news is that our FG/FF government has resolved to let “the market” handle housing. How do you support those with nothing, such as Darren and Christopher? You “incentivise” the rich. You tweak the market so they’ll make even  more  profit if they invest in housing.

Wages too low. Rents too high. Too few houses, too many empty houses. The State refusing to build to meet need. The State hoping increasing profits will do the job.

These facts mean that increasing numbers of homeless is inevitable; there is nothing individuals can do, it’s a job for the State.

——————————————————————–

Call for Govt to intervene as residents of St Helens Court told to vacate 17 Dún Laoghaire apartments by Apollo Global Management and Deutsche Bank-RTE Report Below

If the Amendment to the Residential Tenancies Bill proposed by Seamus Healy TD had been passed the common good would have prevailed over the right to private property. But it was voted down by the Government supported by the Labour Party as Fianna Fail abstained-Report Below

Amendment 29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person

 

Full REPORT RTE News Tuesday, 1 Aug 2017 09:18

Residents of 17 apartments in Dún Loaghaire in Dublin have been told by their landlords – two global investment funds – that they have to vacate the property within weeks.

The tenants of Saint Helen’s Court received letters from a receiver acting on the owners’ behalf, telling them to move out on various dates to allow for major refurbishments.

The letter details nine areas of planned work, including upgrades to the fire detection system and all electrical installations, repairing damage to walls and replacement of carpet and tile flooring.

It says residents will have the chance to re-rent the apartment once work is completed under certain conditions.

However, residents are skeptical. They say last year attempts were made to substantially increase the rent, just two days before the enactment of legislation only allowing rent rises of 4% a year in designated rent pressure zones.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords can only increase rent by more than 4% if extensive refurbishment is carried out on the property.

Resident Derek Cawley, who is paying €1,000 per month for a one-bed apartment, believes this is what is behind the latest move.

“Five weeks to get out, I can’t get anywhere … I went looking at two apartments during the week and by the time I got to them they were gone.”

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has called on the Government to intervene.

He said: “It’s really despicable; a vulture fund that tried to increase rents earlier in the year by 60-90% but felt it couldn’t get away with it is now trying to exploit loop holes in the law to evict all of these people and threaten them with homelessness in some cases within a few weeks so they can increase the rent and increase the value.”

PWC refused to confirm who they were acting on behalf of, but RTÉ’s Morning Ireland has learned that their clients are Apollo Global Management and Deutche Bank.

Neither PWC nor Apollo Global Management would comment, and efforts to contact a spokesperson for Deutche Bank were unsuccessful.

Housing emergency must be declared, Right to a Home summit told

The Government must declare a housing emergency and call a referendum to insert a “right to housing” into the Constitution, trade unionists, legal experts and housing campaigners have said. Karen O’Loughlin, head of campaigning with union Siptu, said “the spiralling cost of housing was particularly impacting upon women and their children, as the gap between costs and people’s incomes grew. The right to housing is protected in the constitutions of 81 countries(not Ireland). The Government needs to declare a housing emergency and roll back the policy of the commodification of housing”

Full Article

Kitty Holland  Irish Times Thursday, July 13, 2017, 17:47

The Government must declare a housing emergency and call a referendum to insert a “right to housing” into the Constitution, trade unionists, legal experts and housing campaigners have said.

Karen O’Loughlin, head of campaigning with union Siptu, said secure housing was moving further and further out of the reach of middle- and low-income households, as well as younger people.

Spiralling cost

Speaking at the Right to a Home conference hosted by the Simon Communities, she said the spiralling cost of housing was particularly impacting upon women and their children, as the gap between costs and people’s incomes grew.

She said the right to housing was protected in the constitutions of 81 countries.

“The Government needs to declare a housing emergency and roll back the policy of the commodification of housing,” she said.

The conference, in Trinity College, Dublin on Thursday, examined how a constitutional right to housing could be achieved here.

Niamh Randall, national spokeswoman for the Simon Communities, said a “clear acknowledgment that increased private sector supply” will not provide affordable or accessible housing for thousands of households was now vital.

“Housing is not like other commodities. You can increase supply and the cost of housing can still increase…Homelessness is the most visible and extreme form of the violation of the right to housing.”

Private property

She said though the right to private property was protected in the Constitution, and this had been cited repeatedly as an obstacle to a Constitutional right to housing, she said there was also an acknowledgment that the right to property “ought to be regulated by principles of social justice and can be restricted in the interests of the common good”.

“In the current crisis it is clear that some restrictions on the right to property are justifiable, to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and also to restrict the numbers trapped in housing insecurity.”

A constitutional right to housing would not mean the right to a key to a home, said Maeve Regan, managing solicitor with the Mercy Law Centre. It would “put in place a basic floor of protection”, and compel the State to “protect the right to housing in balance with other rights” in terms of decision- and policy-making.

Market rents

Among the policies that could be challenged if there was a right to housing would be if the Housing Assistance Payment and rent supplement did not meet market rents. The absence of legal aid to tenants wanting to challenge an eviction could also be challenged.

Ms Regan said though the Citizens’ Assembly had in 2014 voted by 84 per cent in favour a constitutional right to housing, this had not been considered yet by Government. She called on Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to refer this to the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

The right to housing was recognised in international instruments, including the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, she said, but it was not enforceable here.

© 2017 irishtimes.com

————————————————————————————————————————————

Further Tax Relief For Vultures-Government Solution To Housing Crisis!!!!

Veradkar: In the Context of the Budget, we will need to look at the private rented sector to see if there are ways we can encourage people to continue to rent their properties or move into the private rental market if they are not doing so already” -Taoiseach Veradkar-Dail Record Wednesday July 5 (Full Dáil Statement by Taoiseach further down)

He ignored recent ICTU proposals to Urgently build v. many more social houses than planned and to spend the 3.5 Billion from AIB sale on this project

 

The FG-Lab Government had already introduced a measure that would allow Vulture Funds to pay no Capital Gains Tax if they retained properties they purchased from NAMA and the banks for five years, even if the properties had no tenants for the five years!!!!

NOW VULTURES ARE TO GET FURTHER TAX RELIEF IF THEY RENT OUT THE PROPERTIES!!!!

 —————————————————————————————————————–

Seamus Healy TD Calls for a One Day General Strike to Force the Government To Solve Housing Crisis

Shocking Cruelty by Government To Protect The Assets and Incomes of the Irish Super-Rich Continues-Top 12 Gained 6 Billion last Year -but not a penny extra tax due to Build Houses!

Homelessness is increasing because of a deliberate and cruel anti-human  policy enacted by this government earlier this year. Government decided that a landlord could evict the tenants if the sale price was 20% higher with vacant possession and could evict the tenants in all circumstances if less than 10 properties were being sold.

The number of children in emergency accomodation has increased from 2708 to 2777 in a month despite government promises

These vicious measures should be repealed immediately

Government must instruct the banks it owns, including AIB and PTSB to  stop all repossession and eviction proceedings immediately.

Head of the Dublin Housing initiative, asked in  a recent interview why homelessness was increasing despite significant numbers being moved out of hotels, replied:“More people are coming into homelessness than anticipated”!!!!

Seamus Healy TD had predicted the increase in the Dáil.

Master of the High Court, Edmund Honahan, has predicted that evictions will increase hugely in the coming years as vultures seek vacant possession.

Seamus Healy TD: Yesterday’s statement by the Taoiseach confirms that this Government will persist with its disastrous housing policy. It is now obvious that a one-day general strike will be necessary to bring this Government to its senses. 

Listen Live To Seamus’ Dail Speech  https://youtu.be/UKRKNPEeIAA

Tipperary homeowner says his ‘back is to wall’ as hundreds in Tipperary still face repossession orders -Tipperary Star reporter

6 Jul 2017

Click Below for Full Article

http://www.tipperarystar.ie/news/news/258448/tipperary-homeowner-says-his-back-is-to-wall-as-hundreds-in-tipperary-still-face-repossession-orders.html

——————————————————————–

DAIL EXCHANGES

Former Fine Gael Minister Attacks Seamus Healy TD For Calling For A One Day General Strike To Force Government To Stop Repossessions and Evictions and to URGENTLY Build the Huge Number of Social Houses Needed

From Dáil Record

Seamus Healy TD The policy of reliance on the market has created a housing emergency. A total of 91,000 families are on local authority housing lists, a number that has doubled since 2005. There are 21,000 families on housing assistance payment, HAP. There is a homelessness crisis, including 2,700 children in homeless accommodation and many thousands more are couch-surfing and doubling up with relatives and friends. The policy of reliance on the market has failed disastrously.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach told us that approximately 2,000 social houses are at various stages of construction or planning, as if that was going to solve the crisis. The Taoiseach knows that the current Government policy guarantees increasing homelessness as shown by the Think-tank for Action on Social Change, TASC, in a recent research paper and that it is totally and pathetically inadequate.

I welcome the points made recently by Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, who said that the market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional in housing. She said hundreds of thousands of our citizens are affected and large numbers of children are being damaged. She said Europe must wait, and be told to wait, for payment of debt, that local authorities must be immediately funded to build social houses and local authority land should be used for social houses only. She also said vacant houses should be brought into use with compulsory purchase powers where necessary and that the €3.5 billion raised from the sale of AIB shares should be used to build social houses and not to pay down debt.

More needs to be done. A formal national housing emergency must be declared in legislation. Evictions and repossessions generally must be stopped and the Government must instruct the banks it owns, AIB and PTSB, to stop repossessions and evictions. We must repeal the law which allows vulture funds their right to evict sitting tenants. Yesterday’s statement by the Taoiseach (carried immediately below) confirms that this Government will persist with its disastrous housing policy. It is now obvious that a one-day general strike will be necessary to bring this Government to its senses.

Fergus O’Dowd(FG) This is a very important debate and I regret that the time is very short. It is not acceptable that some speakers have only six minutes and others three. This House must change, as our policies must change.

I welcome the new Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and his initiatives. I hope he will be able to support the views I express.

We must be practical. It is all very well having a national strike but that brings no sympathy or support to the people who want to get into—–

Deputy Seamus Healy:   It brings pressure.

Deputy Fergus O’Dowd:   I did not interrupt the Deputy. It does not support those people who need to get into the empty homes around the country.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy):   Nobody interrupted Deputy Healy. He should allow Deputy O’Dowd—–

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Deputy addressed me.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy):   Please allow him speak.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   I am entitled to respond to him. He is talking nonsense as usual.

—————————————————-

VERADKAR REPLY ON GOVERNMENT HOUSING STRATEGY –WED July 5

The Rebuilding Ireland strategy is Government policy. It is being implemented. As the Deputy will know, approximately 2,000 social houses are at various stages of construction or planning. That is a significant change compared to where were last year and we know that planning starts and planning applications have increased considerable as well. We are seeing definite increased activity in terms of housing supply, but we are still obviously very much further behind where we need to be in terms of supply. The Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, is reviewing the strategy in full. Part of it, as the Deputy will know, involves an increase by one third in our social housing stock. Perhaps that is not enough but it is significant that we are going to increase our social housing stock by one third. It is a reversal of the policy in the past which was to reduce the social housing stock and sell it off. We are committed in the plan to increase it considerably but other measures need to be examined as well. There is a review of the first-time buyer’s grant, of which the Deputy will be aware. Consideration is being given to a vacant homes strategy and taking action to tax homes that have been vacant for long periods of time in places of high demand, or also INCENTIVISING and encouraging people to make homes available for habitation.

In the context of the budget, we will need to look at the private rented sector to see if there are ways we can encourage people to continue to rent their properties or move into the private rental market if they are not doing so already.

—————————————-

ICTU SPEAKS OUT ON HOUSING!

Interview With Patricia King, General Secretary, ICTU, on Morning Ireland

Full Interview: http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F21197014%5F48%5F04%2D07%2D2017%5F

Written Extracts: Housing 

Presenter: what are your views on the housing issue? 

Patricia King:   “We now have a housing emergency

Market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional in housing

Local authorities should be immediately funded to build social housing-State and Local authority Lands should be used to build social housing only

 200,000 voids identified in Census should be taken over quite quickly, using CPOs where necessary”

Presenter: “You have said that the housing crisis is the greatest policy failure in the history of the state. At the recent Social Dialogue in Dublin Castle did you get any indication from government that you were being listened to”

PK: “No Just a sense of irritation that people were continuing to bring this up

3.5 billion from AIB share sale should not be used to pay down debt but to build social housing-there are 90,000 people on housing lists”

Presenter says: Government says we have no choice (but to use it to pay down debt–PH)

PK “We do have a choice Tell Financial Europe-We do need to write down the debt but you have to wait– There are Hundreds of thousand effected –large number of children being damaged

We need to solve this housing emergency and to do it quickly”

——————————

Number of homeless children continues to rise

Kitty Holland    Irish Times Friday, June 30, 2017, 19:22

The number of homeless children has continued to rise, latest figures show, despite the accelerated efforts of authorities to address the situation.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing show there were 2,777 children, in 1,312 families, living in emergency accommodation across the State during the week of May 22nd to 28th.

In Dublin, there were 2,266 children, in 1,099 families, in emergency accommodation. Some 647 of Dublin’s homeless families were living in commercial hotels.

These figures compare with the 2,708 children, in 1,302 families, who were living in emergency accommodation across the State at the end of April, including 2,262 children, in 1,091 families, who were homeless in Dublin.

Some 750 families were living in commercial hotels in Dublin by the end of April.

The increases come just before the July 1st deadline to move all homeless families out of commercial hotels, which had been set by the former minister for housing Simon Coveney.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy abandoned this target within days of taking office.

Unacceptable

Mr Murphy said that “the important thing . . . was that we got the work done, that we brought the resources to bear”, referring to the provision of 15 “family hubs” – which provide cooking and other facilities for the homeless – across Dublin.

However, homeless charities have described the continued increases as “unacceptable” and have called for “more aggressive”solutions.

Roughan Mac Namara, advocacy manager with Focus Ireland, said that despite hopes that homeless numbers were stabilising at the beginning of 2017, “unfortunately, now it’s clear the numbers are only going up.

“Minister Murphy needs to indicate some big ideas on preventing families becoming homeless, such as stopping the eviction of tenants of buy-to-lets when their homes are repossessed.”

June Tinsley, head of advocacy with Barnardos, said: “Being homeless has a profound effect on children’s health, well-being, development and life potential. A more aggressive approach is required to tackle the ever-deepening housing crisis.

“These figures also do not reflect the number of ‘hidden homeless’ families who do not appear on the official register.

“Thousands of families in Ireland are living in overcrowded, substandard or unsafe accommodation because they have no other options.”

Niamh Randall, spokeswoman for the Simon Communities, said the numbers were “unacceptable”.

———————————————————
LABOUR-FINE GAEL FED THE VULTURES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE HOMELESS

Purchasers of Irish Residential Property (including Vultures) will pay NO CAPITAL GAINS TAX if they retain the property for 5 years -Finance Bill Debate in Dail Nov 23 2016

This applies EVEN IF IT IS EMPTY FOR THE 5 YEARS

————————————————————

Grossly Inadequate Prime Time Program on Housing

Most Common Form of Deception By Media is Omission 04/05/2017

View Full Program here https://www.rte.ie/news/player/prime-time-web/2017/0504/

No  Mention of Fundamental Problems-Government Committment to Protecting Private Property of Landlords including Vultures, Inability of Government to Borrow or to Spend  Proceeds of Asset Sales to Build Public Housing due to support for EU Fiscal Treaty, Refusal of Government to Tax the Massive Asset Gains of The Irish Super-Rich

Nobody Mentioned The Need for the Formal Declaration of A National Housing Emergency TO STOP EVICTIONS and COMPULSORILY PURCHASE VACANT HOUSES

Seamus Healy TD has repeatedly highlighted these matters in the Dáil

I have sent full facts with references on these matters to RTE several times-Paddy Healy

View Full Program Here:https://www.rte.ie/news/player/prime-time-web/2017/0504/

Official figures show that the number of homeless people in the State has risen from 7,184 in December 2016  to 7,421 in February 2017, a rise of 237-as Government refuses to formally declare a national housing emergency,   the Association of Personal Insolvency Practitioners says banks and vulture funds are pushing forward with a repossession spree and Taoiseach admits that proceeds of sales of state assets cannot be used to provide Social Housing because of EU FISCAL TREATY

——————————————-

Juno McEnroe   Irish Examiner  March 27

HOUSING-IT IS A NATIONAL SHAME

SKY-HIGH rents, unaffordable house prices, unprecedented numbers of homeless families and an all-time low record of social housing builds.

These are some of the characteristics that mark so-called solutions to help solve Ireland’s housing crisis that has left ordinary families in a state of stasis, in poverty, and in many cases, without a roof over their heads.

Families without homes are being treated like second class citizens, according to frontline agencies.

There are exceptional amounts of money going into government promises to solve the housing crisis but little sign of relief for those renting, buying or relying on state support for a home to live in. It is a national shame.- Juno McEnroe   Irish Examiner  March 27

Full Article  http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/families-need-government-to-build-a-workable-solution-to-housing-crisis-446216.html

———————————————

Irish Times: Significant increase in the number of homeless children

New figures show progress made in tackling the homelessness crisis has been reversed

Kitty Holland, Irish Times

Last Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017, 19:18

The number of homeless children in the State increased last month to 2,546, wiping out the apparent progress made in January in tackling the crisis.

Last month, figures showed that the number of homeless people in the State had fallen from 7,184 in December 2016 to 7,167 in January.

However, official figures released on Friday showed a significant increase in homelessness in February, to 7,421 people.

Responding to the new figures, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said they were “disappointing but not unexpected”.

Child homelessness figures are significant in driving the changes in the overall figures each month.

The number of homeless children fell from 2,505 in December to 2,407 in January.

However, February’s figure for child homelessness shows the number now stands at 2,546.

In Dublin, some 2,129 children in 1,055 families were homeless during the week of February 20th-26th.

This represents an increase of 83 in the number of homeless children in the capital since January (2,046 children in 1,007 families).

This is despite the fact the number of homeless children in the city fell by 50 between December and January.

Mr Coveney had previously pledged that by July no homeless child in Dublin would have to live in a hotel or a B&B.

Regional increases

There were also significant increases in the child homelessness figures for other regions.

The number of homeless children in the midwest decreased by 34 between December and January to 52. However, the figure increased to 85 last month.

In the southwest, the number of homeless children increased from 91 in December to 106 in January, before rising to 125 last month.

The figures were a “stark reminder of the difficulties we face in dealing with the homelessness problem”, said Mr Coveney.

“We must continue to work hard and redouble our efforts.

“Last year, 3,052 households exited homelessness, which is the highest level ever, and the level of ambition [in this regard] is greater again this year.

“This is a substantial increase on the 2,300 exits achieved in 2015 and reflects the significant ongoing work being done by housing authorities and their partner NGOs in helping households and individuals transition from homelessness to more permanent homes.”

‘Deeply disappointed’

Fergus Finlay, chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardos, said he was “deeply disappointed” by Friday’s figures.

He said they proved that the Government’s efforts to tackle the homelessness crisis were “inadequate”.

“Despite the Government commitments . . . and despite increased funding for housing and homelessness for 2017, the impact is not being felt by those most in need.

“The slowness of our systems to respond, escalating rents and the continued lack of supply across all housing sectors have all combined to hamper the Government’s efforts. Simply put, these efforts are now inadequate.”

Mike Allen, director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, said increasing housing supply was not enough to tackle the homelessness crisis and more needed to be done to keep families in their homes.

He called for measures to help keep tenants in buy-to-let homes when the landlord is selling the property.

The Simon Communities also called for a review of housing support caps.

AS JANUARY HOMELESS FIGURES REACH HIGHEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE STATE-

GOVERNMENT DELIBERATELY ALLOWS BANKS TO CONTINUE EVICTIONS

“Traitorous behaviour” shown by banks putting people out of homes-Personal Insolvency Practitioners-Irish Examiner

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Conall Ó Fátharta

Banks are committing to spending up to €1bn in “putting people out of family homes”, it has been claimed.

The Association of Personal Insolvency Practitioners says banks are refusing viable restructuring proposals designed to keep people in their homes

The Association of Personal Insolvency Practitioners said banks and vulture funds have given the “two fingers” to the Government while pushing forward with a repossession spree.

Its chairman, Eugene McDarby, said despite the Government’s efforts to address the mortgage arrears crisis by introducing the Abhaile scheme, banks are still refusing viable restructuring proposals designed to keep people in their homes.

The Abhaile scheme, launched last October, offers free financial and legal advice, with a priority on those most at risk of losing their home.

It is run jointly by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service and the Legal Aid Board.

“We feel it’s time to identify and challenge the banks and vulture funds who have chosen to give Government the two fingers while pushing forward with their repossession spree which will wreak havoc on the lives of Irish citizens and taxpayers for generations,” said Mr McDarby.

“Instead of respecting government policy and working with debtors and PIPs [personal insolvency practitioners] to achieve viable long-term sustainable solutions, the pillar banks and vulture funds continue to vote against insolvency arrangements preferring repossession and surrender of family homes.

“Insolvency arrangements provide better outcomes for banks than would be the case if a borrower goes bankrupt or the property is repossessed.”

Mr McDarby claimed the bailed-out banks and vulture funds are more interested in quick fixes and overlook the fact that, in most cases, the loss of the family home results in homelessness and a “social crisis on an unprecedented scale”.

“Banks continue to pump money into repossessing homes despite the best efforts of distressed borrowers, PIPs, and Government to identify and implement viable solutions that will keep people in their family homes,” he said.

“Currently, there are more than 35,000 family home mortgages in long-term arrears with an average of three people living in each of these properties. These 105,000 people are not being provided with sustainable alternative arrangements.”

Mr McDarby said Croke Park would not be big enough to hold the number of people in danger of losing their homes if “banks and vulture funds are not brought to heel”.

He claimed “the traitorous behaviour of banks in refusing to entertain viable alternative payment plans means the [Abhaile] scheme cannot have the desired effect of keeping people in their family homes”.

———————

TÁNAISTE AND MINISTER JUSTICE STATES IN DÁIL THAT COUNTY REGISTRAR HAS NO POWER TO ORDER REPOSSESSION WHEN IT IS OPPOSED BY DEFENDANT

The Tánaiste: County registrars are officers of the court and independent in the exercise of their functions and duties under statute and the rules of court. It is important to point out the following. As a matter of law, they may only make an order for the possession of any land in cases where no defence to an action for possession has been delivered by the defendant or no appearance has been entered by the defendant.

Dail Proceedings Thursday      19/01/2017

Deputy Róisín Shortall: The implications of the failure of the courts to adhere to the requirements of EU consumer protection law are potentially extremely serious. It appears that repossession orders are being granted without the courts taking the initiative to assess whether mortgage contracts are unfair. This is clearly a denial of people’s rights by the courts. Are repossessions happening without people being afforded their rights and does this expose the State to legal challenge due to its failure to adhere to the requirements of EU law?

The Tánaiste: County registrars are officers of the court and independent in the exercise of their functions and duties under statute and the rules of court. It is important to point out the following. As a matter of law, they may only make an order for the possession of any land in cases where no defence to an action for possession has been delivered by the defendant or no appearance has been entered by the defendant.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: The Tánaiste is repeating the inaccuracy.

The Tánaiste:  Let me finish. Therefore, the power of a county registrar to make orders for possession is extremely limited.

Deputy Róisín Shortall: The Tánaiste is wrong.

The Tánaiste: Where any defence is raised by a defendant, including any defence in relation to the nature or terms of the mortgage contract between the borrower and lender, the matter must, when it is in order for hearing, be transferred by the county registrar to the judge’s list at the first opportunity. The courts are independent, which is an important point to make. Following the transfer, it will be a matter for the judge to consider any issues raised, including, if applicable, issues in relation to the EU directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts, which was given effect in Ireland by way of regulations in 1995. The directive and regulations are matters for the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and it is understood that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has supervisory powers to ensure compliance with them.

Deputy Róisín Shortall:The Tánaiste is compounding the error now.

————–

Cashel, Co Tipp, Woman to Loose Home Despite Making All Efforts to Service Mortgage

“Personal or family hardship was also not a factor identified in the Acts.”-Judge

JUDGE ADMITS DECISION “HARSH”-BlAMES BAD LAW

Under the acts, the court cannot override the result of a meeting of creditors when the distressed debt secured against the family home was not distressed in one of the ways identified by the Oireachtas, she(Judge) said.

The intention to protect a family home did not enable the court override the vote of a creditor holding security over that property just because the property was a family home. Personal or family hardship was also not a factor identified in the Acts.

Michael Lowry (Indepenent, Tipperary) voted with Government to defeat the Anti-Eviction Bill in Dáil last Thursday in TIED(51 to 51) vote. Jackie Cahill (FF, Tipperary) Abstained


51 to 51 Vote on ANTI-EVICTION BILL in DAIL as LOWRY SAVES GOVERNMENT

Michael Lowry, not a government deputy, cast the vote that saved the government. In addition to the FF deputies who formally abstained, a further 20 deputies were missing for the vote, including John Halligan.

Noel Grealish an Michael Healy-Rae also did not vote

FINIAN McGrath, Sean Canney, Boxer Moran, Shane Ross an Katherine Zappone voted with government to defeat the ANTI-EVICTION BILL

——————————————————-

FARMERS TO BE EVICTED

Cromwell Returns With A licence From Grovelling Irish Government

Hundreds of farms face repossession this year as so-called vulture funds swoop on indebted properties, agri-finance experts have warned.Industry sources say that as many as 200 farmers may be affected by the sale of a €2.5bn Ulster Bank loan portfolio to US vulture fund Cerberus last October. Hundreds more could also come under pressure if the anticipated sale of other Irish mortgage portfolios to global funds goes ahead.

NEVIN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE FUNDED BY TRADE UNIONS NORTH AND SOUTH HAS PUBLISHED AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT ON THE HOUSING CRISIS-full text below

But what  is missing from the document? Is the solution just a matter of changing national policy and running new laws through the Dáil? What are the obstacles to building huge numbers of social houses and to stopping evictions. We must not dodge the over-arching issues!!!

I wish to conduct a continuing open discussion in order to answer these questions

——————–

Housing: no surprises-NERI

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Tom Healy, Director NERI

It is now generally accepted that the Republic of Ireland has a ‘housing crisis’. Though the causes are many and interlinked it would be astonishing to deny the obvious: not enough houses have been built in recent times at the right price in the right places for the right people. Result: escalating homelessness, escalating non-affordability and escalating rents. The housing crisis is probably a good but tragic textbook case study of what economists call ‘market failure’.  In other words, markets do not deliver enough houses to meet demand not because prices are too low but because a dominant developer-led, land-speculative and profit dominated sector has different priorities to what society might regard as optimal. In a different sense of the term, there has also been a ‘government failure’. The latter is to do with conscious decisions over three decades to outsource activity more and more to the private sector, to fail to get to grips with the price of development land and to under-invest by huge amounts in necessary ‘social housing’. Take a look at Chart 1 by clicking here   http://bit.ly/2iKXImy

If charts and picture could tell a story this one does. It speaks for itself.  Just when the market pulled back from building too many houses (related to unwise tax policies coupled with bad banking and light-touch regulation and low interest rates in the Eurozone) what did the State do? It reinforced the slump and laid the basis for a storm in terms of a housing crisis. Put another way, this housing crisis was entirely man-made due to a combination of market failure and ideological capture of the political space.  The current government is long on promises and short on delivery.

Preliminary estimates for 2016 indicate an output of approximately 14,800. This contrasts with 14,602 in 2010 – two years into a severe recession. Even as recently as 2009 when GDP was contracting significantly output was 26,402. The peak output figure was 93,419 in 2006.  Within the overall total the component of local authority social housing sharply contracted to such an extent that a total of 75 were built in the year 2015. This corresponds to a little over 1 new house per week for the entire jurisdiction. In the first half of 2016 a total 117 new social housing units were built by local authorities. This compares with a total of 20 in the same period in 2015. (Data are not yet available for social housing output in the latter half of 2016). Taking all social housing into account including new builds by voluntary and cooperative entities the total of social housing increased from 177 in the first half of 2015 to 237 in the first half of 2016. Clearly, the scale of activity up until very recent times was wholly inadequate to the need and accumulative demand following the bust of 2009 and onwards.

The solution to the housing crisis will require a number of vital policy actions carefully planned and put in place. It appears that, at last, the Government is getting the message and undertaking some of the necessary steps. Yet, it is striking that the approach is characterised by three fatal flaws:

  • An ideological clinging to the market as the key driver and supplier of housing need with the State playing an entirely secondary role by way of regulatory provision, tax incentives and modest outlays of grant assistance.
  • The scale of ambition let alone delivery is wholly inadequate to the extent of need.
  • A reluctance to deal with the problem with the urgency and cross Government drive to get to the grips with this problem. Lost somewhere in ‘fiscal space’ is the bean-counting that confuses short-term cost with long-term investment that will save the state, the market and society much by way of hidden costs and social damage.

In the coming months, the NERI will be devoting some effort to analysing the issues and proposing possible ways forward involving agency, funding and planning.  However, in the meantime, the housing crisis will not go away. It may very well get worse before it gets better. In this regard one is mindful of one of the key messages of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) landmark report on Housing Supply and Land: Driving public action for the common good (July, 2015):

The public system should use its authority, capacities and resources to take the lead on the resumption of housing supply.

Indeed.

————————

Deprivation of shelter, carried on for months and years, is not mischance, it is policy.

Gene Kerrigan    Sunday Independent

“Oh, we can’t have rent control, we mustn’t interfere with the market. And there are constitutional barriers to this or that. Municipal housing, as a social policy, rather than a charity, is unacceptable. When anyone mentions Nama they stick their fingers in their ears and scream.

When Home Sweet Home occupied Apollo House it wasn’t charity that the artists and activists, small businesses and thousands of volunteers brought: it was solidarity. It said this is simply not acceptable.

No ideology, no reverence for property rights, justify this as a policy – and it is clearly a policy. Deprivation of shelter, carried on for months and years, is not mischance, it is policy.

William Whittle, a former FG local government candidate, did not insult them with false good-fellowship.

He said of Apollo House: “Cut all services off, freeze them out of it.”

William Whittle is an honest man. He said what he thought. He didn’t hide behind the old oh-our-hands-are-tied bulls**t.

The thousands of homeless are collateral damage, debris cast aside in building the monument to gambling that FG/FF have created.

EVICTIONS-FROM YESTERDAY GOVERNMENT GIVES GIVES NEW HELP TO BANKS AND VULTURES TO EVICT FAMILIES QUICKLY

UNTIL YESTERDAY PROPERTY DEBTS of OVER 75,000 Euro had to be Taken to the High Court-involving a two year delay

BUT NOW DEBTS OF UP TO 3 million Euro can be dealt with in the Circuit Court.

Seamus Healy TD sought to prevent this by tabling an amendment to the Courts Bill but this was voted down by FG, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE, Labour with FF abstaining

Amendment 29(c) to Courts Bill: “in view of the housing emergency declared here, the power of any Minister of Government to raise the market value threshold of €75,000 for single or multiple dwellings for consideration of possession of dwellings cases by the Circuit Court by activating or commencing sections of existing Acts without approval by a vote of Dáil Éireann, is cancelled.”-Seamus Healy TD

The Dáil divided:For the Amendment Tá, 34; Staon(Formal Abstention), 24; Níl, 59. Missing from Vote 40
(Nil) Against The Amendment : LABOUR PARTY, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE (Including Finian McGrath), Green Party, Rural Independent Michael Fitmaurice, Indepenent Michael Lowry, Fine Gael Party
Tá(For The Amendment)) : Independent Seamus Healy,Rural Independent Michael Collins, Sinn Féin,AAA, PBP,Independents 4 Change, Social Democrats,
Formal Abstention, Fianna Fail Party
Missing : Rural Independent Mattie McGrath,Independent Dr Harty, D Healy Rae, M Healy Rae, John Halligan (Independent alliance),Some FF and FG Deputies also missing

From The Hub-Galway  13/01/2017

New market value threshold of €3m takes effect in Circuit Court property cases

A market value threshold of €3 million for Circuit Court jurisdiction in property-related cases took effect from yesterday.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald (pictured) signed commencement orders to bring into operation section 2 of the Courts Act 2016 and a number of sections of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004.

The jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in proceedings under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 will now be on the basis of a market value of €3 million rather than the property’s rateable valuation.

Where the market value of the property exceeds €3 million, then the High Court will have jurisdiction (unless the parties agree otherwise).

———————-

Apollo House-Judge Refuses Extension

He said the issue before the court involves the right to ownership of private property.

“If this had been allowed to drag on it could be interpreted that the attitude of the courts was to facilitate people to occupy other properties and that the court would take a benevolent view, that would lead to an intolerable situation in a democratic state so I am not going to get involved in an argument as to whether or not Dublin City Council have provided suitable accommodation.”

If the Amendment to the Residential Tenancies Bill proposed by Seamus Healy TD had been passed the common good would have prevailed over the right to private property.

But it was voted down by the Government supported by the Labour Party as Fianna Fail abstained

Deputy Seamus Healy: I move amendment No. 53:

In page 38, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:

“29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person—

(a) accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal of the current occupant of a dwelling, or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013,

(b) the housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Éireann, and the Government, including any Minister of the Government, are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval in such a vote,

(c) in view of the housing emergency declared here, the power of any Minister of Government to raise the market value threshold of €75,000 for single or multiple dwellings for consideration of possession of dwellings cases by the Circuit Court by activating or commencing sections of existing Acts without approval by a vote of Dáil Éireann, is cancelled.”.

The full Dáil speech of Seamus Healy is carried below

————

Failed Dependence on the Market To Provide Social Housing Cannot Be Reversed Without Breaching The EU FISCAL TREATY on borrowing or Taxing the HUGE ASSETS AND INCOMES OF THE Irish Super-Rich

From the 1980s,As Byrne and Norris(Geary Institute UCD-link below) explain, “the delivery of social housing through market mechanisms and the state subsidization of the private rental sector” largely substituted for the state’s own provision of social housing, with the additional disadvantage of its adding “further fuel to the property market furnace”.

But, more fundamentally, it is important to reassert housing as a human right and a public good, built where necessary by the state and allocated on the basis of social need.Dr Andy Storey (UCD)-Dublin Inquirer  Jan 10, 2017

Andy Storey: It Worked When Local Authorities Could Borrow to Build Housing

Andy StoreyJanuary 10, 2017

 

In April of last year, it was announced that more than 11,000 tenants of Dublin City Council were to be allowed to buy their homes at a price discount of up to 60 percent of the market value.

Good luck to the tenant purchasers themselves, but the housing organisation Clúid criticized the move as tantamount to “selling off the family silver at a knock-down price”.

My UCD colleague Mick Byrne makes the point that, given the long history of such schemes, “A large part of investment in social housing in this country is thus actually an investment in subsidised home ownership.”

http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201615.pdf

In 2015, the then Minister for Housing, Alan Kelly, claimed that such tenant purchase schemes were useful because not only did tenants benefit, but local councils gained resources that could be used for new social housing, though there is no guarantee local authorities will use the funds for housing.

Clúid has pointed out that even if all the money raised did go to new social housing, because of the discounts on offer, councils may not recoup enough money to replace the public housing being sold off.

As an important new paper by Byrne and another UCD colleague, Michelle Norris, makes clear, this particular issue forms part of a wider and deeper pattern of change in how social housing is (or is not) supplied by the Irish state.

The crux of that change is the switch from public provision of public housing – commonplace for most of twentieth-century Ireland – to a deeply problematic reliance on market provision.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, 52 to 65 percent of all Irish housing output was accounted for by local authorities, and by not-for-profit housing associations, usually borrowing the money to build the homes and then using the rents to repay the debts. By 1961, over 18 percent of Irish households lived as tenants in social housing.

As well as providing people with houses, this activity also constituted state-led stimulation of the economy, with many of the tradespeople directly employed by the public sector. In particular, social housing acted as a compensating factor (what economists call a counter-cyclical force) during times of economic downturn, such as during the emigration-blighted 1950s, when investment in the construction of public housing rose sharply.

A crucial turning point came in 1987, when it was decided that the funding of social housing would only come from grants from central government, meaning that local authorities could no longer borrow on their own initiative. This meant that when overall government spending came under pressure, spending on social housing would likely suffer also.

Government funding for the provision of new social housing duly fell by 88 percent between 2008 and 2014, and the output of dwellings by 91 percent. With private-sector house building nosediving at the same time, the policy had now become disastrously pro-cyclical rather than counter-cyclical.

The overly close correlation between public- and private-sector provision had been compounded by other factors. One was the introduction of rent supplement, allowing, in theory, low-income households greater access to the private rental market, though the later abolition of rent controls worked against that.

Meanwhile, existing social housing was almost continuously being sold off to tenants, long predating Alan Kelly’s initiatives, as Conor McCabe has documented.

But the most important change from the late 1980s onwards was that, rather than build houses themselves from scratch, the state was increasingly asking private developers to include social housing in their plans.

Or it was asking some of those same developers to rebuild social housing in parts of Dublin as one element in public-private partnerships that, dodgy as they were to begin with, would bite the dust when the crash came.

As Byrne and Norris explain, “the delivery of social housing through market mechanisms and the state subsidization of the private rental sector” largely substituted for the state’s own provision of social housing, with the additional disadvantage of its adding “further fuel to the property market furnace”.

As the available supply of private rented accommodation is now limited, and as rents have soared in Dublin in particular in recent years, the stage has been set for the current crisis of unaffordable housing and homelessness.

Immediate measures to solve this crisis should include bringing into use currently vacant properties – as with the Home Sweet Home initiative vis-à-vis Nama’s Apollo House. A punitive and timely tax on unused private properties would be an important policy instrument here also.

But, more fundamentally, it is important to reassert housing as a human right and a public good, built where necessary by the state and allocated on the basis of social need.

If you want to get involved in campaigns along those lines, then check out the group Housing Action Now. And happy new year to you all!

——————

NO PROSECUTION OF BANKERS THOUGH 15,000 People Defrauded in Tracker Scandal Leading to 100 Families Losing their Homes

Why Have The Garda Fraud Squad Not Been Called In To Investigate?

Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times 03/01/2017: “We know that at least 15,000 people were deceived by bankers, and that they suffered considerable loss as a result. About 100 families lost their homes.

Over the lifetime of these mortgages the amount involved in this attempted bank heist was at least €500 million.

Yet in the six years since the Central Bank discovered this systematic deception we have no evidence of the Central Bank calling in the Garda to investigate what seems, on the face of it, to be multiple and organised crimes.

Legal consequences

Who devised this system-wide scheme? Lane (Governor of Central Bank and Professor at Trinity College) thinks it a coincidence that all the banks did the same thing.

“I am pretty sure they know that the legal consequences of cartel-like behaviour would be devastating for them. I see no evidence of that kind of cartel-like behaviour.”

How does he know that when there has been no criminal investigation?

Who issued the instructions? Who ordered staff to keep schtum when customers were crying on the phone? And will any of these people be prosecuted?

Lane told the committee that it must wait and see what enforcement action will be taken against individuals in the banks.

But we’ve waited at least six years and seen nothing.

And there are words we have not read or heard: law, crime, police. Until we do it is hard to believe that the culture that led to the crash has not survived its consequences.”

———————————–

“Something the Government could do is change the procedures in the courts to put a brake on the number of families they are pumping into homelessness.”–Edmund Honahan, Master of the High Court

Master of the High Court condemns house repossessions

Edmund Honohan criticised the Government for failing to properly protect people facing repossession and said it was instead allowing the courts to “pump people into homelessness”

Kitty Holland, Irish Times Monday, January 2, 2017, 01:00

Thousands of orders granted in the Circuit Court to repossess homes may be open to challenge because these courts are not applying EU law, the Master of the High Court has said.

Edmund Honohan criticised the Government for failing to properly protect people facing repossession and said it was instead allowing the courts to “pump people into homelessness”.

“There is a lack of joined up thinking and a huge amount of ignorance,” he told The Irish Times.

Circuit courts “up and down the country” were failing in their role as “agents” of the EU as current procedures did not ensure application of EU consumer legislation, he said, adding that this was the “fault of the Irish State”.

He said county registrars – who grant the majority of repossession orders in the circuit courts – “should not be dealing with these cases at all”, as they had neither the legal training nor the legal discretion to apply EU law.

“The rules and procedures of the Circuit Court need to be updated to allow for a hearing with regard EU legislation on unfair contract terms . . . in every possession case . . .EU law is not an optional extra.”

In particular the 1993 EU directive on unfair contract terms in consumer contracts was not being properly applied. This failure, according to the European Court of Justice, breached consumers’ rights.

Legal discretion

In its 2013 ruling on the Aziz case – which had been referred to it by the Spanish courts – the ECJ, said: “…the national court is required to assess of its own motion whether a contractual term falling within the scope of the directive is unfair, compensating in its own way for the imbalance which exists between the consumer or the seller or supplier.”

The Circuit Court should be taking the initiative to assess whether mortgage contracts were fair before making possession orders, he said, noting that only a judge had the legal discretion to do this.

“So we have a county registrar sitting in wherever… and she is now an agent of the EU. She is obliged, of her own motion i.e. without the defendant present, to look at the mortgage contract and see if it’s fair. Does she have the skills to do that? No. Is there any case law to help her? No. Does she have any idea what she is doing? No. So what is happening is she sees there is no defendant in court and makes the order.”

The legality of a possession order was “often touch and go..It is not as clear-cut as county registrars think they are”.

“Something the Government could do is change the procedures in the courts to put a brake on the number of families they are pumping into homelessness.”

————-

Queues for food parcels ‘absolutely disgraceful’

Capuchin Brother Kevin Crowley urged the Government to do something to help those who are struggling and to get the homeless off the streets for good rather than just for Christmas.

Irish Times  Friday, December 23, 2016, 10:13

A man who helped to distribute more than 3,000 Christmas food parcels to people in Dublin on Thursday has warned that the city’s poorest are going to get poorer.

Capuchin Brother Kevin Crowley urged the Government to do something to help those who are struggling and to get the homeless off the streets for good rather than just for Christmas.

He was speaking after thousands of people queued for hours at the Capuchin Centre on Bow Street to collect Christmas food parcels. The food parcels contain basic necessities along with some extras such as sweets for Christmas.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that in 2016 we are still having people queuing for food, that was to be expected in 1916,” Brother Crowley told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“It is appalling to see families come here for a food parcel and then go back to a hotel.”

He said a child had asked him if Santa would know where he was for Christmas because he and his family were living in a hotel.

Brother Crowley added that the annual running costs for the Capuchin Centre which provides food parcels ever Wednesday were €3.3million with €450,000 of this coming from the Government.

He said he admired what activists from the Home Sweet Home group, who took charge of the vacant Apollo House office building in Dublin 2 with a view to offering accommodation to the homeless, were doing.

The High Court ruled on Wednesday that the building could continue operating as a homeless shelter until noon on January 11th, as long as there was no more than 40 people staying there each night and the receivers, Mazars, could access the building.

“It is getting worse because people are living in poorer conditions and are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet…The situation is going to get worse. The poorest will get poorer,” Brother Kevin added.

Each person who queued for a parcel on Thursday had a ticket entitling them to two blue plastic bags of food – one of non-perishables including tea, sugar, cereals, tinned fish, tinned beans, custard, chocolates and biscuits, and one of such perishables as milk, cheese, a chicken and butter.

GOVERNMENT DEFEATS Amendment Calling For Formal Declaration of a Housing Emergency

Deputy Seamus Healy: I move amendment No. 53:

In page 38, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:

“29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person—

(a) accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal of the current occupant of a dwelling, or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013,

(b) the housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Éireann, and the Government, including any Minister of the Government, are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval in such a vote,

(c) in view of the housing emergency declared here, the power of any Minister of Government to raise the market value threshold of €75,000 for single or multiple dwellings for consideration of possession of dwellings cases by the Circuit Court by activating or commencing sections of existing Acts without approval by a vote of Dáil Éireann, is cancelled.”.

I will speak particularly to amendments Nos. 53 and 80. The former concerns the declaration of a housing emergency; the latter is the Focus Ireland amendment regarding buy-to-let properties and the eviction of tenants on the sale of such properties.

The Government proposals in the Bill will mean that tenants in buy-to-let properties being sold by landlords will have to leave the property if the landlord can get at least 20% more in the sale price with vacant possession than with continuing tenants. At a time of a huge lack of housing, it is lawful under the Bill to evict a tenant in order that the landlord can secure 20% extra on a sale, which is outrageous. It is cruel and anti-human. Focus Ireland tells us that a third of homeless people have had to leave buy-to-let properties on the sale of those properties. Children in these cases must go to a hotel, temporary accommodation, hostel accommodation or other unsuitable accommodation in order that a landlord can make more money from a sale. This situation is dealt with in other jurisdictions to the effect that on the sale of a property by a landlord, the tenancy continues. We simply must ensure that such a measure is adopted here and that tenants are treated reasonably, fairly and respectfully and that they are not thrown out on the road when buy-to-let landlords sell properties. There are already 2,500 children and 6,800 adults who are homeless. We are adding to these figures and we simply must stop that.

This is all in the context of the Government itself evicting householders and families through the banks it owns, namely, AIB, PTSB and EBS. In response to a question asked at a recent Oireachtas finance committee meeting, a representative of AIB said 2,879 court hearings relating to owner-occupied mortgage debt were in progress at the end of June of this year and 767 orders for possession had been granted. This has been widely reported in the press and was dealt with at the committee. We own Allied Irish Banks. The Minister can instruct the bank not to continue with repossessions. Such repossessions are adding to our housing crisis and emergency.

This year is the 100th anniversary of 1916. The first Dáil in 1919 proclaimed:

We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President. Pádraíg Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare.

The 1916 Proclamation reads, “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

We have an absolute housing emergency. The Minister has acknowledged this on numerous occasions. However, he and his Government refuse to have such an emergency declared in Dáil Éireann. They are prepared to declare a financial emergency and have done so and extended that emergency in June to ensure cuts to the pay and pensions of public service workers but they refuse to declare an emergency to ensure that families have roofs over their heads, that evictions are stopped and that we have rent certainty and security of tenure. Unfortunately, not alone will the Bill before us not help the situation, but it will make matters worse. It is a pretence. As I said earlier, tenants can be removed from buy-to-let properties in the circumstances I have outlined. We need to stop this. We need to support the Focus Ireland amendment to ensure that tenants, on the sale of these buy-to-let properties by landlords, remain in their properties and that we do not add to the already very difficult and traumatic situation faced by families and children.

The declaration of a housing emergency by this Dáil is absolutely necessary to ensure we can deal with the housing emergency and to ensure the right to a roof over one’s head takes priority over private property. Everything else in the Bill and the many other suggestions, such as the rent strategy, are all very fine but they do not deal fundamentally with the problem we have. The declaration of a housing emergency is required to stop, as I said, the evictions, to ensure rent certainty and rent control and to build local authority houses.

This Government and previous Governments have refused to build local authority houses since about 2002. They privatised the local authority housing. Local authorities have not been allowed to build houses since about 2002. I think 75 houses were built last year. In the 1970s, we built up to 10,000 local authority houses every year. We simply must get back to this level of building because there are huge numbers of families out there who will never be able to buy their own home. Because of the manner in which families now get on local authority lists – or maybe do not – a very significant section of the population neither qualifies for a loan or a mortgage nor to get on the local authority list. They are caught in the middle with absolutely no support whatever. They cannot rub two euro together. They exist, unfortunately, from hand to mouth. I meet them every day of the week, as I am sure many, if not all, Deputies meet similar people. They are caught in a situation in which they neither have a mortgage nor are they on a local authority housing list. The income limit for local authority housing lists has been slashed, as has the number of local authority mortgages and bank mortgages given out to people who are effectively working but who are the working poor. These people find themselves paying astronomical and extortionate rents in many cases. I came across a case recently in which a landlord had increased the rent from €560 per month to €750 per month, and that is not the only case. Rents are simply unaffordable for everybody, but particularly for this category of people who do not even qualify for the HAP scheme, as bad as the HAP scheme is.

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan:  support Deputies Healy and Jan O’Sullivan on these amendments. When I discussed housing with the Minister before this Government was formed, I made the point that strong action would be required at an early stage. I referred specifically to the declaration of an emergency in this area.

I am sure the Ceann Comhairle recalls all the Tuesday nights and weekend nights like this when we discussed the financial and banking emergencies. The then Government was prepared to introduce emergency measures in that area. After nine months in office, however, this Government is still not prepared to take the fundamental steps that are necessary in the housing area, as outlined in the amendments before the House. I think that is regrettable. I believe the electorate will punish the Government severely for this in due course.

Deputy Catherine Connolly TD and Barrister:

Catherine Connolly:  “I agree with Deputy Seamus Healy on the need for the Government to declare a national emergency. He has asked for it as have I and other Dáil colleagues. Although there is a national housing emergency, the Government has not declared it.”

VOTE ON CALL FOR DEClaration of Housing Emergency

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Staon, 24; Níl, 59.

Staon Níl
Information on Gerry Adams   Zoom on Gerry Adams   Adams, Gerry. Information on Bobby Aylward   Zoom on Bobby Aylward   Aylward, Bobby. Information on Maria Bailey   Zoom on Maria Bailey   Bailey, Maria.
Information on Mick Barry   Zoom on Mick Barry   Barry, Mick. Information on James Browne   Zoom on James Browne   Browne, James. Information on Seán Barrett   Zoom on Seán Barrett   Barrett, Seán.
Information on Richard Boyd Barrett   Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett   Boyd Barrett, Richard. Information on Mary Butler   Zoom on Mary Butler   Butler, Mary. Information on Colm Brophy   Zoom on Colm Brophy   Brophy, Colm.
Information on John Brady   Zoom on John Brady   Brady, John. Information on Thomas Byrne   Zoom on Thomas Byrne   Byrne, Thomas. Information on Richard Bruton   Zoom on Richard Bruton   Bruton, Richard.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan   Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan   Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Jackie Cahill   Zoom on Jackie Cahill   Cahill, Jackie. Information on Peter Burke   Zoom on Peter Burke   Burke, Peter.
Information on Joan Collins   Zoom on Joan Collins   Collins, Joan. Information on Dara Calleary   Zoom on Dara Calleary   Calleary, Dara. Information on Catherine Byrne   Zoom on Catherine Byrne   Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Michael Collins   Zoom on Michael Collins   Collins, Michael. Information on Pat Casey   Zoom on Pat Casey   Casey, Pat. Information on Seán Canney   Zoom on Seán Canney   Canney, Seán.
Information on Catherine Connolly   Zoom on Catherine Connolly   Connolly, Catherine. Information on Shane Cassells   Zoom on Shane Cassells   Cassells, Shane. Information on Ciaran Cannon   Zoom on Ciaran Cannon   Cannon, Ciarán.
Information on Ruth Coppinger   Zoom on Ruth Coppinger   Coppinger, Ruth. Information on Jack Chambers   Zoom on Jack Chambers   Chambers, Jack. Information on Joe Carey   Zoom on Joe Carey   Carey, Joe.
Information on Seán Crowe   Zoom on Seán Crowe   Crowe, Seán. Information on Barry Cowen   Zoom on Barry Cowen   Cowen, Barry. Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
Information on David Cullinane   Zoom on David Cullinane   Cullinane, David. Information on John Curran   Zoom on John Curran   Curran, John. Information on Simon Coveney   Zoom on Simon Coveney   Coveney, Simon.
Information on Clare Daly   Zoom on Clare Daly   Daly, Clare. Information on Seán Fleming   Zoom on Seán Fleming   Fleming, Sean. Information on Michael Creed   Zoom on Michael Creed   Creed, Michael.
Information on Pearse Doherty   Zoom on Pearse Doherty   Doherty, Pearse. Information on Seán Haughey   Zoom on Seán Haughey   Haughey, Seán. Information on Michael D'Arcy   Zoom on Michael D'Arcy   D’Arcy, Michael.
Information on Dessie Ellis   Zoom on Dessie Ellis   Ellis, Dessie. Information on Billy Kelleher   Zoom on Billy Kelleher   Kelleher, Billy. Information on Patrick Deering   Zoom on Patrick Deering   Deering, Pat.
Information on Kathleen Funchion   Zoom on Kathleen Funchion   Funchion, Kathleen. Information on John Lahart   Zoom on John Lahart   Lahart, John. Information on Regina Doherty   Zoom on Regina Doherty   Doherty, Regina.
Information on Seamus Healy   Zoom on Seamus Healy   Healy, Seamus. Information on James Lawless   Zoom on James Lawless   Lawless, James. Information on Paschal Donohoe   Zoom on Paschal Donohoe   Donohoe, Paschal.
Information on Gino Kenny   Zoom on Gino Kenny   Kenny, Gino. Information on Marc MacSharry   Zoom on Marc MacSharry   MacSharry, Marc. Information on Andrew Doyle   Zoom on Andrew Doyle   Doyle, Andrew.
Information on Martin Kenny   Zoom on Martin Kenny   Kenny, Martin. Information on Charlie McConalogue   Zoom on Charlie McConalogue   McConalogue, Charlie. Information on Bernard Durkan   Zoom on Bernard Durkan   Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Mary Lou McDonald   Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald   McDonald, Mary Lou. Information on Aindrias Moynihan   Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan   Moynihan, Aindrias. Information on Damien English   Zoom on Damien English   English, Damien.
Information on Denise Mitchell   Zoom on Denise Mitchell   Mitchell, Denise. Information on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Zoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret. Information on Alan Farrell   Zoom on Alan Farrell   Farrell, Alan.
Information on Imelda Munster   Zoom on Imelda Munster   Munster, Imelda. Information on Kevin O'Keeffe   Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe   O’Keeffe, Kevin. Information on Frances Fitzgerald   Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald   Fitzgerald, Frances.
Information on Catherine Murphy   Zoom on Catherine Murphy   Murphy, Catherine. Information on Frank O'Rourke   Zoom on Frank O'Rourke   O’Rourke, Frank. Information on Michael Fitzmaurice   Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice   Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Information on Paul Murphy   Zoom on Paul Murphy   Murphy, Paul. Information on Anne Rabbitte   Zoom on Anne Rabbitte   Rabbitte, Anne. Information on Peter Fitzpatrick   Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick   Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Information on Carol Nolan   Zoom on Carol Nolan   Nolan, Carol. Information on Robert Troy   Zoom on Robert Troy   Troy, Robert. Information on Charles Flanagan   Zoom on Charles Flanagan   Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Eoin Ó Broin   Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin   Ó Broin, Eoin. Information on Noel Grealish   Zoom on Noel Grealish   Grealish, Noel.
Information on Jonathan O'Brien   Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien   O’Brien, Jonathan. Information on Brendan Griffin   Zoom on Brendan Griffin   Griffin, Brendan.
Information on Louise O'Reilly   Zoom on Louise O'Reilly   O’Reilly, Louise. Information on Simon Harris   Zoom on Simon Harris   Harris, Simon.
Information on Maureen O'Sullivan   Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Maureen. Information on Martin Heydon   Zoom on Martin Heydon   Heydon, Martin.
Information on Thomas Pringle   Zoom on Thomas Pringle   Pringle, Thomas. Information on Brendan Howlin   Zoom on Brendan Howlin   Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Róisín Shortall   Zoom on Róisín Shortall   Shortall, Róisín. Information on Heather Humphreys   Zoom on Heather Humphreys   Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Bríd Smith   Zoom on Bríd Smith   Smith, Bríd. Information on Paul Kehoe   Zoom on Paul Kehoe   Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Brian Stanley   Zoom on Brian Stanley   Stanley, Brian. Information on Alan Kelly   Zoom on Alan Kelly   Kelly, Alan.
Information on Peadar Tóibín   Zoom on Peadar Tóibín   Tóibín, Peadar. Information on Enda Kenny   Zoom on Enda Kenny   Kenny, Enda.
Information on Mick Wallace   Zoom on Mick Wallace   Wallace, Mick. Information on Seán Kyne   Zoom on Seán Kyne   Kyne, Seán.
Information on Michael Lowry   Zoom on Michael Lowry   Lowry, Michael.
Information on Josepha Madigan   Zoom on Josepha Madigan   Madigan, Josepha.
Information on Helen McEntee   Zoom on Helen McEntee   McEntee, Helen.
Information on Finian McGrath   Zoom on Finian McGrath   McGrath, Finian.
Information on Joe McHugh   Zoom on Joe McHugh   McHugh, Joe.
Information on Tony McLoughlin   Zoom on Tony McLoughlin   McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor   Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor   Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Information on Dara Murphy   Zoom on Dara Murphy   Murphy, Dara.
Information on Eoghan Murphy   Zoom on Eoghan Murphy   Murphy, Eoghan.
Information on Hildegarde Naughton   Zoom on Hildegarde Naughton   Naughton, Hildegarde.
Information on Tom Neville   Zoom on Tom Neville   Neville, Tom.
Information on Kate O'Connell   Zoom on Kate O'Connell   O’Connell, Kate.
Information on Patrick O'Donovan   Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan   O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd   Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd   O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jan O'Sullivan   Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Willie Penrose   Zoom on Willie Penrose   Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Paul Phelan   Zoom on John Paul Phelan   Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Noel Rock   Zoom on Noel Rock   Rock, Noel.
Information on Shane P.N. Ross   Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross   Ross, Shane.
Information on Brendan Ryan   Zoom on Brendan Ryan   Ryan, Brendan.
Information on Eamon Ryan   Zoom on Eamon Ryan   Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Seán Sherlock   Zoom on Seán Sherlock   Sherlock, Sean.
Information on David Stanton   Zoom on David Stanton   Stanton, David.
Information on Leo Varadkar   Zoom on Leo Varadkar   Varadkar, Leo.
Information on Katherine Zappone   Zoom on Katherine Zappone   Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seamus Healy and Ruth Coppinger; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Staon, 24; Níl, 59.

Tá  Independent Seamus Healy,Rural Independent Michael Collins, Sinn Féin,AAA, PBP,Independents 4 Change

Formal Abstention, Fianna Fail

Against     LABOUR, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE (Including Finian McGrath), Rural Independent Michael Fitmaurice, Indepenent Michael Lowry, Fine Gael

Missing : Rural Independent Mattie McGrath,Independent Dr Harty,  D Healy Rae, M Healy Rae, John Halligan (Independent alliance),Some FF and FG Deputies also missing

Focus Ireland Amendment Designed to Halt Evictions From Dwellings Bought as Buy-To-Lets

Deputy Seamus Healy:Information on Seamus Healy I move amendment No. 80: (Recommended by Focus Ireland )amendment)

In page 38, between lines 17 and 18, to insert the following:

“Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings

34. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 is amended by inserting the following section after section 34:

“Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings

34A. (1) A Part 4 tenancy may not be terminated by the landlord on the ground specified in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34 where the property to which the tenancy agreement relates is the subject of an existing investment mortgage.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to all tenancies, including a tenancy created before the coming into operation of this section.

(3) Where, immediately before the coming into operation of this section, a notice of termination has been served on a tenant in reliance upon a ground provided for in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34, section 34 shall continue to apply to that notice as if this section had not been enacted.

(4) In this section, ‘investment mortgage’ means a mortgage which has been taken out as security in respect of a residential property that was not at the time of its purchase intended to serve as the principal private residence of the mortgagee, and is subsequently the subject of a tenancy agreement.”.”.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 43; Staon, 25; Níl, 52.

Staon Níl
Information on Gerry AdamsZoom on Gerry Adams   Adams, Gerry. Information on Bobby AylwardZoom on Bobby Aylward   Aylward, Bobby. Information on Maria BaileyZoom on Maria Bailey   Bailey, Maria.
Information on Mick BarryZoom on Mick Barry   Barry, Mick. Information on James BrowneZoom on James Browne   Browne, James. Information on Seán BarrettZoom on Seán Barrett   Barrett, Seán.
Information on Richard Boyd BarrettZoom on Richard Boyd Barrett   Boyd Barrett, Richard. Information on Mary ButlerZoom on Mary Butler   Butler, Mary. Information on Colm BrophyZoom on Colm Brophy   Brophy, Colm.
Information on John BradyZoom on John Brady   Brady, John. Information on Thomas ByrneZoom on Thomas Byrne   Byrne, Thomas. Information on Richard BrutonZoom on Richard Bruton   Bruton, Richard.
Information on Thomas P. BroughanZoom on Thomas P. Broughan   Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Jackie CahillZoom on Jackie Cahill   Cahill, Jackie. Information on Peter BurkeZoom on Peter Burke   Burke, Peter.
Information on Joan CollinsZoom on Joan Collins   Collins, Joan. Information on Dara CallearyZoom on Dara Calleary   Calleary, Dara. Information on Catherine ByrneZoom on Catherine Byrne   Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Michael CollinsZoom on Michael Collins   Collins, Michael. Information on Pat CaseyZoom on Pat Casey   Casey, Pat. Information on Seán CanneyZoom on Seán Canney   Canney, Seán.
Information on Catherine ConnollyZoom on Catherine Connolly   Connolly, Catherine. Information on Shane CassellsZoom on Shane Cassells   Cassells, Shane. Information on Ciaran CannonZoom on Ciaran Cannon   Cannon, Ciarán.
Information on Ruth CoppingerZoom on Ruth Coppinger   Coppinger, Ruth. Information on Jack ChambersZoom on Jack Chambers   Chambers, Jack. Information on Joe CareyZoom on Joe Carey   Carey, Joe.
Information on Seán CroweZoom on Seán Crowe   Crowe, Seán. Information on Barry CowenZoom on Barry Cowen   Cowen, Barry. Information on Marcella Corcoran KennedyZoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
Information on David CullinaneZoom on David Cullinane   Cullinane, David. Information on John CurranZoom on John Curran   Curran, John. Information on Simon CoveneyZoom on Simon Coveney   Coveney, Simon.
Information on Clare DalyZoom on Clare Daly   Daly, Clare. Information on Timmy DooleyZoom on Timmy Dooley   Dooley, Timmy. Information on Michael CreedZoom on Michael Creed   Creed, Michael.
Information on Pearse DohertyZoom on Pearse Doherty   Doherty, Pearse. Information on Seán FlemingZoom on Seán Fleming   Fleming, Sean. Information on Michael D'ArcyZoom on Michael D'Arcy   D’Arcy, Michael.
Information on Dessie EllisZoom on Dessie Ellis   Ellis, Dessie. Information on Seán HaugheyZoom on Seán Haughey   Haughey, Seán. Information on Patrick DeeringZoom on Patrick Deering   Deering, Pat.
Information on Kathleen FunchionZoom on Kathleen Funchion   Funchion, Kathleen. Information on Billy KelleherZoom on Billy Kelleher   Kelleher, Billy. Information on Regina DohertyZoom on Regina Doherty   Doherty, Regina.
Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus Healy   Healy, Seamus. Information on John LahartZoom on John Lahart   Lahart, John. Information on Paschal DonohoeZoom on Paschal Donohoe   Donohoe, Paschal.
Information on Brendan HowlinZoom on Brendan Howlin   Howlin, Brendan. Information on James LawlessZoom on James Lawless   Lawless, James. Information on Andrew DoyleZoom on Andrew Doyle   Doyle, Andrew.
Information on Alan KellyZoom on Alan Kelly   Kelly, Alan. Information on Marc MacSharryZoom on Marc MacSharry   MacSharry, Marc. Information on Bernard DurkanZoom on Bernard Durkan   Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Gino KennyZoom on Gino Kenny   Kenny, Gino. Information on Charlie McConalogueZoom on Charlie McConalogue   McConalogue, Charlie. Information on Damien EnglishZoom on Damien English   English, Damien.
Information on Martin KennyZoom on Martin Kenny   Kenny, Martin. Information on Aindrias MoynihanZoom on Aindrias Moynihan   Moynihan, Aindrias. Information on Alan FarrellZoom on Alan Farrell   Farrell, Alan.
Information on Mary Lou McDonaldZoom on Mary Lou McDonald   McDonald, Mary Lou. Information on Margaret Murphy O'MahonyZoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret. Information on Frances FitzgeraldZoom on Frances Fitzgerald   Fitzgerald, Frances.
Information on Catherine MartinZoom on Catherine Martin   Martin, Catherine. Information on Kevin O'KeeffeZoom on Kevin O'Keeffe   O’Keeffe, Kevin. Information on Michael FitzmauriceZoom on Michael Fitzmaurice   Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Information on Denise MitchellZoom on Denise Mitchell   Mitchell, Denise. Information on Fiona O'LoughlinZoom on Fiona O'Loughlin   O’Loughlin, Fiona. Information on Peter FitzpatrickZoom on Peter Fitzpatrick   Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Information on Imelda MunsterZoom on Imelda Munster   Munster, Imelda. Information on Frank O'RourkeZoom on Frank O'Rourke   O’Rourke, Frank. Information on Charles FlanaganZoom on Charles Flanagan   Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Catherine MurphyZoom on Catherine Murphy   Murphy, Catherine. Information on Robert TroyZoom on Robert Troy   Troy, Robert. Information on Noel GrealishZoom on Noel Grealish   Grealish, Noel.
Information on Paul MurphyZoom on Paul Murphy   Murphy, Paul. Information on Brendan GriffinZoom on Brendan Griffin   Griffin, Brendan.
Information on Carol NolanZoom on Carol Nolan   Nolan, Carol. Information on Simon HarrisZoom on Simon Harris   Harris, Simon.
Information on Eoin Ó BroinZoom on Eoin Ó Broin   Ó Broin, Eoin. Information on Martin HeydonZoom on Martin Heydon   Heydon, Martin.
Information on Aengus Ó SnodaighZoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh   Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Heather HumphreysZoom on Heather Humphreys   Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Jonathan O'BrienZoom on Jonathan O'Brien   O’Brien, Jonathan. Information on Paul KehoeZoom on Paul Kehoe   Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Louise O'ReillyZoom on Louise O'Reilly   O’Reilly, Louise. Information on Enda KennyZoom on Enda Kenny   Kenny, Enda.
Information on Jan O'SullivanZoom on Jan O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Jan. Information on Seán KyneZoom on Seán Kyne   Kyne, Seán.
Information on Maureen O'SullivanZoom on Maureen O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Maureen. Information on Michael LowryZoom on Michael Lowry   Lowry, Michael.
Information on Willie PenroseZoom on Willie Penrose   Penrose, Willie. Information on Helen McEnteeZoom on Helen McEntee   McEntee, Helen.
Information on Thomas PringleZoom on Thomas Pringle   Pringle, Thomas. Information on Finian McGrathZoom on Finian McGrath   McGrath, Finian.
Information on Brendan RyanZoom on Brendan Ryan   Ryan, Brendan. Information on Joe McHughZoom on Joe McHugh   McHugh, Joe.
Information on Eamon RyanZoom on Eamon Ryan   Ryan, Eamon. Information on Tony McLoughlinZoom on Tony McLoughlin   McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Seán SherlockZoom on Seán Sherlock   Sherlock, Sean. Information on Josepha MadiganZoom on Josepha Madigan   Madigan, Josepha.
Information on Róisín ShortallZoom on Róisín Shortall   Shortall, Róisín. Information on Mary Mitchell O'ConnorZoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor   Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Information on Bríd SmithZoom on Bríd Smith   Smith, Bríd. Information on Dara MurphyZoom on Dara Murphy   Murphy, Dara.
Information on Brian StanleyZoom on Brian Stanley   Stanley, Brian. Information on Eoghan MurphyZoom on Eoghan Murphy   Murphy, Eoghan.
Information on Peadar TóibínZoom on Peadar Tóibín   Tóibín, Peadar. Information on Hildegarde NaughtonZoom on Hildegarde Naughton   Naughton, Hildegarde.
Information on Mick WallaceZoom on Mick Wallace   Wallace, Mick. Information on Tom NevilleZoom on Tom Neville   Neville, Tom.
Information on Kate O'ConnellZoom on Kate O'Connell   O’Connell, Kate.
Information on Patrick O'DonovanZoom on Patrick O'Donovan   O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'DowdZoom on Fergus O'Dowd   O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on John Paul PhelanZoom on John Paul Phelan   Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Noel RockZoom on Noel Rock   Rock, Noel.
Information on Shane P.N. RossZoom on Shane P.N. Ross   Ross, Shane.
Information on David StantonZoom on David Stanton   Stanton, David.
Information on Leo VaradkarZoom on Leo Varadkar   Varadkar, Leo.
Information on Katherine ZapponeZoom on Katherine Zappone   Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seamus Healy and Paul Murphy; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 43; Staon(Formal abstention), 25; Níl, 52.

Against:  Government, Independent Alliance, MichaelLowry, Michaelfitzmaurice, Noel Grealish

Missing for Vote  :Mattie McGrath, D Healy Rae, M Healy Rae, Dr Harty, some FG Deputies, Some FF Deputies, John Halligan (Independent Alliance)

Continued Evictions (Courts Bill 2016) Passes Final Stage in Dail

For the Bill  FF, FG, Lab, Independent Alliance, Michael Lowry

Seamus Healy TD Amendment to Formally Declare a Housing Emergency and Stop Evictions Defeated by the same parties (see below)

Question put: “That the Bill do now pass.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 86; Staon, 0; Níl, 38.

Staon Níl
Information on Bobby AylwardZoom on Bobby Aylward   Aylward, Bobby. Information on Gerry AdamsZoom on Gerry Adams   Adams, Gerry.
Information on Maria BaileyZoom on Maria Bailey   Bailey, Maria. Information on Mick BarryZoom on Mick Barry   Barry, Mick.
Information on Seán BarrettZoom on Seán Barrett   Barrett, Seán. Information on John BradyZoom on John Brady   Brady, John.
Information on John BrassilZoom on John Brassil   Brassil, John. Information on Thomas P. BroughanZoom on Thomas P. Broughan   Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Colm BrophyZoom on Colm Brophy   Brophy, Colm. Information on Pat BuckleyZoom on Pat Buckley   Buckley, Pat.
Information on James BrowneZoom on James Browne   Browne, James. Information on Michael CollinsZoom on Michael Collins   Collins, Michael.
Information on Peter BurkeZoom on Peter Burke   Burke, Peter. Information on Catherine ConnollyZoom on Catherine Connolly   Connolly, Catherine.
Information on Mary ButlerZoom on Mary Butler   Butler, Mary. Information on Ruth CoppingerZoom on Ruth Coppinger   Coppinger, Ruth.
Information on Thomas ByrneZoom on Thomas Byrne   Byrne, Thomas. Information on Seán CroweZoom on Seán Crowe   Crowe, Seán.
Information on Jackie CahillZoom on Jackie Cahill   Cahill, Jackie. Information on David CullinaneZoom on David Cullinane   Cullinane, David.
Information on Dara CallearyZoom on Dara Calleary   Calleary, Dara. Information on Clare DalyZoom on Clare Daly   Daly, Clare.
Information on Seán CanneyZoom on Seán Canney   Canney, Seán. Information on Pearse DohertyZoom on Pearse Doherty   Doherty, Pearse.
Information on Ciaran CannonZoom on Ciaran Cannon   Cannon, Ciarán. Information on Martin FerrisZoom on Martin Ferris   Ferris, Martin.
Information on Joe CareyZoom on Joe Carey   Carey, Joe. Information on Michael FitzmauriceZoom on Michael Fitzmaurice   Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Information on Pat CaseyZoom on Pat Casey   Casey, Pat. Information on Kathleen FunchionZoom on Kathleen Funchion   Funchion, Kathleen.
Information on Shane CassellsZoom on Shane Cassells   Cassells, Shane. Information on Danny Healy RaeZoom on Danny Healy Rae   Healy-Rae, Danny.
Information on Jack ChambersZoom on Jack Chambers   Chambers, Jack. Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus Healy   Healy, Seamus.
Information on Lisa ChambersZoom on Lisa Chambers   Chambers, Lisa. Information on Gino KennyZoom on Gino Kenny   Kenny, Gino.
Information on Marcella Corcoran KennedyZoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella. Information on Martin KennyZoom on Martin Kenny   Kenny, Martin.
Information on Simon CoveneyZoom on Simon Coveney   Coveney, Simon. Information on Mattie McGrathZoom on Mattie McGrath   McGrath, Mattie.
Information on Barry CowenZoom on Barry Cowen   Cowen, Barry. Information on Catherine MartinZoom on Catherine Martin   Martin, Catherine.
Information on John CurranZoom on John Curran   Curran, John. Information on Denise MitchellZoom on Denise Mitchell   Mitchell, Denise.
Information on Michael D'ArcyZoom on Michael D'Arcy   D’Arcy, Michael. Information on Imelda MunsterZoom on Imelda Munster   Munster, Imelda.
Information on Jim DalyZoom on Jim Daly   Daly, Jim. Information on Catherine MurphyZoom on Catherine Murphy   Murphy, Catherine.
Information on John DeasyZoom on John Deasy   Deasy, John. Information on Paul MurphyZoom on Paul Murphy   Murphy, Paul.
Information on Patrick DeeringZoom on Patrick Deering   Deering, Pat. Information on Carol NolanZoom on Carol Nolan   Nolan, Carol.
Information on Regina DohertyZoom on Regina Doherty   Doherty, Regina. Information on Eoin Ó BroinZoom on Eoin Ó Broin   Ó Broin, Eoin.
Information on Paschal DonohoeZoom on Paschal Donohoe   Donohoe, Paschal. Information on Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinZoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin   Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Andrew DoyleZoom on Andrew Doyle   Doyle, Andrew. Information on Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireZoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire   Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
Information on Bernard DurkanZoom on Bernard Durkan   Durkan, Bernard J. Information on Aengus Ó SnodaighZoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh   Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Damien EnglishZoom on Damien English   English, Damien. Information on Jonathan O'BrienZoom on Jonathan O'Brien   O’Brien, Jonathan.
Information on Alan FarrellZoom on Alan Farrell   Farrell, Alan. Information on Louise O'ReillyZoom on Louise O'Reilly   O’Reilly, Louise.
Information on Peter FitzpatrickZoom on Peter Fitzpatrick   Fitzpatrick, Peter. Information on Thomas PringleZoom on Thomas Pringle   Pringle, Thomas.
Information on Charles FlanaganZoom on Charles Flanagan   Flanagan, Charles. Information on Maurice QuinlivanZoom on Maurice Quinlivan   Quinlivan, Maurice.
Information on Seán FlemingZoom on Seán Fleming   Fleming, Sean. Information on Róisín ShortallZoom on Róisín Shortall   Shortall, Róisín.
Information on Brendan GriffinZoom on Brendan Griffin   Griffin, Brendan. Information on Bríd SmithZoom on Bríd Smith   Smith, Bríd.
Information on John HalliganZoom on John Halligan   Halligan, John. Information on Brian StanleyZoom on Brian Stanley   Stanley, Brian.
Information on Simon HarrisZoom on Simon Harris   Harris, Simon. Information on Peadar TóibínZoom on Peadar Tóibín   Tóibín, Peadar.
Information on Seán HaugheyZoom on Seán Haughey   Haughey, Seán.
Information on Martin HeydonZoom on Martin Heydon   Heydon, Martin.
Information on Heather HumphreysZoom on Heather Humphreys   Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Paul KehoeZoom on Paul Kehoe   Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Billy KelleherZoom on Billy Kelleher   Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Enda KennyZoom on Enda Kenny   Kenny, Enda.
Information on John LahartZoom on John Lahart   Lahart, John.
Information on James LawlessZoom on James Lawless   Lawless, James.
Information on Michael LowryZoom on Michael Lowry   Lowry, Michael.
Information on Charlie McConalogueZoom on Charlie McConalogue   McConalogue, Charlie.
Information on Helen McEnteeZoom on Helen McEntee   McEntee, Helen.
Information on Finian McGrathZoom on Finian McGrath   McGrath, Finian.
Information on Michael McGrathZoom on Michael McGrath   McGrath, Michael.
Information on Joe McHughZoom on Joe McHugh   McHugh, Joe.
Information on Tony McLoughlinZoom on Tony McLoughlin   McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Josepha MadiganZoom on Josepha Madigan   Madigan, Josepha.
Information on Micheál MartinZoom on Micheál Martin   Martin, Micheál.
Information on Mary Mitchell O'ConnorZoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor   Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Information on Kevin Boxer MoranZoom on Kevin Boxer Moran   Moran, Kevin Boxer.
Information on Aindrias MoynihanZoom on Aindrias Moynihan   Moynihan, Aindrias.
Information on Michael MoynihanZoom on Michael Moynihan   Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Margaret Murphy O'MahonyZoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.
Information on Eoghan MurphyZoom on Eoghan Murphy   Murphy, Eoghan.
Information on Eugene MurphyZoom on Eugene Murphy   Murphy, Eugene.
Information on Hildegarde NaughtonZoom on Hildegarde Naughton   Naughton, Hildegarde.
Information on Tom NevilleZoom on Tom Neville   Neville, Tom.
Information on Michael NoonanZoom on Michael Noonan   Noonan, Michael.
Information on Éamon Ó CuívZoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Jim O'CallaghanZoom on Jim O'Callaghan   O’Callaghan, Jim.
Information on Kate O'ConnellZoom on Kate O'Connell   O’Connell, Kate.
Information on Willie O'DeaZoom on Willie O'Dea   O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Patrick O'DonovanZoom on Patrick O'Donovan   O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'DowdZoom on Fergus O'Dowd   O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Fiona O'LoughlinZoom on Fiona O'Loughlin   O’Loughlin, Fiona.
Information on Frank O'RourkeZoom on Frank O'Rourke   O’Rourke, Frank.
Information on John Paul PhelanZoom on John Paul Phelan   Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Anne RabbitteZoom on Anne Rabbitte   Rabbitte, Anne.
Information on Michael RingZoom on Michael Ring   Ring, Michael.
Information on Noel RockZoom on Noel Rock   Rock, Noel.
Information on Shane P.N. RossZoom on Shane P.N. Ross   Ross, Shane.
Information on Brendan RyanZoom on Brendan Ryan   Ryan, Brendan.
Information on Eamon ScanlonZoom on Eamon Scanlon   Scanlon, Eamon.
Information on Seán SherlockZoom on Seán Sherlock   Sherlock, Sean.
Information on Brendan SmithZoom on Brendan Smith   Smith, Brendan.
Information on David StantonZoom on David Stanton   Stanton, David.
Information on Robert TroyZoom on Robert Troy   Troy, Robert.
Information on Leo VaradkarZoom on Leo Varadkar   Varadkar, Leo.
Information on Katherine ZapponeZoom on Katherine Zappone   Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seamus Healy.

Question declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:Information on Pat the Cope GallagherZoom on Pat the Cope GallagherA message shall be sent to the Seanad acquainting it accordingly.

Deputy Seamus Healy: I move amendment No. 5:

In page 8, between lines 26 and 27, to insert the following:

9. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person—

(a) accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal of the current occupant of a dwelling, or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013,

(b) the housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Éireann, and the Government including any Minister of the Government are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval in such a vote,

(c) in view of the Housing Emergency declared here, the power of any Minister of Government to raise the market value threshold of €75,000 for single or multiple dwellings for consideration of possession of dwellings cases by the Circuit Court by activating or commencing sections of existing Acts without approval by a vote of Dáil Éireann, is cancelled.”.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 37; Staon, 0; Níl, 84.

Staon Níl
Information on Gerry AdamsZoom on Gerry Adams   Adams, Gerry. Information on Bobby AylwardZoom on Bobby Aylward   Aylward, Bobby.
Information on Mick BarryZoom on Mick Barry   Barry, Mick. Information on Maria BaileyZoom on Maria Bailey   Bailey, Maria.
Information on John BradyZoom on John Brady   Brady, John. Information on Seán BarrettZoom on Seán Barrett   Barrett, Seán.
Information on Thomas P. BroughanZoom on Thomas P. Broughan   Broughan, Thomas P. Information on John BrassilZoom on John Brassil   Brassil, John.
Information on Pat BuckleyZoom on Pat Buckley   Buckley, Pat. Information on Colm BrophyZoom on Colm Brophy   Brophy, Colm.
Information on Michael CollinsZoom on Michael Collins   Collins, Michael. Information on James BrowneZoom on James Browne   Browne, James.
Information on Ruth CoppingerZoom on Ruth Coppinger   Coppinger, Ruth. Information on Peter BurkeZoom on Peter Burke   Burke, Peter.
Information on Seán CroweZoom on Seán Crowe   Crowe, Seán. Information on Mary ButlerZoom on Mary Butler   Butler, Mary.
Information on David CullinaneZoom on David Cullinane   Cullinane, David. Information on Thomas ByrneZoom on Thomas Byrne   Byrne, Thomas.
Information on Clare DalyZoom on Clare Daly   Daly, Clare. Information on Jackie CahillZoom on Jackie Cahill   Cahill, Jackie.
Information on Pearse DohertyZoom on Pearse Doherty   Doherty, Pearse. Information on Dara CallearyZoom on Dara Calleary   Calleary, Dara.
Information on Martin FerrisZoom on Martin Ferris   Ferris, Martin. Information on Seán CanneyZoom on Seán Canney   Canney, Seán.
Information on Michael FitzmauriceZoom on Michael Fitzmaurice   Fitzmaurice, Michael. Information on Ciaran CannonZoom on Ciaran Cannon   Cannon, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen FunchionZoom on Kathleen Funchion   Funchion, Kathleen. Information on Joe CareyZoom on Joe Carey   Carey, Joe.
Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus Healy   Healy, Seamus. Information on Pat CaseyZoom on Pat Casey   Casey, Pat.
Information on Danny Healy RaeZoom on Danny Healy Rae   Healy-Rae, Danny. Information on Shane CassellsZoom on Shane Cassells   Cassells, Shane.
Information on Gino KennyZoom on Gino Kenny   Kenny, Gino. Information on Jack ChambersZoom on Jack Chambers   Chambers, Jack.
Information on Martin KennyZoom on Martin Kenny   Kenny, Martin. Information on Lisa ChambersZoom on Lisa Chambers   Chambers, Lisa.
Information on Mattie McGrathZoom on Mattie McGrath   McGrath, Mattie. Information on Marcella Corcoran KennedyZoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
Information on Catherine MartinZoom on Catherine Martin   Martin, Catherine. Information on Simon CoveneyZoom on Simon Coveney   Coveney, Simon.
Information on Denise MitchellZoom on Denise Mitchell   Mitchell, Denise. Information on Barry CowenZoom on Barry Cowen   Cowen, Barry.
Information on Imelda MunsterZoom on Imelda Munster   Munster, Imelda. Information on John CurranZoom on John Curran   Curran, John.
Information on Catherine MurphyZoom on Catherine Murphy   Murphy, Catherine. Information on Jim DalyZoom on Jim Daly   Daly, Jim.
Information on Paul MurphyZoom on Paul Murphy   Murphy, Paul. Information on Michael D'ArcyZoom on Michael D'Arcy   D’Arcy, Michael.
Information on Carol NolanZoom on Carol Nolan   Nolan, Carol. Information on John DeasyZoom on John Deasy   Deasy, John.
Information on Eoin Ó BroinZoom on Eoin Ó Broin   Ó Broin, Eoin. Information on Patrick DeeringZoom on Patrick Deering   Deering, Pat.
Information on Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinZoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin   Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Regina DohertyZoom on Regina Doherty   Doherty, Regina.
Information on Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireZoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire   Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh. Information on Paschal DonohoeZoom on Paschal Donohoe   Donohoe, Paschal.
Information on Aengus Ó SnodaighZoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh   Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Andrew DoyleZoom on Andrew Doyle   Doyle, Andrew.
Information on Jonathan O'BrienZoom on Jonathan O'Brien   O’Brien, Jonathan. Information on Bernard DurkanZoom on Bernard Durkan   Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Louise O'ReillyZoom on Louise O'Reilly   O’Reilly, Louise. Information on Damien EnglishZoom on Damien English   English, Damien.
Information on Thomas PringleZoom on Thomas Pringle   Pringle, Thomas. Information on Alan FarrellZoom on Alan Farrell   Farrell, Alan.
Information on Maurice QuinlivanZoom on Maurice Quinlivan   Quinlivan, Maurice. Information on Peter FitzpatrickZoom on Peter Fitzpatrick   Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Information on Eamon RyanZoom on Eamon Ryan   Ryan, Eamon. Information on Charles FlanaganZoom on Charles Flanagan   Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Bríd SmithZoom on Bríd Smith   Smith, Bríd. Information on Seán FlemingZoom on Seán Fleming   Fleming, Sean.
Information on Brian StanleyZoom on Brian Stanley   Stanley, Brian. Information on Brendan GriffinZoom on Brendan Griffin   Griffin, Brendan.
Information on Peadar TóibínZoom on Peadar Tóibín   Tóibín, Peadar. Information on Simon HarrisZoom on Simon Harris   Harris, Simon.
Information on Seán HaugheyZoom on Seán Haughey   Haughey, Seán.
Information on Martin HeydonZoom on Martin Heydon   Heydon, Martin.
Information on Heather HumphreysZoom on Heather Humphreys   Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Paul KehoeZoom on Paul Kehoe   Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Billy KelleherZoom on Billy Kelleher   Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Enda KennyZoom on Enda Kenny   Kenny, Enda.
Information on John LahartZoom on John Lahart   Lahart, John.
Information on James LawlessZoom on James Lawless   Lawless, James.
Information on Michael LowryZoom on Michael Lowry   Lowry, Michael.
Information on Charlie McConalogueZoom on Charlie McConalogue   McConalogue, Charlie.
Information on Helen McEnteeZoom on Helen McEntee   McEntee, Helen.
Information on Finian McGrathZoom on Finian McGrath   McGrath, Finian.
Information on Michael McGrathZoom on Michael McGrath   McGrath, Michael.
Information on Joe McHughZoom on Joe McHugh   McHugh, Joe.
Information on Tony McLoughlinZoom on Tony McLoughlin   McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Josepha MadiganZoom on Josepha Madigan   Madigan, Josepha.
Information on Micheál MartinZoom on Micheál Martin   Martin, Micheál.
Information on Mary Mitchell O'ConnorZoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor   Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Information on Kevin Boxer MoranZoom on Kevin Boxer Moran   Moran, Kevin Boxer.
Information on Aindrias MoynihanZoom on Aindrias Moynihan   Moynihan, Aindrias.
Information on Michael MoynihanZoom on Michael Moynihan   Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Eoghan MurphyZoom on Eoghan Murphy   Murphy, Eoghan.
Information on Eugene MurphyZoom on Eugene Murphy   Murphy, Eugene.
Information on Margaret Murphy O'MahonyZoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.
Information on Hildegarde NaughtonZoom on Hildegarde Naughton   Naughton, Hildegarde.
Information on Tom NevilleZoom on Tom Neville   Neville, Tom.
Information on Michael NoonanZoom on Michael Noonan   Noonan, Michael.
Information on Éamon Ó CuívZoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Jim O'CallaghanZoom on Jim O'Callaghan   O’Callaghan, Jim.
Information on Kate O'ConnellZoom on Kate O'Connell   O’Connell, Kate.
Information on Willie O'DeaZoom on Willie O'Dea   O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Patrick O'DonovanZoom on Patrick O'Donovan   O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'DowdZoom on Fergus O'Dowd   O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Fiona O'LoughlinZoom on Fiona O'Loughlin   O’Loughlin, Fiona.
Information on John Paul PhelanZoom on John Paul Phelan   Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Anne RabbitteZoom on Anne Rabbitte   Rabbitte, Anne.
Information on Michael RingZoom on Michael Ring   Ring, Michael.
Information on Noel RockZoom on Noel Rock   Rock, Noel.
Information on Shane P.N. RossZoom on Shane P.N. Ross   Ross, Shane.
Information on Brendan RyanZoom on Brendan Ryan   Ryan, Brendan.
Information on Eamon ScanlonZoom on Eamon Scanlon   Scanlon, Eamon.
Information on Seán SherlockZoom on Seán Sherlock   Sherlock, Sean.
Information on Brendan SmithZoom on Brendan Smith   Smith, Brendan.
Information on David StantonZoom on David Stanton   Stanton, David.
Information on Robert TroyZoom on Robert Troy   Troy, Robert.
Information on Leo VaradkarZoom on Leo Varadkar   Varadkar, Leo.
Information on Katherine ZapponeZoom on Katherine Zappone   Zappone, Katherine.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seamus Healy and Bríd Smith; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

————————

It Was Left To Seamus Healy TD To Call A Vote At Second Stage in The Dail against The Planning, Development (Housing) And Residential Tenancies Bill. (Otherwise Known As The PRETENCE, Hypocracy and Continuation Of Evictions Bill)

The Dáil divided: Tá, 91; Staon, 0; Níl, 45. Missing 157-136= 21

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe Carey and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Seamus Healy and Catherine  Murphy .                                Question declared carried.

 For the Motion:   FG,  FF , Michael Lowry, Finian McGrath,Dr Michael Harty, Katherine Zappone. Shane Ross, Sean Canney, “Boxer” Moran, Michael Fitzmaurice, Stephen Donnelly, Noel Grealish

Missing :John Halligan, Joan Burton, Willie Penrose, Sean Sherlock, Danny Healy-Rae, (Some FF and FG Deputies  were Also missing)

Staonadh (Staon) (Abstain) None  (Deputies can effectively abstain by not voting but this is not recorded)

——————————–

SEAMUS HEALY TD CALLS FOR AN END TO EVICTIONS AND FORMAL DECLARATION OF A HOUSING EMERGENCY

Government Must End Pretense of Concern and Hypocrisy

Speech on Planning Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016

Video Link

From Official Dáil Record  07/12/2016

Deputy Seamus Healy:Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus HealyIn the short time available to me, I will address in the main the residential tenancy aspects of the Bill. The Bill is a pretence. It purports to give protection to tenants when properties in which there are existing tenants change ownership. Cruelly and grotesquely, it provides that where a landlord can get 20% more money with vacant possession in the sale, the tenants must leave. It also provides that if apartments are sold in lots of under 20, the tenants have to go. I understand that this number has been reduced to under five by a Seanad amendment. However, 80% of tenants evicted from apartments are evicted by landlords with under five rental properties. In a word, the Bill continues the cruel system under which tenants are evicted when rental properties are sold. The Government continues to put the rights of property owners over the right to home. It is fast-tracking evictions in the Courts Bill, which is also before this House. The largest single group among the homeless has previously been in private rented accommodation. This Bill will ensure that this continues.

I will be proposing the amendment suggested by Focus Ireland, the homelessness charity. The amendment provides tenants in buy-to-let properties will continue in residence despite the sale of the property in all circumstances. Focus Ireland, the leading charity working with homeless families and those facing homelessness, says up to 20 families are becoming homeless each month simply because their buy-to-let landlord has been forced to sell by his or her bank. This means that 40 children every month are losing their homes and joining the record 1,200 families who are already homeless across the country.

Along with escalating rents, these evictions are one of the leading causes of family homelessness. There are hundreds, if not thousands, more families waiting to face the same trauma. According to the Central Bank, there are a further 15,000 buy-to-let mortgages that are more than two years in arrears. Whether they know it or not, all tenants in these properties are at risk of eviction. Other countries have found solutions to this. Just up the road, in the North, banks that repossess a buy-to-let property are prohibited from evicting the tenant. We must do the same. If the Focus Ireland amendment is passed, the grotesque escape clauses in this Bill enabling eviction of buy-to-let tenants will fall.

I will also be proposing the formal declaration of a housing emergency by Dáil Éireann. This would put the right of families to a home above the property rights of vultures and other landlords. Landlords and the Minister for Finance would then be unable to block a halt to convictions and be unable to block a halt to rent freezes by citing a qualified right to private property in the Constitution, which is of course subject to the public good. The Government itself has formally certified the continuation of a financial emergency as recently as June of this year to enable it to continue with pay and pension cuts under FEMPI legislation. The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Deputy Coveney, has said that a housing emergency exists. My amendment would formally declare that to be the case. The Taoiseach has asked the European Union to relax the provisions of the EU fiscal treaty to enable borrowing to build social housing but he has not declared a formal housing emergency at home. Of course, the European Union knows the Irish Government is only going through the motions because a housing emergency has not been declared. I noted over the weekend that the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, called on the European Union to give flexibility under the fiscal treaty at the EU Finance Ministers’ meeting. He and the rest of the Government can now show they are serious by formally declaring the housing emergency. It is time for an end to pretence and hypocrisy. We must halt evictions for mortgaged and rented properties as a first step in tackling the housing emergency.

———-

Committee Stage Of Courts Bill Adjourned as it is revealed that State-Owned PTSB has appealed Hogan Judgement to The Supreme Court

But No Media Coverage Despite Circulation of Report and Full-Time Dáil Correspondents Employed???

Government Bill TO FAST-TRACK EVICTIONS (Courts Bill) Adjourned
Government Caught out in double try-on
Government attempted to Appeal Hogan Judgement through State Owned PTSB appeal to Supreme Court while at the same time taking Courts Bill designed to overcome Hogan Judgement through Dáil—Committee Stage of Courts Bill has been adjourned after Government found out !
Minister Staunton claimed Minister Noonan knew nothing about state owned PTSB appeal to Supreme Court!!!!

Explanation

If tenants and mortgage holders could not be evicted in future, the value of property in dwellings would fall sharply. NAMA would get far lower sale price for blocks of apartments. Vultures who have already bought apartment blocks would make far less profit. Banks, including state-owned AIB and PTSB would be worth far less as their loan books would fall in value. Under the Eu Fiscal Treaty which cedes all Irish economic sovereignty, the state debt to GDP ratio must be progressively reduced.  FF/FG/Lab have no intention of doing this by taxing the huge assets of the Irish rich.(See Irish Super-Rich Awash with Money in another post on this blog.) Instead they hope to do it by selling off Irish assets and using the proceeds to repay debt. Already the Dundrum and ILAC centres are in majority foreign ownership as are many shopping centres and much commercial and other property throughout the country. The government intends to sell off AIB, PTSB, EBS and use the proceeds to pay down state debt. It also wants to sell off its shareholding in other banks for the same purpose. Consequently it wants to keep interest rates on mortgages and loans to small business kept very high by European standards. It wants the value of bank loan books kept high by accelerating evictions so that banks can recover distressed bank loans.(AIB has reduced its bad debts by €18.4bn since the peak in June 2013 – a reduction of 63pc over the three years.This leaves 10.8 billion of impaired loans on its books to-day). Government is also accelerating the sell-off of properties owned by the state through NAMA.

It is in the interest of the Irish Government and the very rich Irish whose interest it represents to accelerate repossession of dwellings and the eviction of residents.

The Land and Conveyancing Act 2013, introduced by Fg-Lab, was a major step in the acceleration of evictions of tenants and distressed home owners. It transferred the majority of repossession cases from the slow and clogged-up High Court to the county  Circuit Courts.  However a case was taken to the high court against Permanent TSB by a borrower and the court “reluctantly” ruled that the Circuit Court had no Jurisdiction (right to rule) in a whole series of cases involving commercial property and buy-to-let dwellings.

This judgement known as the Hogan Judgement would slow up repossessions and consequent eviction of tenants if not altered. The Government acted quickly through the initiation in the Dáil of the Courts Bill 2016 to restore the jurisdiction to the Circuit Courts which had been removed by the Hogan Judgement. It was generally believed that this was the means by which the government intended to restore the pace of eviction of tenants.

The amendments tabled by Seamus Healy TD (carried below) were designed to formally declare a housing emergency, to  halt evictions and to resist the intent of government to speed them up.

Amendments were to be given detailed consideration at the Committee Stage of the Bill on Dec 1, 2016.

However the Committee Stage of the Bill was adjourned because it was discovered that Government through PTSB, which it owns, was seeking to speed up evictions by appealing to the Supreme Court to strike down the HOGAN JUDGEMENT at the same time as it was proposing the Courts Bill in the Dail for the same purpose-That is speeding up evictions.

For some reason the Government must fear that the Bill alone will not be effective in this regard. Hence it is attempting to use a twin-track approach.

The government is pretending that it was unaware of the Supreme Court Appeal though this was reported in Irish Times on November 17.

Department of Finance, headed by Minister Michael Noonan, has a special banking affairs section. It is not credible that Noonan was unaware of the Appeal

The majority of the Oireachtas Committee reused to continue to discuss the Bill and the session was adjourned

Amendments to Court Bill (Fast-Tracking Evictions) from Seamus Healy TD

Seamus Healy TD has submitted the following amendments for the Committee Stage of The Courts Bill,2016:

Amendments

First Amendment  Formally Declaring a Housing Emergency

Amendment for Committee Stage of Courts Bill,2016

From lines 15 to 22 Inclusive insert new section 1, paragraph 1 of the Courts Bill,2016:

  • (1)Dáil Eireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the state and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person   currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person including that of landlords
  • Accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal  of the current occupant of a dwelling  or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancy Act 2013
  • The housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Eireann and government including any minister of government are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval  in such a vote

and renumber existing sections  accordingly

Second Amendment   Stopping The State RETROSPECTIVELY MAKING FLAWED EVICTION CLAIMS LEGAL

Amendment for Committee Stage of Courts Bill,2016

From lines 15 to 22 Inclusive delete section 1, paragraph 1 of the Courts Bill,2016 as set out below

  1. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where proceedings have, before the passing of this Act,

been initiated in the Circuit Court, being proceedings that—

(a) are referred to in a specified provision, and

(b) relate to a property that is not rateable,

and which the Circuit Court would have jurisdiction to hear and determine if the

relevant associated provision had been in operation immediately before the               2

proceedings’ initiation, then the Circuit Court shall have, and be deemed always to

have had, jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings.

Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

AMENDMENT TO PLANNING and DEVELOPMENT (Housing) and Residential Tenancies ACT (2016)

( government is pretending to protect tenants when buy-to-lets are sold)

AMENDMENT RECOMMENDED BY FOCUS IRELAND TO MAKE PROTECTION OF

TENANTS  REAL in Sale of Buy-to-Lets

Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016

Committee Stage Amendment

________________

 

New Section 16.

In page 48, after line 37 to insert the following new section –

“Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings.

  1. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 is amended by inserting the following section after section 34 –

 

Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings.

34A. – (1) A Part 4 tenancy may not be terminated by the landlord on the ground specified in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34 where the property to which the tenancy agreement relates is the subject of an existing investment mortgage.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to all tenancies, including a tenancy created before the coming into operation of this section.

(3) Where, immediately before the coming into operation of this section, a notice of termination has been served on a tenant in reliance upon a ground provided for in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34, section 34 shall continue to apply to that notice as if this section had not been enacted.

(4) In this section, “investment mortgage” means a mortgage which has been taken out as security in respect of a residential property that was not at the time of its purchase intended to serve as the principal private residence of the mortgagee, and is subsequently the subject of a tenancy agreement.”.

Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

———————————————————–

GOVERNMENT OWNED BANKS AND OTHER LENDERS SEEK TO EVICT OVER 2000 FAMILIES BEFORE CHRISTMAS

More than 2,000 HOME REPOSSESSION Cases listed in the courts before Christmas-

placing stress on families before the festive season

Significant “escalation” in enforcement orders since the middle of the summer

Mark O’Regan  Sunday IndependentPUBLISHED20/11/2016  

The rise of family home repossession court cases is set to continue in the run-up to Christmas, with figures currently at 2,600 a month.

There are 650 family court appearances a week, and experts have predicted there will be this many into next year.

It came amid claims of a significant “escalation” in enforcement orders since the middle of the summer.

The Sunday Independent has learned more than 2,000 cases will come before the courts in the next five weeks – placing stress on families before the festive season.

New Beginning – a group of lawyers providing representation for those facing repossession – said 100 cases on average are being heard a month in Limerick, with the figure for Cork running at 200.

In Meath, 150 cases are being heard on average each month, with 100 in Tipperary, 46 in Kilkenny, 88 in Mayo, and 83 in Kerry. Central Bank figures have revealed the number of repossessions of a “primary dwelling home” has dramatically increased in the past four years.

In 2015, 726 homes were repossessed. This compared with 315 dwellings seized by banks and financial institutions in 2014, and 251 in 2013.

In the first six months of this year, 240 homes were retaken by financial institutions.

Founder of New Beginning Ross Maguire said there had been a marked escalation in enforcement orders in recent months. He added: “There is a cohort of people in the country who, no matter what they do, cannot afford their mortgage, and are facing inevitable repossession.”

David Hall, director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said the “system is failing” families grappling with mortgage debt. He called on Housing Minister Simon Coveney to declare a national emergency on the issue.

He said: “There are 34,000 cases in arrears of more than two years and 59,000 between one and two years.”


VOTING ON SECOND STAGE OF COURTS BILL IN DAIL

Bill  removes legal obstacles to continued repossession of dwellings which are not principal private residence of the owner through the Circuit Court. The Government has also announced that it will seperately raise the threshold for the market value for such properties to be considered by Circuit Court from 75,000 to 3 million by Ministerial Order.

These measures cannot fail to increase the number of evictions of tenants  from apartments and houses, increasing homelessness.

This will restore the value of such properties to Vultures, Banks, Nama. This had been “reluctantly”damaged by a Supreme Court ruling

FF, FG, Labour, Independent Alliance(Including Finian McGrath) ,INDEPENDENT Dr Harty (Clare), VOTE FOR COURTS BILL (Second Stage) INCREASING EVICTIONS AND HOMELESSNESS

VOTED AGAINST:Seamus Healy,Sinn Fein, AAA-PBP, Independents for Change, Social Democrats, Greens, 3 Rural Independents (Michael Fitzmaurice, Michael Collins, Mattie McGrath)

DID NOT VOTE: Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry, Healy-Rae (2)

Bill has now Gone to Committee Stage. A final Vote on Bill in Dail is expected before Christmas Recess.

Question put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 92; Staon, 0; Níl, 42.

Staon Níl
Information on Bobby AylwardZoom on Bobby Aylward   Aylward, Bobby. Information on Gerry AdamsZoom on Gerry Adams   Adams, Gerry.
Information on Maria BaileyZoom on Maria Bailey   Bailey, Maria. Information on Mick BarryZoom on Mick Barry   Barry, Mick.
Information on Seán BarrettZoom on Seán Barrett   Barrett, Seán. Information on Richard Boyd BarrettZoom on Richard Boyd Barrett   Boyd Barrett, Richard.
Information on John BrassilZoom on John Brassil   Brassil, John. Information on John BradyZoom on John Brady   Brady, John.
Information on Declan BreathnachZoom on Declan Breathnach   Breathnach, Declan. Information on Thomas P. BroughanZoom on Thomas P. Broughan   Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Colm BrophyZoom on Colm Brophy   Brophy, Colm. Information on Pat BuckleyZoom on Pat Buckley   Buckley, Pat.
Information on James BrowneZoom on James Browne   Browne, James. Information on Joan CollinsZoom on Joan Collins   Collins, Joan.
Information on Richard BrutonZoom on Richard Bruton   Bruton, Richard. Information on Michael CollinsZoom on Michael Collins   Collins, Michael.
Information on Peter BurkeZoom on Peter Burke   Burke, Peter. Information on Catherine ConnollyZoom on Catherine Connolly   Connolly, Catherine.
Information on Joan BurtonZoom on Joan Burton   Burton, Joan. Information on Ruth CoppingerZoom on Ruth Coppinger   Coppinger, Ruth.
Information on Mary ButlerZoom on Mary Butler   Butler, Mary. Information on Seán CroweZoom on Seán Crowe   Crowe, Seán.
Information on Catherine ByrneZoom on Catherine Byrne   Byrne, Catherine. Information on David CullinaneZoom on David Cullinane   Cullinane, David.
Information on Thomas ByrneZoom on Thomas Byrne   Byrne, Thomas. Information on Clare DalyZoom on Clare Daly   Daly, Clare.
Information on Jackie CahillZoom on Jackie Cahill   Cahill, Jackie. Information on Pearse DohertyZoom on Pearse Doherty   Doherty, Pearse.
Information on Dara CallearyZoom on Dara Calleary   Calleary, Dara. Information on Dessie EllisZoom on Dessie Ellis   Ellis, Dessie.
Information on Seán CanneyZoom on Seán Canney   Canney, Seán. Information on Martin FerrisZoom on Martin Ferris   Ferris, Martin.
Information on Ciaran CannonZoom on Ciaran Cannon   Cannon, Ciarán. Information on Michael FitzmauriceZoom on Michael Fitzmaurice   Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Information on Joe CareyZoom on Joe Carey   Carey, Joe. Information on Kathleen FunchionZoom on Kathleen Funchion   Funchion, Kathleen.
Information on Pat CaseyZoom on Pat Casey   Casey, Pat. Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus Healy   Healy, Seamus.
Information on Shane CassellsZoom on Shane Cassells   Cassells, Shane. Information on Gino KennyZoom on Gino Kenny   Kenny, Gino.
Information on Jack ChambersZoom on Jack Chambers   Chambers, Jack. Information on Martin KennyZoom on Martin Kenny   Kenny, Martin.
Information on Lisa ChambersZoom on Lisa Chambers   Chambers, Lisa. Information on Mary Lou McDonaldZoom on Mary Lou McDonald   McDonald, Mary Lou.
Information on Niall CollinsZoom on Niall Collins   Collins, Niall. Information on Mattie McGrathZoom on Mattie McGrath   McGrath, Mattie.
Information on Marcella Corcoran KennedyZoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy   Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella. Information on Catherine MartinZoom on Catherine Martin   Martin, Catherine.
Information on Simon CoveneyZoom on Simon Coveney   Coveney, Simon. Information on Denise MitchellZoom on Denise Mitchell   Mitchell, Denise.
Information on Michael CreedZoom on Michael Creed   Creed, Michael. Information on Imelda MunsterZoom on Imelda Munster   Munster, Imelda.
Information on John CurranZoom on John Curran   Curran, John. Information on Catherine MurphyZoom on Catherine Murphy   Murphy, Catherine.
Information on Michael D'ArcyZoom on Michael D'Arcy   D’Arcy, Michael. Information on Paul MurphyZoom on Paul Murphy   Murphy, Paul.
Information on Jim DalyZoom on Jim Daly   Daly, Jim. Information on Carol NolanZoom on Carol Nolan   Nolan, Carol.
Information on John DeasyZoom on John Deasy   Deasy, John. Information on Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinZoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin   Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Patrick DeeringZoom on Patrick Deering   Deering, Pat. Information on Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireZoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire   Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
Information on Regina DohertyZoom on Regina Doherty   Doherty, Regina. Information on Aengus Ó SnodaighZoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh   Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Timmy DooleyZoom on Timmy Dooley   Dooley, Timmy. Information on Jonathan O'BrienZoom on Jonathan O'Brien   O’Brien, Jonathan.
Information on Andrew DoyleZoom on Andrew Doyle   Doyle, Andrew. Information on Louise O'ReillyZoom on Louise O'Reilly   O’Reilly, Louise.
Information on Bernard DurkanZoom on Bernard Durkan   Durkan, Bernard J. Information on Maureen O'SullivanZoom on Maureen O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Maureen.
Information on Alan FarrellZoom on Alan Farrell   Farrell, Alan. Information on Eoin Ó BroinZoom on Eoin Ó Broin   Ó Broin, Eoin.
Information on Peter FitzpatrickZoom on Peter Fitzpatrick   Fitzpatrick, Peter. Information on Maurice QuinlivanZoom on Maurice Quinlivan   Quinlivan, Maurice.
Information on Charles FlanaganZoom on Charles Flanagan   Flanagan, Charles. Information on Eamon RyanZoom on Eamon Ryan   Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Seán FlemingZoom on Seán Fleming   Fleming, Sean. Information on Róisín ShortallZoom on Róisín Shortall   Shortall, Róisín.
Information on Pat the Cope GallagherZoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher   Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Bríd SmithZoom on Bríd Smith   Smith, Bríd.
Information on Brendan GriffinZoom on Brendan Griffin   Griffin, Brendan. Information on Brian StanleyZoom on Brian Stanley   Stanley, Brian.
Information on Simon HarrisZoom on Simon Harris   Harris, Simon. Information on Mick WallaceZoom on Mick Wallace   Wallace, Mick.
Information on Michael HartyZoom on Michael Harty   Harty, Michael.
Information on Seán HaugheyZoom on Seán Haughey   Haughey, Seán.
Information on Martin HeydonZoom on Martin Heydon   Heydon, Martin.
Information on Brendan HowlinZoom on Brendan Howlin   Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Heather HumphreysZoom on Heather Humphreys   Humphreys, Heather.
Information on Paul KehoeZoom on Paul Kehoe   Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Billy KelleherZoom on Billy Kelleher   Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Alan KellyZoom on Alan Kelly   Kelly, Alan.
Information on Enda KennyZoom on Enda Kenny   Kenny, Enda.
Information on Seán KyneZoom on Seán Kyne   Kyne, Seán.
Information on John LahartZoom on John Lahart   Lahart, John.
Information on James LawlessZoom on James Lawless   Lawless, James.
Information on Marc MacSharryZoom on Marc MacSharry   MacSharry, Marc.
Information on Charlie McConalogueZoom on Charlie McConalogue   McConalogue, Charlie.
Information on Helen McEnteeZoom on Helen McEntee   McEntee, Helen.
Information on Finian McGrathZoom on Finian McGrath   McGrath, Finian.
Information on Michael McGrathZoom on Michael McGrath   McGrath, Michael.
Information on John McGuinnessZoom on John McGuinness   McGuinness, John.
Information on Tony McLoughlinZoom on Tony McLoughlin   McLoughlin, Tony.
Information on Josepha MadiganZoom on Josepha Madigan   Madigan, Josepha.
Information on Micheál MartinZoom on Micheál Martin   Martin, Micheál.
Information on Kevin Boxer MoranZoom on Kevin Boxer Moran   Moran, Kevin Boxer.
Information on Aindrias MoynihanZoom on Aindrias Moynihan   Moynihan, Aindrias.
Information on Margaret Murphy O'MahonyZoom on Margaret Murphy O'Mahony   Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.
Information on Dara MurphyZoom on Dara Murphy   Murphy, Dara.
Information on Eoghan MurphyZoom on Eoghan Murphy   Murphy, Eoghan.
Information on Eugene MurphyZoom on Eugene Murphy   Murphy, Eugene.
Information on Hildegarde NaughtonZoom on Hildegarde Naughton   Naughton, Hildegarde.
Information on Tom NevilleZoom on Tom Neville   Neville, Tom.
Information on Éamon Ó CuívZoom on Éamon Ó Cuív   Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Jim O'CallaghanZoom on Jim O'Callaghan   O’Callaghan, Jim.
Information on Kate O'ConnellZoom on Kate O'Connell   O’Connell, Kate.
Information on Willie O'DeaZoom on Willie O'Dea   O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Patrick O'DonovanZoom on Patrick O'Donovan   O’Donovan, Patrick.
Information on Fergus O'DowdZoom on Fergus O'Dowd   O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Kevin O'KeeffeZoom on Kevin O'Keeffe   O’Keeffe, Kevin.
Information on Fiona O'LoughlinZoom on Fiona O'Loughlin   O’Loughlin, Fiona.
Information on Frank O'RourkeZoom on Frank O'Rourke   O’Rourke, Frank.
Information on Jan O'SullivanZoom on Jan O'Sullivan   O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Willie PenroseZoom on Willie Penrose   Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Paul PhelanZoom on John Paul Phelan   Phelan, John Paul.
Information on Anne RabbitteZoom on Anne Rabbitte   Rabbitte, Anne.
Information on Michael RingZoom on Michael Ring   Ring, Michael.
Information on Noel RockZoom on Noel Rock   Rock, Noel.
Information on Shane P.N. RossZoom on Shane P.N. Ross   Ross, Shane.
Information on Eamon ScanlonZoom on Eamon Scanlon   Scanlon, Eamon.
Information on Seán SherlockZoom on Seán Sherlock   Sherlock, Sean.
Information on Brendan SmithZoom on Brendan Smith   Smith, Brendan.
Information on Robert TroyZoom on Robert Troy   Troy, Robert.
Information on Leo VaradkarZoom on Leo Varadkar   Varadkar, Leo.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Jonathan O’Brien.

Question declared carried.


FORMAL DECLARATION OF HOUSING EMERGENCY NEEDED TO REDUCE  OUTRAGEOUS MORTGAGE RATES

MINISTER NOONAN OPPOSES MOVE TO REDUCE RATES BY CITING PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS OF BANKS IN THE CONSTITUTION

LENDERS CHARGE UP TO 5% INTEREST WHILE ACCESSING MONEY FROM ECB AT 0%-MORTGAGE HOLDERS BEING USED TO BAIL OUT BANKS

The protection of property rights in the constitution is not absolute. It is subject to the public good. Governments introduced a formal declaration of a financial emergency to enable them to confiscate private property in pensions.But the government is refusing to formally declare a housing emergency which would enable the private property rights of banks, vultures and landlords to be overcome in order to halt evictions.

Now NOONAN has given another reason for the refusal-it could prevent lenders being allowed to fleece mortgage holders

These huge interest rates are making it impossible for many householders to escape from mortgage distress which means they are constantly threatened with eviction

From Irish Examiner  21/10/2016     Dáil Report

Mr McGrath(FF) said banks here are being allowed by the Central Bank to charge borrowers up to 5% when they themselves are accessing the money at close to 0% rates.

“Real constitutional issues will need to be considered as this Bill is further progressed by the Oireachtas. As it is drafted, the Bill will clearly impact on the existing property rights of some creditors,” Minister Noonan  (FG) said.

SPEECH ON HOUSING AND EVICTIONS

Seamus Healy TD IN Dáil

Listen Live

https://wuag.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/housing-crisis-and-failed-clonlara-eviction/

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The proposals in respect of social housing in this budget are grossly inadequate. Housing is a fundamental right of human beings but shamefully the Taoiseach has written to the EU seeking permission to borrow the money required to build social housing. Ireland does not have the sovereignty to house its own people.

There are 140,000 people on local authority waiting lists and in the first four months of this year an additional 3,527 have been added to that figure. This probably underestimates the situation because people now availing of the housing assistance payments, formerly rent supplement, are being removed from local authority lists. We need an emergency house building programme of at least 10,000 houses per year to address this situation. The Government’s target of 47,000 houses to be provided between now and 2021 will fall far short of dealing with the problem. In 2021 we will be, as we are today, in a housing crisis. There is an absolute necessity to declare a housing emergency. The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Deputy Coveney, said publicly in July that he believed we had a housing crisis. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, signed off on an emergency measure to ensure that public service pensioners were deprived of their pensions under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015 but this Government refuses to declare a housing emergency which is absolutely necessary to halt evictions generally and in rented and mortgaged properties. The Government, through the banks it owns, Allied Irish Banks, AIB, and Permanent TSB is effectively allowing evictions. It is also allowing them through other banks, and landlords, including vulture funds. These evictions are continuing. As a result, many unfortunate families have been devastated by suicide.

A shocking eviction was attempted last week in Clonlara in County Clare. I demand that the Minister for Justice and Equality instruct the Garda to investigate the conduct of security companies at that failed eviction of a family. Will the Minister establish what security companies were involved and did those security firms possess an execution order for taking possession of that family home? Did they present an execution order to the owners of the property? If they had no execution order or did not present it to the family, were they guilty of trespass? Were all the security firms involved in this horrific event licensed according to the law? Had all the individuals involved in this attempted repossession legal authority for their actions? Were all the individuals registered employees of the security firms. Were children unlawfully detained during that incident? Were all involved acting on behalf of the Bank of Ireland in which the State has a significant shareholding? This was a shocking and horrific attempted eviction. Thankfully, it failed. In a year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of 1916, when we promised to cherish all the children of the nation equally, what would Pearse and Connolly and the signatories to the Proclamation think of the eviction battering ram of 2016?

I compliment the family, their friends and neighbours, and the anti-eviction task force which successfully stopped this eviction. People power stopped this eviction. People power will force this Government to stop evictions and to declare a housing emergency. The sooner the Government does that, the better.

————————————–

Supply of new houses to fall short amid surge of demand-ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ESRI)

Irish Examiner   By Caroline O’Doherty,Senior Reporter   05/12/2006

House building is set to fall even further behind demand based on new forecasts that put the number of extra homes needed at a higher level than previously thought.

The Economic and Social Research Institute says that demand for new homes will grow to more than 30,000 a year within eight years.

Under the Government’s current housing plan, a target of 25,000 per year has been set for the coming years but nowhere near that number has been provided this year and there are doubts that the figure can be reached next year either.

Population growth, fuelled in part by net immigration which returned this year for the first time since 2009 and is likely to strengthen because of Brexit, will be the key driver of demand.

Apart from the challenges for the construction industry, the ESRI says domestic banks would struggle to provide the necessary level of credit without affecting safeguards around deposit to loan ratios.

In a report published today, the ESRI warns: “Results of our analysis suggest that in the future the traditional deposit base will be unable to fund the level of credit required to meet the housing demands of the economy. This will require significant changes in the domestic financial sector.

“Given the calamitous events of the past decade, a significant expansion in the lending capacity of the domestic banking sector will immediately give rise to concerns about the emergence of another credit- fuelled bubble.”

It suggests there may be a case for the entry of foreign banks into the Irish retail banking sector.

———————-

CLARE FM REPORT REVERSAL OF ATTEMPTED EVICTION AT CLONLARA

http://www.clare.fm/news/garda%C3%AD-investigate-allegations-assault-following-attempted-clonlara-eviction

CLARE FM  WEBSITE

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF ASSAULT FOLLOWING ATTEMPTED CLONLARA EVICTION

18 October, 2016 – 08:18

Gardaí are investigating allegations of assault following an attempted eviction in South East Clare.

It’s understood the court-sanctioned reposession of a home in Clonlara on Friday has since been abandoned.

A video of the incident was posted on Facebook in recent days.

The video of the attempted court-sanctioned eviction in Clonlara has been viewed tens of thousands of times since it was uploaded to facebook on Friday.

It appears to show a number of men, believed to be from a security company, being confronted by members of the Anti Eviction Taskforce.

It’s understood the eviction was subsequently abandoned, after family members gained access to the home, which had been sealed off with steel shutters.

A senior Garda Spokesperson has confirmed to Clare FM that members of An Garda Síochána responded to a call-out to the area to prevent a breach of peace.

An allegation of assault has been made, but no arrests have yet been made.

Gardaí are continuing with their investigations.

————————

REPORT ON CLONLARA HOME SEIZURE BY LIAM DEEGAN ON FACEBOOK

(Seamus HEALY TD HAS PUT DOWN A PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION ASKING MINISTER FOR JUSTICE FRANCIS FITZGERALD TO INSTRUCT THE GARDAI TO INVESTIGATE ALL THE ALLEGATIONS SET OUT IN LIAM DEEGAN’S REPORT)

THE LAND OF SHAME AND WHERE BAILIFFS PLAY HIDE AND SEEK FROM THE LAW

THE CIRCUIT COURT

In another illegal and shameful attempt at an eviction by the Bank of Ireland, again in County Clare and this time on a mother with seven children. The mother of seven had been understood to be in the Circuit court on Tuesday last having an appeal heard and had arrived home only to find that one or more security companies had broken into the house.

The possession order had originally been given in the Circuit Court on the basis of rateable valuation as previously used in civil bills by the banks. It is not yet clear as to why the Circuit Court dismissed the families appeal on Tuesday.

Ironically the Circuit Courts are still hearing cases based on rateable valuation even though it has been ruled that the Circuit Court no longer enjoys any such jurisdiction due to a judgement given by Ms Justice Murphy some months ago and added to by having had the verdict subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal within the last number of weeks.

CHILDREN LOCKED IN A BEDROOM

The security companies involved immediately moved in to take possession, having been seen by passers-by to be hanging around the area earlier that morning. Metal shutters were fitted to the most of the windows and doors of the property to stop anybody trying to enter or leave, with the exception of one bedroom window which remained unfitted with the shutters.

Meanwhile, members of the family have claimed that they remained locked inside the property unable to access bathrooms and the kitchen area as security personnel remained in situ with them. Calls were made for help by the family and as more family, neighbours and friends arrived at the scene, the situation appeared to turn nasty with one security man seen to block and assault a man trying to gain entry into the house to get access to the children locked in a bedroom by security personnel.

Witnesses allege that the security team had taken chairs and mattresses from the children’s bedroom leaving them nowhere to sleep. Two of the children have further alleged that they were physically assaulted by members of the security team in the bedroom.

According to eyewitnesses and a video shown on social media sites and seen by thousands of people, the security operative with grey hair and clearly seen in the video is alleged to have assaulted a man attempting to gain entry and can be seen to leave the house to confront another bystander in the garden. It appeared from the video that a verbal altercation ensued between the two men, with the security operative going head to head with the other man in a very intimidating manner and then seen to back off.

The identity of that particular security operative has now been established as Kevin Maguire from Carrigaline in County Cork. Maguire was not wearing any form of identification including any Private Security Authority issued ID card and refused to identify himself when asked to by people at the scene. The PSA register has no record of Maguire as an individual licence holder under that name.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Maguire claims to work as a director for Senture Security Limited; however there is no record of him or anyone of that name on record in the CRO acting as a company director. Maguire’s wife Mary is listed instead as a director of Senture Security Ltd.

Further to that Maguire’s wife Mary also is named as a director of Secure Management Solutions Limited with an address in Citywest, Dublin 24. Maguire, according to his LinkedIn profile has claimed that he is a director of this company and again there is no record of him in the CRO listed as holding such a position.

According to sources, Maguire was on the board of management of Carrigaline Community School from 2012 and was made Chairman during the period of 2014 to 2015.

SECURITY COMPANIES ON SITE

The primary security company/companies allegedly involved were named locally and on social media as Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and Active Security Management Ltd, both with the same address in Melitta Rd in Kildare town and both owned by ex-soldier Ross Howard and fellow director Tristan Hogan. Their website has a Vina Skehan (otherwise known as Vina Horgan) listed as sales director.

After an initial investigation it was discovered that Horgan-Skehan who was clearly witnessed to be in attendance at the attempted eviction is not registered with the Private Security Authority (PSA) under either of her assumed surnames. Another individual who goes by the name of John McShera and who is living in Boyle, County Roscommon was later identified as one of the security personnel from his Facebook profile and by witnesses on the ground and is alleged to be unregistered with the PSA under that name.

Another member identified on social media and by witnesses at the scene was named as Anthony Hobbs from Kerry. Hobbs is alleged to be unregistered with the Private Security Authority under that name.

Another individual clearly identified at the scene was named as Czech national, Roman Fako. Although Fako is registered with the Private Security Authority, it is understood from sources that information pertaining to his licence has been passed to the Private Security Authority.

Other members of the security team have now taken down their Facebook pages after they were identified by eyewitnesses at the scene. However ongoing investigations are continuing into confirming their identities.

NO ID WORN BY SECURITY

None of the security personnel wore any form of PSA issued ID card and had refused to identify themselves when questioned. Witnesses have indicated that they will be making complaints to the PSA about Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and their sister company Active Security Management Ltd, a company that Horgan-Skehan claims that she also works for, according to her Facebook page.

THREATS

It is further alleged that Horgan-Skehan when contacted by telephone by an individual who had been at the eviction attempt claimed that she has now resigned from the company and that G4S Security has “taken over and that there would be 40 people sent from G4S to take the house back”. No one from G4S turned up at the site.

On Saturday evening, in a telephone call with an individual who was on scene, Vina Horgan-Skehan’s sister had made claimed that Horgan-Skehan was in hospital and that she was distressed and suicidal. The sister went on to claim that “everyone blocking the eviction would be held liable if Vina Horgan-Skehan was to commit suicide”.

She also claimed that “Gardaí have all of the names and that arrests would be made”. She went on to state that “the Sunday World was going to do a story on the individuals who were present at the scene”.

However, claims were made by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan was heard and seen to physically threaten a female bystander with actual bodily harm and that she (Horgan-Skehan) had allegedly shouted to the bystander that she would “dig the head off her”.

It was further noted and observed that Horgan-Skehan had used threatening language in a Facebook private message sent to one individual who had been at the scene and in which Horgan-Skehan was seen to have threatened an individual with words to the effect of “Get your facts right, the guards will be dealing with you” and “I have your address, you’ll be dealt with”.

It is alleged by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan took an active part in the eviction attempt as seen on the many videos circulating on social media. It was further alleged that Horgan-Skehan was seen back at the property later that night (Saturday) by witnesses who were still on scene.

The directors of Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and a sister company Active Security Management Ltd were contacted for a response. A man calling himself “Ian” refuted any allegations put to them in regard to their legality of their actions at the scene. He also refuted allegations made by Horgan-Skehan that G4S were now the new owners of Active Security Management Ltd. When it was pointed out that they were using unlicenced operatives in evictions, “Ian” refused to engage any further after an initial denial of same and ended the call.

Nightsafe Security Services Ltd/Active Security Management Ltd has failed to reply to emails sent to their office.

CONFUSION OVER COMPANIES AT THE SCENE

There was some confusion in the initial stages as to which security company or even how many security companies was involved. AOC Specialist Services of Ratoath, Co. Meath were contacted for clarification as to their role in the eviction. They have not responded to any telephone calls made to their company.

It should be noted that AOC Specialist Services acting on behalf of Bank of Ireland employed ex-detective Garda Michael Murphy at a previous attempt at an illegal eviction in Corofin County Clare some months back.

Murphy has now lodged an affidavit into the courts claiming that he was obstructed from carrying out his duty as agent for the bank and is looking for a committal order against an Anti-Eviction Taskforce member and the home owner Tommy Collins. This was the attempted eviction where the security men wore balaclavas and taped up the registrations of their cars in a misguided attempt to hide their identities.

Another company named for its part in the latest eviction was Dwellguard owned by John Murray and based in Ballincollig in County Cork. Dwellguard supplied and fitted the shuttering on the family home. Murray was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Sources have indicated that allegations are now being made that the some of the security personnel were being paid cash in hand as they are not employees of some of the companies named here. These same sources have indicated that they have bought the matter to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection.

The Department of Social Protection now have opened an investigation into certain named individuals who were part of the security team.

NAME AND SHAME CAMPAIGN

Meanwhile, anti-eviction activists throughout the country have vowed to step up the campaign to publically name and shame companies and individuals actively involved in evictions anywhere in the country. In a chilling warning, a spokesman for the groups involved, stated that any companies or individuals who take part in any eviction attempt on a family home would be named and shamed not just on social media but in other more visible and public ways.

GARDAI ON SCENE

According to eyewitnesses, Gardaí only attended the scene after as they had received a report of an incident on Saturday but did not appear to get involved in any real effort to assist the security companies. Gardaí left the scene shortly thereafter and did not return.

Later on Saturday afternoon, family members, neighbours and friends peacefully removed the security companies occupying the premises and regained possession of the family home.

THE AUTHORITIES NEED TO GET TOUGH

In what is becoming glaringly obvious, security companies are using unregistered individuals while hoping not to get caught in the act. The Private Security Authority need to be seen to be strictly enforcing the law surrounding the misuse of licences or in many cases the enforcement of the law on security companies that use unlicenced people as appears to be the case in this story. It further appears and is alleged that criminals from other countries are routinely slipping through the vetting process and are obtaining licences using false personal details.

The security industry already has a bad name and it’s about to get a lot worse. This is a nightmare scenario for any law abiding security company trying to rise above the severely tarnished image presented by security companies who have a lot less regard for the law.

Banks must also be taken to task in regards to their liability in using unlicenced operators, and legal action needs to be taken against them accordingly for shirking their responsibility in the matter. It is now quite clear that the law is being flouted by some security companies and the banks jointly, and wholeheartedly supported by a very questionable judicial system operating on the Circuit Court level.

It seems incredulous that the security industry still has its cowboys even after the big clean up by the Private Security Authority. It would make sense for the law abiding security companies to push the cowboys out of the market and help mop up what is essentially an important industry mainly populated by decent people just looking to make a clean living.

———————————

Family Home With Several Children In Clonlara Co Clare : Possession Recovered

by PEOPLE POWER AND ANTI- EVICTION TASK FORCE  AFTER HOUSE SHUTTERED UP

BY SECURITY FIRM EARLIER IN THE DAY

Congratulations To All Involved

Footage of the  events which took place on Friday Oct 14 can be found by clicking below and scrolling down to view several posts

Patrick Hannon

https://www.facebook.com/banjo.hannon?fref=ts

————————————

Homeless at Increased Risk of Suicide-Official Report-Gerry Raleigh, Director of National Office of Suicide Prevention on RTE

Stop Evictions! Stop SUICIDES!

HEART-FELT APPEAL FROM KEN SMOLLEN-TIRELESS ANTI-EVICTION CAMPAIGNER

I was talking to Paddy Healy on the phone earlier today. Paddy works tirelessly for his brother, Independent TD for Tipperary Seamus Healy. Both of these men are the only people who work within the confines of Leinster House and who are actively calling on the Government to declare an Official Housing Emergency… However, they are alone and receive little or NO support (you can’t be upsetting the markets).
It’s unfortunate that in order to make the other removed from reality elites sit up and take notice, that it’s now becoming necessary that members of some family in Ireland do the unbelievable brave thing of being willing to speak about a family member who has taken their own life as a result of being in mortgage distress and facing the horrifying thought of facing one of the EVICTION Courts.
 
The death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie close to The Dail made the elites take notice of the homelessness crisis.
The elites are not interested in attending any of the EVICTION Courts, and are so removed from reality to think they know what it’s like for people in this situation as all of them spout on about distressed mortgage holders approaching them in the comfort of their constituency offices.
NONE OF THEM have the faintest idea what so many people are enduring on a daily basis…
I’m not expecting anyone to come forward to tell their own story about a family member taking their own lives as a result of this very hidden crisis, but it’s a terrible indictment on our uncaring TD’s that I should even have to ask… and all I can do is hope that someone is brave enough to do so!

Ministers John Halligan and Finian McGrath ,Shane Ross, Boxer Moran, Sean Canney of the Independent Alliance must Force Government to HALT ALL EVICTIONS NOW

EVICTION RELATED SUICIDES CONTINUE

Ken Smollen’s post on Facebook

It has just been confirmed to me in the last few minutes that the father of a number of young children who was due to appear before one of the EVICTION Courts this week has sadly taken his own life. Out of respect for his family I will not be naming the location. Suffice to say that our uncaring TD’s have more blood on their hands as they DO HAVE the power to put a stop to the never ending nightmare that’s being experienced by thousands of innocent victims of the bailed out banks and vulture funds!…
May he Rest in Peace-Ken Smollen

GOVERNMENT, FF, LAB, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE ARE RESPONSIBLE

But Sinn Féin and Independents for Change Must Share Some of the Blame

ONLY Ruth Coppinger Dissented from Flawed Recommendation

The Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessnes recommended that there be a pause in eviction proceedings until new debt resolution procedures were in place

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”     AND

“The Government should urgently seek flexibility from the European Commission on the application of the EU fiscal rules to the financing of social housing”

Surprise! Surprise! There is no halt to evictions (even on a temporary basis) in Minister Coveney’s housing plan. Unfortunately Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change(Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan) went along with this easily rejected recommendation. (The same attorney general had advised Alan Kelly against it)

Shamefully, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has written a letter to EU seeking flexibility under the Fiscal Treaty  which would give permission to Ireland to borrow money to build social housing for the Irish People! This permission has not been given.

Government has also consulted its own the Attorney General, Labour’s M. Whelan but evictions have continued.

Hence, the government can claim to have complied with two key recommendations of the Committee. But the evictions and the suicides continue.

The  anger at the continued evictions is more than justified. However, my bother Seamus Healy TD(Tipperary) has repeatedly called in the Dáil for the formal declaration of a housing emergency and a total halt to evictions. The formal declaration of a housing emergency is required to overcome the qualified protection of the private property of banks and landlords in the constitution.

But Government,itself, continues to evict people through banks owned by state (AIB, PTSB, EBS)

FG, FF, Lab, Ind. Alliance and, Unbelievably, Independents for Change and Sinn Féin put those facing Repossession in the Hands of The Attorney General who previously advised that any significant interference with the private property of Banks and/or landlords  was a violation of Constitution!!! In addition the recommended moratorium on evictions is only for a few months!!!!!

(see Evidence of Alan Kelly to the Commission on Constitutional Obstacles to Solving The Housing Crisis further down)

Recommendation on Evictions

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Commission Fails to recommend a formal declaration of a housing emergency by Government!!!!! This will enable banks an landlords to continue evictions despite the spin in the Commission Report

Even the Minority Report by Ruth Coppinger TD, Socialist Party, fails to call for the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Dáil

Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessnes-Majority Report

http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/32housingandhomelessness/Final-Report-.pdf

MINORITY REPORT

http://antiausterityalliance.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Housing-doc-2.pdf

The Minority Report makes some very good points, particularly pointing out that the FISCAL TREATY must be broken to enable the state to invest in housing. But the advocacy of a referendum to change the constitution on property rights and the right to a home, however laudable, is not an emergency measure. It is no substitute for the immediate formal declaration of a national housing emergency by government to enable legal interference with property rights in order to implement emergency measures including a halt to eviction proceedings.

The Majority Report fails to call for breaking of  the FISCAL TREATY in order for the state to build adequate numbers of social houses. Not alone does it put those facing repossession in the hands of the Attorney General(a member of the government), Chair Curran(FF) has explained that the moratorium on evictions would only be a short term measure for a few months. It would last until government put in place the government’s (inadequate) measures on debt resolution.

To make things worse, The Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson, Deputy Michael McGrath says in the Irish Examiner(18/06/2016) says that the recommendation to pause repossessions is unworkable and SOMETIMES KEEPING THE HOUSE IS NOT THE BEST ANSWER. “In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr McGrath said losing the home and starting again may be best for some people who can no longer afford to remain where they are.”–Michael McGrath TD

Independents4Change was represented on the Commission by Deputies Mick Wallace and  Maureen O’Sullivan. Following the failure of I4C to support an amendment strengthening the Workers Rights Bill put down by AAA-PBP, its complete acceptance of the grossly deficient report is leading to queriess as to where it is headed politically.

Sinn Féin took the same position as I4C. A piece by Eoin ÓBroin SF (member of the Commission) in the Irish Independent 18/06/2016 points to no deficiencies in the report and is quite complimentary of its FF and FG members.  http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/cowen-detached-durkan-rambled-but-report-shows-tds-agree-cure-34812099.html

The acceptance of the Fiscal Treaty by Sinn Féin has a particular significance. The Treaty , in effect,removes the fundamental right of the government to provide housing for all citizens. How far has Sinn Féin travelled since Coimhín Ó Caolain TD opposed the Treaty in the Dáil on the grounds that “it flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation” in its undermining of Irish sovereignty?

Even after FF through Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath pulled the rug on the moratorium on evictions recommendation , Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-
“the strength of the Report lies in the fact that all but one of our 14 members
signed up to the final recommendations.
There is now strong support across the political spectrum for greater state
involvement in the provision of social housing, the regulation of the private
rental sector and targeted measures to meet the housing needs of those most
neglected by past policies”

Coming from a professed republican, the request for permission from the EU to put roofs over the heads of the Irish people is very strange. The notion of FF, FG who have always favoured the rich, genuinely working to solve the crisis is at best naive.

Alan Kelly  TD (Labour) gave evidence to the Commission  on constitutional obstacles to solving the housing crisis. (The protection of private property in the constitution is not absolute-it is subject to right of government to provide for the common good). Kelly was effectively quoting the Attorney General who continues in the new government. It is important to note that Brendan Howlin(Labour) who was also  a minister in the outgoing government claimed to have overcome the constitutional obstacle to confiscating private property in pensions in the FEMPI ACT by a formal declaration of a Financial Emergency by Government and the laying of a document certifying continuation of the Financial Emergency every year.

My conclusion from the evidence of Alan Kelly (below) is that the outgoing FG-Lab government was not prepared to formally declare a national housing emergency and to lay the documents before the Oireachtas. FG-Lab put the rights of property before the common good. It continued evictions, including evictions by banks it owns.

Evidence to Commission by Alan Kelly (Lab) TD- former Minister for Housing

 “Mr Alan Kelly, former Minister, stated that legal advice on Article 43 had stopped him from introducing a more powerful vacant site levy, which would have imposed a fee on developers who refused to build on unused land. He said that it had also stopped legislation preventing keeping houses vacant and laws that would protect tenants from so-called vulture funds, which invest in undervalued properties and then profit from selling them: “I was not hampered by political or financial obstacles. I was blocked by the Constitution. (Advice to Sitting Ministers either comes directly from the Attorney General or is commissioned by the Attorney General-PH). Kelly continued: From the time it is taking to introduce the Vacant Site Levy in order to tackle land hoarding, to protecting tenants from eviction in circumstances where their landlord wishes to sell the property, and many other issues, I was repeatedly blocked from making provision for what I believed was the common good by the strength by which property rights are protected under Article 43 of the Constitution. I believe that we need to honestly re-examine the balance between the protected and legitimate property rights of individuals, as property owners, and the wider needs and common good of society, including housing needs. As a society we need to reflect on the desired impact of the constitution here. I believe that addressing these issues raises politically and socially important issues which will have to be debated over the coming years.”

Letter To All Members of  Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness-Paddy Healy   Wed 15/06/2016

A Cháirde,

I am an activist in a campaign against eviction of homeowners and tenants in the context of a the national housing emergency  as recently affirmed by Minister Coveney.

Some of those who are having their homes being repossessed  are being evicted by the government which is the owner of a number of banks including AIB and PTSB

I believe it would be outrageous for any member of the Oireachtas Committee  to agree to the issue of  recommendations  on housing and homeless ness which did not call for an immediate halt to all evictions.

In the case of Banks in majority state ownership no legislation or constitutional change is required. The government can simply issue an instruction to the banks it owns. If the bank refuses to comply the Minister can call a special general meeting of shareholders in order to put  in place directors who will carry out the instructions of the owners. The Framework Agreement between Government and Banks is a purely informal, non-legally binding  arrangement.

But, of  course, all evictions should be banned in this emergency. This would require emergency legislation which could be completed in one day.

It would also be important for government to formally declare a housing emergency and to lay a document before both houses of the Oireachtas certifying that the emergency exist. This would prevent landlords and banks blocking the implementation of the legislation by attempting to invoke the constitutional protection of private property which is limited by the necessity to provide for “the common good”.

I and my allies will hold each member of the Oireachtas Committee responsible for future evictions who assents to recommendations  of the Committee which do not include the emergency prohibition of all evictions  until the housing and homelessness crisis has been resolved.

Government is about to lay a document before both houses by June 30 which will certify that a Financial Emergency continues to exist. This, it believes is necessary in order to protect confiscation of private property in public service  pensions from constitutional challenge.

Yours sincerely

Paddy Healy

88 Griffith Court, Fairview, Dublin 3

086-4183732

PS  I was very disappointed by the decision of the Committee not to invite The Hub Ireland and Mr Ken Smollen to address you

Your Recommendations will be discussed at a public conference of anti-eviction activist to be held in Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise before the end of this month-PH

———————–

PRESIDENT HIGGINS TELLS GOVERNMENT:

IGNORE FISCAL TREATY! BORROW NOW TO BUILD HOUSES AND TO INVEST IN HEALTH AND EDUCATION

Well Done President Higgins!!

“He (President Higgins) insists that seeking access for all to housing, health and education – what he calls “values for decent living” – are not “wild, Bolshevik ideas”.

And at a time of low interest rates, there is opportunity to invest in these services. Better to spend now when money is cheap, he appears to suggest, than be overly concerned with sticking to EU fiscal rules.”–Paul Melia Irish Independent   17/09/2016

Instead of borrowing the money to build the houses, Taoiseach ENDA KENNY HAS WRITTEN TO THE EU SEEKING PERMISSION! IRISH SOVEREIGNTY-HOW ARE YOU!!!

Seamus Healy TD has repeatedly told the government in the Dáil: STOP THE EVICTIONS: Borrow the money immediately to build the houses and rescue the homeless! Don’t ask the EU. TELL the EU that the government is doing it, he said.

Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries are ignoring the Fiscal Treaty when it suits them. We should do the same!

AS THE BUDGET APPROACHES, GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE THE ADVICE OF PRESIDENT HIGGINS

————————————-
From Martina Doyle and the HUB-IRELAND    PHONE NO    01-5349118

A Sheriff has NO AUTHORITY to take a property

Even a receiver cannot trespass on your property

If they do, and you are fearful, call the Gardai, and tell them that you fear for your safety.
Quote Section of the Section 13(1) of 1 of the Criminal Public Justice Act, and ask the “Receiver/trespasser” to leave.
If they refuse, they are committing a criminal offence which can incur hefty fine or a prison sentence.
Stay in your homes. Fight the banks. We will help you. We are FREE

ANOTHER HUGE TAX GIVEAWAY BY GOVERNMENT AND Michael “Tommy Cooper” Noonan

How did the Government shaft mortgage holders and taxpayers in one fell swoop?

The State may well have missed out on huge tax profits through its sale of distressed home loans

Stephen Donnelly

Sunday Independent  Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Questions to answer: Finance Minister Michael Noonan – the Government refused to let people bid on their own distressed mortgages Photo: Tony Gavin

The Irish Government could be complicit in wholesale tax avoidance by foreign investment firms, which are generating huge profits in Ireland off the backs of Irish mortgage holders.

Sarah and Dominic (not their real names) live in Kilkenny with their two children. They bought their home in 2007.

The shop Sarah worked in closed during the recession – she lost her job and they started to fall behind on their mortgage payments.

They’re getting back on their feet now, but with lower wages, they’re struggling to make full payments. Their mortgage was with Irish Nationwide, which was nationalised, so it ended up in state ownership, along with about 13,000 other mortgages.

Two years ago, the Government sold these mortgages at big discounts, mainly to US investment funds. The Government refused to let individual mortgage holders bid on their mortgages. Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage was bundled with about 1,400 others and sold to Mars Capital. According to finance minister Michael Noonan, this was done with “funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management”.

Oaktree is a very large US-based distressed-debt firm that has bought up many of the mortgages sold by the Government.

Until recently, we didn’t know how big the discounts were that the State was selling people’s mortgages at. Mars Capital’s newly filed 2015 accounts show they paid 42 cent in the euro.

Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage was about €350,000, so Mars Capital got it for about €140,000 – an amount the couple could have afforded. Instead, they still owe the full €350,000 to Mars Capital and face the prospect of eviction.

It gets better (or worse if you are Sarah and Dominic, or an Irish taxpayer). Mars bought these 1,400 mortgages for €155m. About half of this was financed by a loan from Citibank, with the remaining €80m being, presumably, the “funds managed by” Oaktree Capital. The 2015 accounts of Mars Capital forecast that this €80m investment will harvest almost €400m (net of the Citibank loan) in mortgage interest and principal repayments (so that’s the €80m back, plus almost €320m extra, less administration costs). And this is just Mars Capital’s first estimate. It assumes a level of non-payment on the mortgages they bought. But as the Irish economy recovers and payment rates improve, profits could become much higher.

In May 2014, Ireland was borrowing 10-year money at 2pc. Mars Capital’s accounts show them earning 14pc on their €80m, just taking into account mortgage interest payments, from the likes of Sarah and Dominic. Why sell an asset yielding 14pc when your cost of funds is 2pc? The Irish State could have given every one of those Irish mortgage holders a 60pc discount on their loan and still have made 14pc per annum in repayments. Wasn’t Nama set up to do this?

However, it gets even better (and definitely worse, if you are an Irish taxpayer). The “funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management” seem to be accounted for in Mars Capital as “notes”.

Essentially, the €80m was loaned to Mars Capital, and Mars must pay it back, plus interest. The interest on these notes is set at “10pc + variable residual”.

In other words, the interest payable on the €80m can be hiked to soak up any, and all, profit Mars Capital makes.

The accounts of Mars Capital clarify that these notes will suck nearly all of the profits (interest and capital) from the company in excess of the Citibank loan. The 2015 accounts claim exactly €1,000 as taxable profit, while paying millions in interest on the notes.

This tax-management structure is similar to what is used by some multinationals based in Ireland. Often, such notes are registered in an offshore zero-tax location such as the Cayman Islands, where their “note interest” payments are made and accumulate tax-free, and get lent back to the parent as needed. As such, the profits are taxed neither in Ireland, nor in the US.

Irish accounting and legal firms provide the expertise to the multinationals to help them minimise their tax obligations. So what? Sure aren’t they providing jobs here? Well yes, they are.

But if that same expertise is now being used to help foreign investment firms suck huge profits out of Ireland without paying tax on them, then we’re all worse off.

We don’t know where are the loan notes of Mars Capital located. We do know, from Oaktree’s US SEC annual filings, that many of their funds linked with European distressed debt (ie Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage), are listed in the Cayman Islands.

So, if the Mars Capital notes happen to have been issued by an Oaktree Capital fund located in the Caymans (and we have no evidence that they are), and if the interest on the notes is adjusted in a way that leaves Mars Capital with very little taxable profit (say the €1,000 filed for 2015), then not only will the State have missed the opportunity to retain hundreds of millions of euro of value (and maybe spare Sarah and Dominic’s family the threat of eviction), it would also be the case that none of the profits will be taxed in Ireland.

To be clear – tax avoidance is, by definition, legal (as opposed to tax evasion, which is illegal). There is no suggestion that Mars Capital, or Oaktree Capital, have done, or are doing, anything illegal. They are clever investors who saw an opportunity and took it – if they are structuring their investments to minimise tax obligations, then they are acting rationally. The Irish Government, however, is not.

If very little tax ends up being paid in Ireland on the Mars Capital deal, the tax leakage could reach well over €50m. And this is a very small deal in the scheme of things – if other investment firms have structured their affairs to avoid paying taxes here, the total missed tax take will be in the hundreds of millions, conservatively.

Why did the Government not seek assurances from all foreign bidders that their structures would ensure they pay fair Irish tax on their Irish-generated profits? If some bidders organised themselves to move their profits offshore, did the Irish Government know? Did the investment firms seeks assurances from the Government that any proposed off-shoring of profits would be acceptable? Just how complicit is the Government in what could be large-scale tax avoidance on profits earned off the backs of ordinary families trying to recover from the collapse?

Best little country to do business in? I doubt Sarah and Dominic would agree. Neither would those using our underfunded public services and infrastructure.


—————————-

RENT OF HOUSES ROCKETTING

FISCAL TREATY RESTRICTIONS ON GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND BORROWING IS THE CAUSE

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has written a letter to EU seeking permission to borrow money to house our people!!!

THe IRISH PEOPLE must establish ITS OWN SOVEREIGNTY

A 32-county assembly wielding People’s Power is The Answer

At the end of 2015, there were 139,359 or almost 140,000 people on local authority waiting lists for housing. This is because virtually no local authority houses have been built for years. Now due to the restrictions of the FISCAL TREATY, Ireland is not allowed to borrow money to build social houses. This is despite the fact that governments can now borrow money ay rock bottom rates. Enda has written a letter to EU seeking permission to borrow money to house our people. Irish People have been reduced by FF,Fg,Lab, Greens to the staus of beggars.

Now over 140,000 people have to seek private rented accomodation to get a dwelling place!

Thousands of distressed mortgage holders are being driven from their homes each year. They too must seek rented accomodation.

Massive and growing demand-No additional supply!!!This is driving the cost of rented accomodation through the roof. The crisis is rendered even more acute when third level colleges re-open.

The only answer is for The Irish People to establish its own sovereignty

—————————–

Stay in your homes-HELP IS FREE!

FROM Martina DOYLE  THE HUB-IRELAND ON Facebook

PHONE NO    01-5349118

#�thehubirelandrepealtheevictionbill�
Don’t suffer in silence.
There is help in hand.
It is FREE.
Stay in your homes.
If anybody tries to charge in our name, they are scamming you.
Get a receipt…
Please share as you never know who might need our help.
Thank you.

———————————-

Seamus Healy TD Supports the Call by THE HUB-IRELAND to Repeal the Land and Conveyancing Act, 2013

Seamus voted against The Land And Conveyancing  Act (2013)

Seamus Healy repeatedly Called for a Halt to Evictions and the Declaration of a Housing Emergencyin the Dáil

Irish Times:Minister Noonan Replies to Seamus Healy on Evictions

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement by Seamus Healy TD     Jan 18 2016

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

Land and Conveyancing Act 2013

Second Stage

Níl

Question declared carried.

Voting was also as above on the Report and Final Stage of the Land and Conveyancing Bill (2013)
—————————————————

 3,041 families up for eviction in court in this month of July

A grand total of 3,041 families up for eviction in court this month of July. Ignoring the mortgage arrears crisis is fueling homelessness at a horrifying scale. I am tired contacting all the people who are paid to care. What else can we do?—Martina Doyle, The Hub-Ireland

Limerick 146 and 5.

Dundalk 55 and 52.

Tullamore 19 and 71.

Waterford 34 and 18 and 20 and 70 .

Dublin 57 and 4 and 4 and 55 and 1 and 50 and 59 and 5 and 10 and 2 and 5 and 54 and 8 and 57 and 62 and 2.

Cork 72 and 98 and 32 and 87 and 20 and 5 and 59.

Monaghan 102.

Trim 75 and 80 and 76.

Carrick on Shannon 35.

Bray 125.

Castlebar 78.

Portlaoise 40 and 32.

Naas 9 and 71 and 101 and 16.

Letterkenny 89.

Cavan 39 and 100.

Wexford 43 and 60.

Kilkenny 33 and 40.

Sligo 30.

Roscommon 75.

Ennis 84.

Clonmel 46.

Nenagh 58.

Carlow 41.

Tralee 64.

A grand total of 3,041 families up for eviction, one month = July.

———————————-

John McManus Business Editor Irish Times: 23/07/2016

Housing plan looks very like a bailout for big builders

It’s not that the Government can’t bring down house prices, more that they don’t want to

Irish Times  Sunday, July 24, 2016, 11:18

When it comes to sorting out the housing crisis, the Government really has two choices. They can try to bring down the price of houses to a level people can afford or they can help people buy houses at their current unaffordable prices.

Affordability is hard to define but for Irish purposes it equates to the limit put by the Central Bank on how much a bank can lend you, which is 3½ times your gross income. For two people on the average wage, this is about €245,000. This is not a million miles away from the average house price in most places other than south Dublin, but if you are a single-income or low-income family, you are not buying a house any time soon.

The Government would argue they have done a bit of both with the action plan for housing and homelessness published this week, but the true picture will not be clearer until the details of the measures to help first-time buyers and house builders are unveiled at budget time. Of the two options, bringing down house prices is by far the hardest one. Assuming you could actually come up with a way of doing it that did not borrow from the Khmer Rouge handbook, it would still be deeply, deeply unpopular.

The losers would include pretty much everybody who has a house. People would see their positive equity eroded or their negative equity increased. The precarious buy-to-let sector would be decimated. Builders and developers would be ruined and the banks would be bust once again.

Strange though it may seem, a policy that underpins high house prices is the rational political choice in a representative democracy. Consequently, you should not expect the measures announced this week to bring down the price of houses to any significant degree. If you are in any doubt, you should know that one of the bigger developers, Cairn Homes, has welcomed the plan. Turkeys don’t vote for certain Christian winter festivals.

Downward pressure

It’s not that the Government couldn’t bring down the price of houses. The main levers at their disposal are social housing and rent controls. These are viable long- term solutions to home ownership and if they are provided in sufficient quantities at the right price, they exert downward pressure on prices.

But the targets for social housing set out in the plan will not put a tooth in the problem. The plan calls for the construction of 125,000 houses by 2021, of which only one in five or fewer will be social housing built by the Government.

The rest will presumably be provided by the private sector, and we can take it as read that they don’t plan selling these houses for any less than they are selling them at the moment . They argue they are not even making money at current prices.

If prices are not coming down and wages are not going up and the Central Bank won’t let banks lend people more than they can afford, you get the sort of stalemate that prevails in the Irish market. The Government, to its credit, is trying to solve the problem by providing a limited amount of cheap housing but the bulk of its effort seems to be going into subsidising the building industry either directly or indirectly.

The measures to be announced in the budget in October are expected to include a €10,000 package for first-time buyers and other measures to increase the profitability of house-building. At best, this will allow more people to buy houses at current prices and also allow more builders to build profitably at current prices. At worst, it will trigger a jump in prices.

No costing has been put on this part of the plan but if, for argument’s sake, you assumed that half of the buyers of the 100,000 houses that will be built by the private sector got the money, it would be €500 million over five years.

It represents a massive subsidy for an industry that is fundamentally uncompetitive because it has overpaid for land and is now sitting on sites, refusing to develop and playing chicken with the Government. Those who worship market forces would argue these builders should all be made go bust and the price of land should drop, allowing profitable house-building by new entrants. In a socialist version of this fantasy, the State would then spend €500 million building 200,000 council houses.

It doesn’t really matter because neither of these things are going to happen. It may not be the Government’s intention but the housing plan looks like a massive State bailout for an industry that is being protected from the consequences of its mistakes. Sound familiar?

———————————

Eviction Proceedings-No Pause in Government Action Plan On Housing and Homelessness

FALSE PROMISE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS! Bonanza for Developers!

Now we Know why the Oireachtas Committee refused to invite Ken Smollen and THE HUB-IRELAND to address it!

“Plan” is just a pre-election gimmick

The Oireachtas Committee recommended that there be a pause in eviction proceedings until new debt resolution procedures were in place

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Surprise! Surprise! There is no halt to evictions (even on a temporary basis) in Coveney’s plan. Unfortunately Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change(Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan) went along with this easily rejected recommendation. (The same attorney general had advised Alan Kelly against it)

But now government promises  to introduce more favourable resolution procedures for distressed mortgages have been seriously “watered down”

The number of people presenting as homeless has doubled in the last 12 moths

Opposition members of the Oireachtas Committee say the Coveney Plan for building  social houses contains half the investment recommended by the committee.

The EU have been resisting informal government requests to allow money to be borrowed  by Ireland to build social houses despite the restrictions of the Fiscal Treaty for months..

NOW Taoiseach Kenny is going to WRITE A LETTER to the EU asking that Ireland be allowed to borrow money to house Irish people? (Decisive action that!!!)-Irish sovereignty how are you?

Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-

The Committee should, of course. have recommended that the government TELL THE EU THAT IRELAND WOULD BE BORROWING THE MONEY TO HOUSE IRISH PEOPLE IN THIS EMERGENCY, as advocated by Seamus HealY TD.

Instead Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change joined  FF and FG in a shamefully compliant recommendation in the frame work of the Fiscal Treaty

BONANZA FOR PRIVATE DEVELOPERS-FALSE PROMISE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS

Before any extra houses are built, financial supports will be given to first time buyers in the budget next  October (and backdated to to-day) “to help  them” to purchase houses! But there will be no freeze on house prices! In the context of miniscule supply this cannot fail to raise the price of houses. This will be of no benefit to first time buyers but will provide a bonanza for developers. Others moving jobs will also have to pay the higher prices!

Developers will also be given publicly owned land at cheap leasing rates on which to build private houses.

IRISH HOUSING NETWORK-“In effect, it looks like this will mean leasing public land to private developers who will decide whats affordable. Without secure rent controls and more public housing this will leave people as vulnerable as they are now, with evictions and rent hikes commonplace as the markets decide people’s future for them. This hasn’t worked before and it wont work now.”

According to Minister Coveney these measures will”fix the housing market”!

NO Housing Emergency Formally Declared

Despite verbal recognition of “a national housing emergency” by Minister Coveney earlier this year, no formal declaration of a housing emergency will be laid before the Oireachtas.

Such a declaration would enable the public good to out-weigh the right to private property in accordance with the Irish Constitution. Former Minister Howlin explained to the Dáil that annual certification of a financial emergency was necessary to enable continued confiscation of private property in pensions. Minister Donoghue has done this recently

The absence of such a formal declaration could  enable banks an landlords to continue evictions even if the government ordered a pause.

Also, it is at least possible that private owners (including vulture funds) will be able to block even some of the inadequate improvements contained in the Action Plan.

My DIT colleage, Dr Lorcan Sirr ( Faculty of the Built Environment) has pointed out that thousands of dwelling houses are becoming obsolescent each year, thus reducing the number of houses available for habitation.  Government or local authorities are unable to intervene unless the building becomes a physical danger to the public. No account is taken of these obsolescences in the government targets for housing provision.

The absence of the formal declaration of a housing emergency enables the owners to resist any interference with their private property no matter how outrageous their disregard for the common good!

Misleading Government Spin

“People Laughed at Richard Bruton when he said he would create 100,000 jobs but he did it.  Simon Coveney will drive the housing plan in the same way”-Brian Hayes MEP(FG) on Today with Sean O’Rourke(RTE) 22/07/2016

In fact the government were cutting public service jobs while jobs increased in private sector. These private sector jobs were created despite the government austerity policy due to favourable external circumstances-weak euro, cheap oil, strong demand for multi-national exports produced in Ireland. These circumstances are already changing rapidly and  a new world recession will completely reverse them.

But government politicians never !miss an opportunity to reinforce a misleading story!

CONCLUSION

Like many previous Plans and Reports this ACTION PLAN is bound to fail

I believe that the government ACTION PLAN is a combination of a pre-election gimmick and a bonanza for private developers.

—————————-

FINAL WARNING TO GOVERNMENT-HALT EVICTION PROCEEDINGS NOW!

-KEN SMOLLEN

Next Saturday 25th June, the ‘Standing Together’ meeting at 1.30 pm in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise can see real progress being made in our fight against the bailed out banks and the vulture funds who have engaged in a hidden onslaught on thousands of decent, hardworking citizens in our country and their families. There can be no doubt that in years to come there will be an inquiry into how and why 3 successive Governments not only allowed the terrorising of so many of their own people but actually gave this great injustice their full support. Such an inquiry will undoubtedly lead to proper justice being meted out to those directly responsible and also to anyone who helped facilitate this wrong doing!

For real progress to be made it is imperative that all genuine people, groups, political parties and other determined organisations must work together. Any division in this very justified campaign will not only please the very many uncaring TD’s in Leinster House; it will also lead to failure to achieve our ultimate aim. That aim should be to achieve fairness for our people and a fair and sustainable solution to the mortgage distress crisis where families should no longer have to go without some of the basic necessities of life in order to keep a roof over their heads!

There can be no doubt that many of the people who will attend on Saturday will be living through this ongoing nightmare every day. Others attending will simply be aware of the crisis and see the urgent necessity for a resolution to be found. We can also be reasonably certain that a number of politicians will also attend, with most if not all of them being fully supportive of our unified campaign.

It is for that reason that I urge anyone who intends to be there on Saturday NOT to bring banners of any kind, and NOT to bring coffins or coffin lids with slogans written on them. This is NOT a protest meeting. IT IS a meeting where we must give the Government a final warning or an ultimatum that they must force the banks who operate within this jurisdiction to find a fair and sustainable solution for all mortgage holders, and while that solution is being sought, that ALL Eviction proceedings in the courts throughout Ireland be halted. We cannot afford to give them or any of the media who will be present reason to see us as just a group of disorganised protesters. We MUST be seen as reasonable people demanding a reasonable resolution to a hidden and growing humanitarian crisis that affects probably well over ONE MILLION people in our country!

I have requested that the reporter and camera crew from RTE not to film or show the faces of anyone in attendance unless they do so with the full permission of anyone concerned. They have agreed to this and before any filming or photo is taken of the attendance that it is done from the back of the room with a warning beforehand. This is to ensure that we protect the identities of everyone in attendance. I would therefore ask that anyone who intends to take photographs or film the proceedings to please adhere to the same principle as we must not cause distress of any kind to anyone in attendance.

It is highly likely that the uncaring TD’s in Government will call our bluff as many of them will be of the opinion that there is very little we can do if they fail to take the necessary and appropriate action in forcing the banks to engage fairly with their customers and if they also fail to ensure that there is a moratorium on the Eviction proceedings in the courts.

This is where I am of the opinion that their thinking is very flawed. I have no doubt that a properly organised group of people can have a huge effect on the workings of the courts, solicitors, MABS, the Personal Insolvency Service and other such Government backed organisations and all without the need for protest of any kind.

I have discussed such a plan with a handful of people and it will be openly discussed at Saturday’s meeting. I feel that it’s better that it not be revealed until then for the simple reason that we don’t want to show our hand before we need to. It will be simple to implement, does not involve protests, but will require a minimum of about 10 dedicated people in each county that takes part. I believe that together we can achieve great success by working closely with people who genuinely want a resolution to this desperate crisis.

On Saturday if we decide to implement this plan, it should be enough to cause a huge ripple effect that will cause major problems for the cosy cartel who obviously feel that they will always have the upper hand. The more people there are per county will result in our aim in those counties being achieved in a shorter period of time.

Even though Saturday’s meeting begins at 1.30pm, I and a number of other people will be in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise from 11.30am. It’s not for me to decide who the seriously committed people are who will lead the way. That decision must be made by each individual themselves.

We must have a proper plan in place in order to succeed. As the saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!’

Finally, thanks everyone for your continued support. I hope to meet as many of you as possible before the meeting and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone else at the meeting which must commence at 1.30pm sharp.

Ken


INVITATION TO TDs AND SENATORS-KEN SMOLLEN

Dear Member of the Oireachtas,

I would like to personally invite you to our third meeting in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday 25th June at 1.30pm concerning the desperately hidden mortgage distress crisis and the associated Courts repossession hearings crisis that currently exists in Ireland.

Unfortunately the number of people taking their own lives as a result of this hidden crisis continues to grow every day.  The vast majority of these deaths go unreported, meaning that the problem remains a very hidden and personal one for thousands of people in Ireland.

This is our 3rd such meeting and again all TD’s, Senators and MEP’s are being invited to attend.  We appreciate the fact that a number of TD’s and County Councillors attended the two previous meetings.  At the last meeting it was unanimously agreed that all TD’s should again be invited to attend on Saturday 25th June.

Your personal attendance at the meeting in Portlaoise would be very much appreciated, when this extremely hidden crisis must be openly discussed and REAL solutions found.

Since retiring from An Garda Siochana in 2012, I have been highlighting the mortgage distress/eviction crisis and working closely with many families in distress for the last few years.  It has been suggested by the many groups who volunteer their help and support to families in mortgage distress, that it’s possible there could be as many as 10 people or even more taking their own lives every single week.

I have attended many repossession courts throughout the country to offer my support to the families who are being summoned to the courts by the banks and many people have told me their own harrowing stories of hardship and desperation.  One case involved a family who were advised to go into bankruptcy.  They raised the €4,000 required for the process by selling the cooker and all of their furniture.  They then removed the radiators from the walls and sold them.  The family, including their 14 year old daughter are now living in a car in a secluded place close to Tullamore.

It is very clear that the Personal Insolvency arrangement and services such as MABS are not the solution and are very far from resolving this crisis.  This has led to a number of voluntary groups coming together in an attempt to offer genuine help to thousands of people who simply have nowhere else to go.

The meeting in Portlaoise is not a protest meeting.  It will be attended by many families who find themselves in this desperate situation and by others who are naturally concerned by the continuing assault on thousands of families by financial institutions.

We are attempting to find possible solutions to the crisis and your attendance at The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday 25th June at 1.30pm would be very much appreciated.

Kind Regards, Ken Smollen, 085 143 2898

————————————

FG, FF, Lab, Ind. Alliance and, Unbelievably, Independents for Change and Sinn Féin put those facing Repossession in the Hands of The Attorney General who previously advised that any significant interference with the private property of Banks and/or landlords  was a violation of Constitution!!! In addition the recommended moratorium on evictions is only for a few months!!!!!

(see Evidence of Alan Kelly to the Commission on Constitutional Obstacles to Solving The Housing Crisis Below)

Recommendation on Evictions

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Commission Fails to recommend a formal declaration of a housing emergency by Government!!!!! This will enable banks an landlords to continue evictions despite the spin in the Commission Report

Even the Minority Report by Ruth Coppinger TD, Socialist Party, fails to call for the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Dáil

MINORITY REPORT

http://antiausterityalliance.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Housing-doc-2.pdf

The Minority Report makes some very good points, particularly pointing out that the FISCAL TREATY must be broken to enable the state to invest in housing. But the advocacy of a referendum to change the constitution on property rights and the right to a home, however laudable, is not an emergency measure. It is no substitute for the immediate formal declaration of a national housing emergency by government to enable legal interference with property rights in order to implement emergency measures including a halt to eviction proceedings.

The Majority Report fails to call for breaking of  the FISCAL TREATY in order for the state to build adequate numbers of social houses. Not alone does it put those facing repossession in the hands of the Attorney General(a member of the government), Chair Curran(FF) has explained that the moratorium on evictions would only be a short term measure for a few months. It would last until government put in place the government’s (inadequate) measures on debt resolution.

To make things worse, The Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson, Deputy Michael McGrath says in the Irish Examiner(18/06/2016) says that the recommendation to pause repossessions is unworkable and SOMETIMES KEEPING THE HOUSE IS NOT THE BEST ANSWER. “In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr McGrath said losing the home and starting again may be best for some people who can no longer afford to remain where they are.”–Michael McGrath TD

Independents4Change was represented on the Commission by Deputies Mick Wallace and  Maureen O’Sullivan. Following the failure of I4C to support an amendment strengthening the Workers Rights Bill put down by AAA-PBP, its complete acceptance of the grossly deficient report is leading to queriess as to where it is headed politically.

Sinn Féin took the same position as I4C. A piece by Eoin ÓBroin SF (member of the Commission) in the Irish Independent 18/06/2016 points to no deficiencies in the report and is quite complimentary of its FF and FG members.  http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/cowen-detached-durkan-rambled-but-report-shows-tds-agree-cure-34812099.html

The acceptance of the Fiscal Treaty by Sinn Féin has a particular significance. The Treaty , in effect,removes the fundamental right of the government to provide housing for all citizens. How far has Sinn Féin travelled since Coimhín Ó Caolain TD opposed the Treaty in the Dáil on the grounds that “it flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation” in its undermining of Irish sovereignty?

Even after FF through Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath pulled the rug on the moratorium on evictions recommendation , Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-
“the strength of the Report lies in the fact that all but one of our 14 members
signed up to the final recommendations.
There is now strong support across the political spectrum for greater state
involvement in the provision of social housing, the regulation of the private
rental sector and targeted measures to meet the housing needs of those most
neglected by past policies”

Coming from a professed republican, the request for permission from the EU to put roofs over the heads of the Irish people is very strange. The notion of FF, FG who have always favoured the rich, genuinely working to solve the crisis is at best naive.

Alan Kelly  TD (Labour) gave evidence to the Commission  on constitutional obstacles to solving the housing crisis. (The protection of private property in the constitution is not absolute-it is subject to right of government to provide for the common good). Kelly was effectively quoting the Attorney General who continues in the new government. It is important to note that Brendan Howlin(Labour) who was also  a minister in the outgoing government claimed to have overcome the constitutional obstacle to confiscating private property in pensions in the FEMPI ACT by a formal declaration of a Financial Emergency by Government and the laying of a document certifying continuation of the Financial Emergency every year.

My conclusion from the evidence of Alan Kelly (below) is that the outgoing FG-Lab government was not prepared to formally declare a national housing emergency and to lay the documents before the Oireachtas. FG-Lab put the rights of property before the common good. It continued evictions, including evictions by banks it owns.

Evidence to Commission by Alan Kelly (Lab) TD- former Minister for Housing

 “Mr Alan Kelly, former Minister, stated that legal advice on Article 43 had stopped him from introducing a more powerful vacant site levy, which would have imposed a fee on developers who refused to build on unused land. He said that it had also stopped legislation preventing keeping houses vacant and laws that would protect tenants from so-called vulture funds, which invest in undervalued properties and then profit from selling them: “I was not hampered by political or financial obstacles. I was blocked by the Constitution. (Advice to Sitting Ministers either comes directly from the Attorney General or is commissioned by the Attorney General-PH). Kelly continued: From the time it is taking to introduce the Vacant Site Levy in order to tackle land hoarding, to protecting tenants from eviction in circumstances where their landlord wishes to sell the property, and many other issues, I was repeatedly blocked from making provision for what I believed was the common good by the strength by which property rights are protected under Article 43 of the Constitution. I believe that we need to honestly re-examine the balance between the protected and legitimate property rights of individuals, as property owners, and the wider needs and common good of society, including housing needs. As a society we need to reflect on the desired impact of the constitution here. I believe that addressing these issues raises politically and socially important issues which will have to be debated over the coming years.”

Letter To All Members of  Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness-Paddy Healy   Wed 15/06/2016

A Cháirde,

I am an activist in a campaign against eviction of homeowners and tenants in the context of a the national housing emergency  as recently affirmed by Minister Coveney.

Some of those who are having their homes being repossessed  are being evicted by the government which is the owner of a number of banks including AIB and PTSB

I believe it would be outrageous for any member of the Oireachtas Committee  to agree to the issue of  recommendations  on housing and homeless ness which did not call for an immediate halt to all evictions.

In the case of Banks in majority state ownership no legislation or constitutional change is required. The government can simply issue an instruction to the banks it owns. If the bank refuses to comply the Minister can call a special general meeting of shareholders in order to put  in place directors who will carry out the instructions of the owners. The Framework Agreement between Government and Banks is a purely informal, non-legally binding  arrangement.

But, of  course, all evictions should be banned in this emergency. This would require emergency legislation which could be completed in one day.

It would also be important for government to formally declare a housing emergency and to lay a document before both houses of the Oireachtas certifying that the emergency exist. This would prevent landlords and banks blocking the implementation of the legislation by attempting to invoke the constitutional protection of private property which is limited by the necessity to provide for “the common good”.

I and my allies will hold each member of the Oireachtas Committee responsible for future evictions who assents to recommendations  of the Committee which do not include the emergency prohibition of all evictions  until the housing and homelessness crisis has been resolved.

Government is about to lay a document before both houses by June 30 which will certify that a Financial Emergency continues to exist. This, it believes is necessary in order to protect confiscation of private property in public service  pensions from constitutional challenge.

Yours sincerely

Paddy Healy

88 Griffith Court, Fairview, Dublin 3

086-4183732

PS  I was very disappointed by the decision of the Committee not to invite The Hub Ireland and Mr Ken Smollen to address you

Your Recommendations will be discussed at a public conference of anti-eviction activist to be held in Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise before the end of this month-PH

PQ REPLY YESTERDAY TO SEAMUS HEALY TD-NOONAN REFUSES TO HALT EVICTION PROCEEDINGS BY BANKS HE OWNS DESPITE NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY ANNOUNCED BY MINISTER COVENEY

“ONLY” 301 Home Loans Repossessed Last Year By AIB, PTSB-MICHAEL NOONAN

“Repossessions of Home Loans are not frequent amounting to 183 and 118 for AIB and Permanent TSB respectively in 2015”-Minister Noonan

Just as he did in a previous reply on in Jan 2016(Dail Record further Down), Minister Noonan seeks to minimise the horror facing families by misrepresentation and omission of key information.

The 301 repossessions of family homes are 301 too many. These are the 301 cases in which the state owned Banks Only were granted repossession orders.  (See I.T., KITTY HOLLAND further down)

Noonan omits the no of repossession cases taken by the state owned banks. Most of these never reach the stage of the issuance of a repossession order. People are too terrified to appear in court, of the publicity in small communities, the stress on young children at school etc. it is common to surrender the house and to go to live with relations in often overcrowded conditions. Some have committed suicide due to the extreme stress of the threat of repossession.

Mr Noonan says he has no role in the matter of repossessions by AIB, PTSB, EBS. He cites the Framework Agreement with Banks. This Agreement has no statutory force. Mr Noonan adheres to the Agreement in order to wash his hands. Mr Noonan does have a role in evictions. As owner of these Banks on behalf of the State, he  knowingly permits repossession cases to be taken though he can forbid this.

Please recommend that all repossession proceedings affecting dwelling houses, owned or rented, be halted immediately

Paddy Healy

 

PQ as originally Submitted

To ask the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD,

if, in view of the statement by Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney TD that there is a NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY,

he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts and

if these bodies refuse to comply, will he call a special general meeting of shareholders and use his majority share-holding to dismiss and replace directors refusing to comply with his instruction and

if he will make a statement on the matter ?

Seamus Healy   TD 087-2802199

QUESTION NO:  175

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Seamus Healy
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 14/06/2016

To ask the Minister for Finance if he will insist that a bank and its subsidiary (details supplied) which are in majority State ownership desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; in the event of the bank and its subsidiary refusing to comply, if he will call a special general meeting of shareholders and use his majority share holding to dismiss and replace the directors who refuse to comply with his instruction

REPLY.

As the Deputy will be aware, I have no role in the day-to-day running of the banks in which the State is a shareholder. These institutions are run on an independent and commercial basis and the details of the formal relationship between my Department and these institutions are set out in the respective Relationship Framework Agreements, which can be found via the following links.

AIB: http://finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Allied-Irish-Banks1.pdf

PTSB: http://finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Relationship%20Frameworks%20for%20the%20Irish%20Banks%20Irish%20Life%20and%20Permanent.pdf

In relation to the individual institutions referred to  in “details supplied” Permanent TSB, Allied Irish Banks and its subsidiary  EBS:

AIB and Permanent TSB have informed me that they prioritise keeping customers in their homes. Repossession is a last resort. Repossessions of Home Loans are not frequent amounting to 183 and 118 for AIB and Permanent TSB respectively in 2015.  In comparison AIB and Permanent tsb have entered formal forebearance measures in respect of 29,514 and 28,532 Home Loans respectively at December 2015.

While there are some differences between the banks referred to, their processes are similar.  In cases where customers do not meaningfully engage or do not engage at all with the bank, reject the offer of a sustainable mortgage restructuring solution or do not prioritise their mortgage payment,  both banks are likely to pursue enforcement through the court process.  It’s important to note that the initiation of legal proceedings does not necessarily result in repossession and both banks seek to engage constructively with borrowers at all times.  Both banks offer a wide range of solutions and operates multiple engagement channels that facilitate the maximum possible levels of engagement with customers in difficulty.

Within the Programme for Government there are several policy proposals detailed which are being worked on at present.  The objective of these proposals is to accelerate the restructuring of mortgage arrears cases and keep families in their homes in so far as possible.

Irish Times Report and Full Dail Record of Noonan Reply to Seamus Healy TD’s Call to STOP REPOSSESSIONS  Further Down

REPOSSESSIONS: NOONAN’S  MASTER CLASS–Paddy Healy

SPINNING TO MISLEAD ON REPOSSESSIONS IN THE DÁIL!

It is No Joke but Tommy Cooper Strikes Again! 

State Owned Banks, AIB, EBS,PERMANENT TSB, are seeking repossession of homes by court order throughout the country.

Seamus Healy TD  recently asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Dáil to instruct these banks to desist from this.

Mr Noonan refused and stated that  “In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks.”

In the course of his reply Minister Noonan quoted figures from a Central Bank report which stated that in Quarter 3(July, August, September)  207 properties were repossessed on foot of a court order. “The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said.

This statement is entirely deceptive though there is nothing technically incorrect in it. It is not just that he attempts to minimise the awful trauma for 207 families which are losing their homes. A key tactic of the “spinner to deceive” is the omission of key information.

Noonan’s 207 court orders for repossession are for 1 month only!!! Circuit courts do not sit in August and September. Hence the “Quarter 3” figures are for the month of July only!

 

The full information provided by the Courts Service and reported by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times Last November is: ” Of the 1,088 court orders for repossession made in the three quarters of 2015 up to September 30,  758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings”. “-Irish Times

Courts Service: Repossession Orders in Circuit Courts 2015

Q1       314,   Q2   586,  Q3   188

There was a huge increase in possessions in the April to June period. Mr Noonan omits this information, and picks the figure for Q3 which he then implies is typical though it contains one month( July)  figures only! The reason the Central Bank figure for Q3 (207) is slightly above the Courts Service figure (188) may be that the Central Bank figure contains High Court orders in addition to the Circuit Court orders supplied by the Courts Service.

In time honoured fashion “Spinner Noonan”, to cover his tracks claims that it is others who are misrepresenting the situation! The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said. Additionally, this allows him to suggest that the repossession problem is really minimal and not nearly as bad as is being represented.

No journalist or serious person has spoken about “tens of thousands” of repossessions. 1,088 orders in the first 3 quarters of 2015 is already a disastrous figure!!!

For example,  Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015. says

: “Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes  since the start of the year up to September 30, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate”-Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015.

This is in line with the Central Bank Report: During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases (Central Bank Report).

Noonan invents the “tens of thousands” in order to minimize a problem which is in fact already disastrous-“the oldest trick in the book” of the spinner.

STATE DIRECTION OF BANKS IS UNTHINKABLE!-Noonan 

The right of human beings to stay in their own homes is a most important right. The vast majority of people in mortgage difficulty are entirely blameless for their own predicament. They were setting up homes at a particular time. They may have had to move jobs or have been transferred in their job at a particular time. They were failed by the state and by its organs such as the central bank and the financial regulator and by the government of the day.

But Mr Noonan believes that there are superior rights and superior interests and that the vindication of the rights of householders to stay in their own home  is a secondary consideration even if families must be placed in hotel rooms or hostels and may be dispersed.

Mr Noonan: “Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State”

Finance Minister Noonan has already made clear his intention to sell the state owned banks to private investors. Clearly, he is concerned to maximise the sale value of the banks.

Mr Noonan voted in the Dáil to compensate in full international investors who risked their funds in Irish Banks. Money was borrowed from international financiers to pay this compensation. Now Minister Noonan and the FG/Labour Government are using the banks to collect money originally paid to international investors in the same banks from the Irish population. Accordingly, Banks are allowed to charge interest rates to all Irish borrowers which are well above average rates in other European countries within the Eurozone. The value of houses in Ireland has now risen. Hence the huge rise in repossessions between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2015.

The Priority of Government is that the banks “be fattened up for privatisation”

Mr Noonan also tries to give the impression that he has no power to give instructions to state owned banks.

He says:  “There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions “

Many listening may have got the impression that Mr Noonan had no power to instruct the government owned banks. The old omission trick! Mr Noonan omitted the words “voluntary” from “voluntary relationship framework”  -And he blames his “predecessors”-Fianna Fáil- as well!

The truth is that Mr Noonan can withdraw from the “relationship framework” at any time. He has taken a political decision to continue to honour it-and to allow the banks to evict Irish families!

He then drags up the notion that stopping state owned banks from evicting people would lead to people “applying to their local TD for a loan” and that the notion of state owned and directed banks was preposterous! Of course there have been state owned banks in Ireland for decades and there have been such in other European countries for even longer. There are well tried mechanisms for dealing with the problem of people applying to politicians for loans.

Noonan uses the image to cover up the responsibility of the government for evicting people on the one hand and extorting money to pay off international lenders from mortgage holders and small businesses on the other.. Pontius Pilate Lives!!!

Mortgage Arrears Problem is Being Solved Progressively-Noonan

Noonan gives the impression that the mortgage arrears problem is being progressively solved through helpful measures put in place by his government. The truth is that the problem of the banks is being solved by repossessing homes and extending mortgages at exorbitant interest rates for a greater number of years.

Crafty Capitalist Representative

Michael Noonan is a very crafty political representative of the Irish super-rich, Irish big business and of foreign big business. He is a master of spinning to deceive. He is assisted in this by the editorial writers and by the media political and economic correspondents. It would be simple for these to expose him but they have a vested in not doing so!

In fairness Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has accurately reported the rate of actual repossessions and court applications for repossession and columnist Fintan O’Toole has exposed his “Tommy Cooper”style deception on tax equity in favour of the very rich.

Dail Record   Jan 14/2016  Home Repossession

Parliamentary Question from Seamus Healy TD to Minister for Finance Ml. Noonan

  1. Deputy Seamus Healyasked the Minister for Finance   if he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1426/16]

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Allied Irish Banks, the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB are in majority State ownership. They are adding to homelessness and the housing crisis by repossessing family homes. I am asking the Minister, as the majority shareholder, to instruct the banks to desist from this practice.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   I would like to thank Deputy Healy for raising this question. As he is aware, I have no direct function in the relationship between the customer and PTSB, or AIB and its subsidiary EBS. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State.

Decisions taken by the banks are a matter for the board and management of the relevant institution. The relationship framework agreements define the arm’s-length nature of the relationship between the State and the banks in which the State has an investment. The banks are therefore entitled to pursue all options open to them in order to realise the value of their impaired assets, within the significant constraints imposed by their regulator, the Central Bank and the law as it applies.

The Government has put in place a broad strategy to address the problem of mortgage arrears and family home repossessions. The primary focus of this strategy is to support those home owners in difficulty with their mortgage repayments and, in so far as possible, to avoid repossession of family homes. In recent months, the Government agreed measures to enhance awareness of and access to the insolvency framework. We expanded the mortgage-to-rent scheme, making it more accessible. In addition, my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, also introduced the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2015, which will, among other things, reduce the normal duration of bankruptcy from three years to one year.

The Central Bank of Ireland’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears also provides protection as it sets out requirements for lenders dealing with borrowers who are facing, or in, mortgage arrears on their primary residence. It ensures that borrowers struggling to keep up mortgage repayments are treated in a fair and transparent manner by their lenders and that long-term resolution is sought by lenders with each of their borrowers.

The number of mortgages in arrears continues to fall. There are almost 121,000 restructuring arrangements in place and the vast majority of these are working. The figures demonstrate that most families can, working with their financial institutions, find an arrangement to make their mortgage commitments affordable. Active engagement by indebted borrowers with their lenders is key to achieving sustainable resolutions. I would urge borrowers in arrears who have not already done so to take that step by contacting their lender directly, or MABS, for an independent assessment of their situation and advice on available resolution options.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   There is a tsunami of homelessness in this country. Last November, the Dublin Homeless Executive provided figures according to which some 1,425 children in 677 families were in emergency accommodation. The Dublin Simon Community said that was unacceptable and shameful. Focus Ireland said that the Government had failed these families. The Master of the High Court, Mr. Edmund Honohan, criticised the banks and accused them of hounding home owners to suicide.

[Deputy Seamus Healy:  ] He criticised the fast-tracked repossession regime that the Government has allowed to be introduced in the courts. These banks are majority owned by the State and it is open to the Minister to instruct these banks to desist from repossessing family homes. In Tipperary alone, 100 families are facing repossession. The Minister should insist that this stop.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   Deputy Healy raised the very important issue of homelessness and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, brought forward proposals last year that have blunted the edge of this particular social crisis. Certainly, over the Christmas period there was less sense of a crisis with homelessness than there had been earlier in the year. The measures introduced by the Minister, Deputy Kelly, have been working and, please God, they will continue to work.

On the wider issue of repossession, which was the topic of the Deputy’s notified question, there is some interesting data published by the Central Bank. During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases. During quarter three, there were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding. In 329 cases, the court granted an order for repossession or the sale of the property. A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders in the quarter, of which 207 were repossessed on foot of a court order. The remaining 215 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct. A small amount goes through the system. With the changes made by the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the Money Advice & Budgeting Service assisting directly people before the courts, I hope the number will diminish even further. It is the policy of the Government to put arrangements in place so that people can live in the family home.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Minister is the majority shareholder in these banks and he has obviously given permission to the banks to repossess family homes. He could equally instruct these banks not to go down this road and repossess family homes. He could call an emergency meeting of these bank boards and instruct them not to repossess family homes. I ask him to do so immediately and if bank directors do not agree, they should be sacked, as the Minister has the power to do so as a majority shareholder. This is urgent and, irrespective of the Minister’s comments, thousands of families in the country are facing homelessness because of banks in which the State has a majority shareholding. The Minister could give instructions to stop these repossessions and I ask him to do so immediately.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions. That is for a very good reason as we do not want to politicise the banks. It would be a very sad day for the country if the first port of call for a person seeking a loan had to be the local Deputy rather than a bank manager.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   We are not asking anybody to do that at all.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There will be no political interference with the banks. On the question of repossessions, 207 houses were repossessed on foot of a court order, which does not equate to the tens of thousands of houses sometimes mentioned in commentary. There are 121,000 restructured mortgages on private dwellings, with a success rate of 86.6%. That means the arrangements stick in just under 87% of cases. The problem is being solved progressively. I appreciate it is very hard on people and I can appreciate that people who lost their jobs do not have money. I also appreciate the concerns and how upset people are. In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks

———————————–

Woman facing return to prison over refusal

Noonan: home repossessions being handled reasonably well

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 11:39 Updated: Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 12:03

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement bySeamus Healy TD

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

———————-

Castlebar Court Anti-Eviction Protest

https://www.facebook.com/cashin3/videos/vb.100001246297556/1173381982713334/?type=2&theater

13/06/2016

We have being contacted by RTE Over the passed few days over the selling of family home mortgages to vulture funds across the county When Gerry O Boyle campaigned in the last general election on this issue the matter was not allowed to be high-lighted. Now it has come the light with the assistance of Gerry O Boyle. RTE has decided to do a documentary on corruption of Irish banks and the cover up. RTE is now expected to do full coverage from Castlebar Eviction Court on June the 13th
Men in balaclavas evict families for vulture capitalists invited in by government to feed on the public           Irish Mirror Pat Flanagan 15:33, 3 Jun 2016 Mass evictions loom after it was revealed that 46,000 mortgages – the equivalent to all the homes in Drogheda and Dundalk – are now in the hands of vulture funds. The sight of men in balaclavas attempting to evict families from their homes as gardai stand idly by confirms that we are living in a very sick state. Tens of thousands of families face being evicted by the vultures. When a Government invites vultures into our country to feed on the misery of families in danger of losing their homes, you know Irish society has lost its moral compass. The sight of men in balaclavas attempting to evict families from their homes as gardai stand idly by confirms that we are living in a very sick state.Ireland is indeed a warped country which poisons golden eagles and venerates vultures selling off thousands of distressed mortgages at knockdown prices while refusing to give homeowners a writedown.

It is perhaps a metaphor for a country in terminal social decline where the vulnerable are fed to unscrupulous wealth funds who have not the slightest inkling of concern for their welfare.

There are few more reviled birds then the vulture yet our Finance Minister is a fan and believes they play a pivotal role in nature.

This is what he actually said: “Vultures provide a very good service in the ecology through cleaning up dead animals that are littered across the landscape.”

The dead animals he is talking about are the tens of thousands of people whose mortgages have been sold to foreign wealth funds without them having the opportunity of doing a deal with their former lender.

Ulster Bank’s decision to sell 900 home mortgages to vulture funds at a huge discount could lead to most of the families involved being evicted from their homes.

This rotten bank is not only heartless, they are gross hypocrites as they claim they do not do debt forgiveness yet sell off huge property portfolios to vulture funds at a fraction of their worth.

Ulster Bank is a private company which is in business for profit, what possible excuse can the State have for selling off thousands of homes in the middle of the worst housing in our history.

“Vulture lover” Noonan recently had the gall to claim he put safeguards in place to prevent the vultures kicking people from their homes when the mass evictions have already started.

“Such protection as vultures give to lambs,” said the 18th century Irish dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan…. he could have been talking about our Finance Minister.

The spiralling number of evictions has not come about by accident but as a result of actual Government policies which specifically set out to sell off huge property portfolios which could only be bought by vulture funds.

Around 90% of the State’s bad bank Nama’s assets have been sold to international speculators who have got them at a fraction of their true worth.

What is even more disturbing is that it appears the gardai are allowing hooded agents of the vultures terrorise families in the course of evictions as the Royal Irish Constabulary did for absentee landlords in the 19th century.

It is something of a sick joke that the country has been losing the run of itself celebrating 1916 and the beginning of the end of British rule when our government has handed over the homes, and the lives, of tends of thousands of families to anonymous foreigners.

Both Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan have taken time out to actually meet and greet the vultures and invited these scavengers to our country to feast on Irish families.

To help them digest the financial flesh the law here allows wealth funds to avail of favourable tax deals which are outside the reach of the Central Bank.

On the subject of the Central Bank, two years ago the then Governor Patrick Honohan said he was very unhappy about the sale of mortgage books to vulture funds and highlighted the consequences for tenants.

But Fine Gael and Labour were determined that the vultures be fed and allowed the sell-off which saw property portfolios worth tens of billions of euro go ahead with massive writedowns.

It is estimated that around 46,000 mortgages – the equivalent to all the homes in Drogheda and Dundalk – are now in the hands of vulture funds.

The newly-created Dublin Tenants Association has called for new laws to stop vulture capitalists from forcing families out of their homes.

DTA spokesman Patrick Bresnihan said: “This is not a natural disaster. The reality is government policy has been to facilitate vulture funds at every turn, without any research into the impact of international funds on the Irish housing system.”

The dreadful situation which families find themselves in is a direct reflection of the ethos and ideology of the previous government.

Vultures by their nature rarely attack healthy animals, but will prey on the weak and sick and that’s exactly what the Coalition did.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised about Michael Noonan’s love of vultures – it’s a case of birds of a feather flock together…


1,700 homes promised a year ago – not one has been built

Irish Independent June 7,201

Some 1,706 homes were approved in May 2015. Another 134 were sanctioned the following July, and 890 last January – a total of 2,730 across 145 individual schemes.

The Irish Independent asked each local authority to provide an update on how the projects were progressing. Three – Kerry, Offaly and Wexford – failed to respond. The data shows:

■ No social houses have been built by the local authorities from the 2,730 sanctioned as long as a year ago.

■ Just 26 are under construction in Donegal, Tipperary and Louth. Louth County Council said it expects 12 to be completed this month.

■ Architects and design teams are only now being appointed for many of the schemes. A significant number have yet to proceed to planning.

■ Some units have been purchased – Fingal has secured 44, Cork City another 28 and Louth another eight. But some councils are only beginning to purchase homes now.

■ In some cases, including Cork and Galway, the number of units has been increased, which has resulted in delays as projects must be redesigned.

■ Some other projects have also been cancelled or delayed.

In Longford, no work has started on 13 houses approved in Lanesborough last July. ‘Trial holes’ are being organised for the site, the council said.

A land swap is also being organised with the HSE in Meath to facilitate construction of 19 units in Summerhill, approved in May 2015.

In one case – a €3.1m scheme of 20 units at Strandhill in Co Sligo – construction work is not expected to begin until November next year, 30 months after it was approved.

The minister said special teams would be sent into local authorities to drive delivery.

Last year, 72 social houses were built, and around 1,160 acquired.

———————————————-

David Walsh Released unconditionally by High Court 03/06/2016

David had spent 4 days in Cork Jail. David was convicted of criminal contempt in Waterford Circuit Court when he insisted on representing his sister who was up for repossession of her home.

David has done all those threatened with eviction a great service

Well Done to Waterford the HUB-IRELAND and Noel Brophy!

WOMAN LOSES HOME TO BANK AND HER BROTHER TO PRISON

Press Release By THEHUB-IRELAND  June 2, 2016
 The Hub-Ireland DATE: 1-6-2016 PRESS QUERIES: info@thehub-ireland.com (enter ‘Press Query’ Subject line) Tel: 01 534 9118 (office hours)
   WOMAN LOSES HOME TO BANK AND HER BROTHER TO PRISON At Waterford Circuit Court on Monday, a woman lost her home and her brother was taken away to prison after Judge Alice Doyle made a possession order in favour of the bank and held the home-owner’s brother to be in contempt of court.
He was sentenced to two weeks in prison and escorted out of the courthouse by Gardaí after voicing his objections to the proceedings in which the Judge had refused his sister the right for him to represent her, as is allowable. The home-owner had intended to defend her home because she believed she had an arguable case and wished to exercise her right to due process. She wished to bring certain matters before the Judge for consideration before any possession order would be given. However, she was unable to afford legal representation and did not feel able to carry out the role of representing herself in such an already stressful situation, where she would be up against the bank’s professional legal team, including a barrister. In previous proceedings in the same case, but in front of a Registrar, her brother had been allowed to represent his sister.
On Monday, she had signed a Power of Attorney for her brother to represent her again, but Judge Doyle disallowed the request.
The Hub-Ireland, a voluntary group working to help distressed mortgage-holders, is extremely concerned at how mortgage cases are being dealt with by the judicial system generally and for the personal plight of the woman in this particular case, who has not only lost her home without being able to present her defence, but has also had to watch her brother being carried away to prison.
The Hub-Ireland is repeating its call for an end to the Evictions Courts. Its members have been observing the workings of such courts throughout the country and have reported many similar cases where home-owners, who could not afford to employ a legal team to match the bank’s one, have their rights to justice severely compromised as a result. “This is wrong and it has to stop,” said Byron Jenkins of The Hub-Ireland. “Tonight there is a man in prison and a woman faces eviction, having lost her home. This is a personal tragedy for this family, but it also highlights all that is wrong about how the mortgage-crisis has been dealt with. We again call on the government and all in the political system to act immediately to put an end to the barbaric suffering being caused to good Irish people, whose only mistake was to borrow to put a roof over their heads.
The Dáil will break for summer holidays in a few weeks time, but it will be a long hot summer for those facing eviction as a result of political inaction,” said Jenkins.
The Hub-Ireland is a voluntary, self-help community organisation that offers free help, support and information to homeowners who are in danger of eviction from their homes by mortgage companies. It has launched a campaign to have the Evictions Courts abolished and asks for the public to support the initiative. It invites anyone in mortgage distress to contact them at info@thehub-ireland.com or phone 01 534 9118.
/ends press release
Please Note: The Hub-Ireland has a number of expert spokespersons who are available to appear as panelists on radio and television programs dealing with the issues of mortgage distress. They are also available to give interviews to print media. Please contact The Hub-Ireland at info@thehub-ireland.com (enter ‘Press Query’ in Subject line) or phone 01 534 9118 during office hours.

———————————————————-

Brother of Woman Facing Repossession JAILED FOR TWO WEEKS FOR CONTEMPT in Waterford Circuit Court

SHOCKING INHUMANITY OF EVICTION SYSTEM

He Had Been Prevented From Speaking on Behalf of his sister in Court though she had given him her Power of Attorney

Waterford The Hub-Ireland

In Waterford court today a man who had  been given power of attorney by his sister  was denied by justice Doyle the right to speak on behalf of his sister in opposing the repossession of her home. When the man Questioned the Judge he was put in contempt of court. Another man questioned her decision also. He was also  put in contempt. Later both were questioned by gardaí and brought back into court. The brother was jailed for two weeks

Earlier,he had handed to the judge the document  stating  that he had been given power of attorney by his sister. The judge left the bench for 10min and  came back with a decision that he could not speak for her in court. She wouldn’t allow him  question her jurisdiction in the matter. She put him in contempt and later jailed him for two weeks

He had repressented his sister 2 months earlier on the same matter in  front of a different judge who had agreed to this procedure

Further Post on Facebook By HUB-Ireland

(A male young man appeared in court to swear the affidavit on behalf of the bank. The signature on the affidavit was that of a woman!!!—-PH)

WANTED:

We need the ID of this child: this is the young man that came to court yesterday as a competent witness for the Banks: he was never sworn in / or gave his name; the only words he uttered from the back of the courtroom was “Yes”, after Judge Alice Doyle had asked “did you sign the affidavit for the Banks”.

Funny that:: the deponent of the Affidavit was in fact a woman, so how come??

The Judge then replied; “that’s good enough for me” and granted a possession Order on a Family Home and Jailed the Brother for two weeks for contempt for wishing to represent his sister.

—————————————————–

The two hooded balaclava wearing individuals entering the Garda Squad Car are not prisoners!
They are employees of a security company leaving the scene having failed to evict a householder in Co Clare recently

“Stop Evictions” Picket on Ennis Banks

DISAPPOINTMENT OVER CLARE’S TDS FAIURE TO ATTEND DEMONSTRATION AT ENNIS BANKS

Clare’s Oireachtas representatives are being condemned for their failure to attend a demonstration outside Ennis banks this morning.

Groups led by Midwest Right2Change launched the picket in protest at the repossession of houses by financial institiutions, as well as the ongoing housing crisis.

As the sun shone down on Ennis town centre this morning, groups picketing the town’s three main banks say the situation isn’t so bright for many people facing homlessneess across the county.

Today’s protest, organised by Right2Change, began outside Ulster Bank in the Height and from there moved on to AIB and then onto Bank of Ireland.

A small group of public representatives and locals highlighted their concerns following a recent high-profile attempted eviction in Corofin.

One of them, Anti-Austerity Campaigner Niamh O’Brien says something needs to be done to stop banks from reposessing homes.

Protestors hit out at Clare’s Oireachtas representatives for failing to attend today.

Shannon Sinn Féin Counillor Mike Mc Kee says they need to put pressure on the Government to deal with the housing crisis.

Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan, who represents part of Clare also attended today’s protest.

The Sinn Féin representative is a member of the Dáil Homeless and Housing Committee and he says an adequate Mortgage to rent scheme would help ease the crisis for some families.

———————————-

 Noonan feeds the vulnerable to the vultures

Rather than Minister Noonan giving the unfortunate mortgage defaulter a break, he’s been fraternising with their enemy

Carol Hunt, Sunday Independent,  29/05/2016

1Support: Michael Noonan will be happy with evictions Photo: Tom Burke

The video footage is shocking. It shows a number of men, hooded, black scarves covering their faces, attempting to gain access to a private home. To even the most trusting of observers, they don’t look as if they can be up to any good.

Beside them, the car they allegedly drove up in – and which we will see them later drive off in – has no insurance or tax disc displayed and the registration number is covered over with tape. This is undoubtedly illegal.

Local men confront them, clearly agitated. Thankfully, there are gardai present and the traffic violations are quickly pointed out to them.

Except that, as the video footage unfolds, it becomes disturbingly clear that the gardai have no intention of noting these offences, that they are there purely to assist the hooded men in gaining access to the house. They are on the side of what looks like the bad guys.

Welcome to a modern-day Irish eviction. (There was a doubling in the number of properties repossessed by mortgage lenders in Ireland between 2010 and 2013, new research has found.)

This time it fails. The heavy gang leave in their car which still lacks a visible registration number. This time there was no paperwork which allowed them to legally enter the property – but if members of the Anti-Eviction Taskforce had not been present to vociferously, but peacefully, protest, yet another family would have found themselves homeless by nightfall.

Well, that’s what happens isn’t it? When you can’t pay your debts, when you fall behind on your mortgage, when the bank lent you money with no questions or queries beyond “how much?” and “sure, would you not like a few thousand more?” But now, kiddo, it’s payback time.

Well, for some people it is anyway. But we know a few things now that we didn’t know back in 2007. We know, courtesy of Ajai Chopra, that the EU issued an ultimatum to Ireland at the time of the bailout. We know that the ECB would not allow us to burn senior bondholders. We know that we are still paying billions in interest because of this unfortunate “mistake”.

We know this week, thanks to NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly, that every worker in the country pays an extra €3,400 in tax every year compared with just €900 in 2007. We know we were taken for a ride by banks, the bondholders, and the head honchos in Europe – as well as our own crowd. And we know, as O’Kelly said, that our State debt pile of €207bn, €102,000 per employee, is “easily the highest in Europe, by a mile”. To be clear he added: “It’s one of the highest ratios in the world.”

Which may explain why so many people are finding it so difficult to service 2007 mortgages with 2016 wages (that’s if they’re still lucky enough to be working).

Half the bloody economy is going into a black hole of debt repayments. The average Irish worker took the hit for all those bondholders and bankers who were allowed play financial roulette with no consequences to themselves if they lost everything.

You’d think the Government would feel a little bit sheepish about that now, wouldn’t you? You’d presume that they would go a bit easy on Joe and Josephine Soap who were unfortunate enough to need a mortgage when prices were beyond the moon and the banks were happy to feed the insanity? And you’d certainly think that, in light of our enormous State debt (remember, “the highest in Europe, by a mile”!) Michael Noonan would still be in the market for a bit of debt forgiveness from the EU or IMF.

You’d think, maybe they’d listen to people – like those in the Anti-Eviction Taskforce, The Phoenix Project, Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, The Hub and all those other groups working at the coalface of people who are in despair at the prospect of losing their homes, and maybe ask the banks to share a bit of the risk, the cost, the fallout?

But no, seemingly everything is going swimmingly in Noonan Land, because earlier this month he said we didn’t need any deals on debt, because we’re in a “pretty good place now”.

Which will come as news to the hundreds of thousands of people in the country in mortgage distress – particularly if their mortgages have been sold on to vulture funds at cheap prices not offered to them – terrified to answer their doors in case it’s the bailiff with a crowd of hooded men and a few gardai backing them up.

It will also come as news to people like Fr Peter McVerry, whose Trust last Friday appealed to the Government to do more for people at risk of becoming homeless and particularly the dangers that the vulture funds bring with them.

Michael Noonan is a fan, seemingly. Of vulture funds. I know, that’s hard to believe, but then some people have hard necks. They can afford to.

Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne got terribly upset when David Hall, of Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO), called Mr Noonan a “vulture [fund] lover” at an Oireachtas Housing and Homelessness committee meeting recently.

After a “face-to-face” meeting with the minister, Hall said: “He was very clear about his love for vultures. We had a very robust exchange in relation to it … the self-confessed predators. They circulate for five years, they suck an asset dry and they move on.”

Last week Ulster Bank announced that it would be selling over 2,900 of its customers’ mortgages to “vulture funds”.

Of those, 900 are family homes, the others, one presumes, are rental properties. (Most evictions in Ireland actually arise when people can’t pay escalating rents, as opposed to mortgages.)

According to the recent report by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) our Government “wholeheartedly embraced vulture funds”, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about their attitude to Joe or Josephine mortgage problems. Or families like my friend Danielle’s, who have just been given a few months to leave the home they have rented for 10 years.

Their landlord is sorry, but the mortgage has been sold on to vulture funds and all he can do is commiserate and say that they were exemplary tenants.

Like many other families in similar situations, they haven’t a hope of finding affordable accommodation near their jobs and children’s schools.

An EU-wide report headed up by NUIG academic Padraig McKenna also found that “there were relatively high numbers of evictions (including illegal evictions) in the [Irish] private rented sector”. According to the DDCI report, “the arrival of vulture funds means an increased likelihood of people being evicted from their homes”.

Well, “duh” as my kids would say; it shouldn’t take an academic report to deduce that.

The people evicted will probably end up in hotels at the State’s expense – but hey, the vulture funds and Minister Noonan is happy – so that’s all right so.

Groups like the Anti-Eviction Taskforce look set to have their work cut out for them in the immediate future.

Welcome to the “new politics”, and old-style land repossessions.

———————————————–

KEN SMOLLEN, THE HUB IRELAND  BRIEF DEPUTIES AND SENATORS AT LEINSTER HOUSE AT INVITATION OF SEAMUS HEALY TD

CALL FOR STOP TO EVICTION PROCEEDINGS IN COURT, FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY BY DAIL

REPORT ON BRIEFING  BY KEN SMOLLEN   18/05/2016

This evening is probably not a good time to write a report on today’s meeting with TD’s, Senators and their representatives in Leinster House as I usually need a day to fully analyse any event or meeting.

However, it was an absolute pleasure to meet what I would describe as three very like-minded people, namely Byron, Adrienne and Martina in The Hub office in Dublin before heading off to Leinster House. Adrienne had the job of looking after callers to The Hub while Byron, Martina and I went to the meeting where we first met Seamus Healy TD and his brother Paddy. We had a cup of coffee in the café there while discussing the approach we would be making when presenting our case on behalf of thousands of people who find that they are the totally innocent victims of the bailed out banks who want to ‘legally’ steal their family homes!

There were approx. 20 TD’s present at different stages during our presentation including the following – Sean Crowe, Eugene Murphy, Pat Buckley, Thomas Pringle, Dara Calleary, Martin Ferris, Sean Fleming, Carol Nolan, Ann Rabbitte, Eoin O’Broin and others. Represented were Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins. Needless to say no representative from either Fine Gael or the Labour Party was there. It surprised me that not one representative of the Independent Alliance made the effort either as all TD’s were invited there by Seamus Healy TD and by myself.

I began the presentation by describing to those present what actually happens in the Eviction Courts and how people are being treated in a shameful way in particular by County Registrars. I described the intimidating atmosphere in these places and the absolute horror, despair and desperation that I see on a regular basis in these awful places. I also informed them that during the month of May alone there are well over 2,000 Eviction cases listed in the courts throughout the country and with an average of 3 or 4 members of each household it would be the equivalent of the population of a large town being hauled before the Eviction courts – and that’s just this month alone. I also impressed on them that not only are there approx. 100,000 families in mortgage distress but that there could be a further 200,000 families going without some of the basic necessities just to pay their mortgages and that many of these people were also slipping into mortgage distress. Again I said that with an average of 3 to 4 people per household we are looking at over ONE MILLION people in Ireland being in this awful situation with no resolution in sight.

I then explained how the banks were refusing to engage with many mortgage holders in any way even though the banks claim that it’s the other way around. I also said to them that the Government must FORCE the banks to engage fairly with mortgage holders and that a fair and sustainable solution must be found for ALL mortgage holders before there would be any recovery for the people of Ireland.

Martina then spoke about and gave an excellent presentation on the Land & Conveyancing (Law Reform) Act of 2013 [The EVICTION Act] and explained how it must be repealed as it gives the bailed out banks easier access to repossessing family homes.

Byron then gave an exception explanation of how The Hub-Ireland is helping families every day for FREE and also urged those present the need for an urgent solution to this desperate crisis.

The politicians who were present then made their own contributions with all of them agreeing that a real recovery for the people of Ireland could only take place once the people of Ireland were treated fairly by the banks. They were all in agreement that they must act in the best interests of the people that they represent.

Our next step with the help of Seamus Healy is to gain an invitation to make a submission to the housing committee where we can again impress on them the necessity for two things – 1) The urgent need for a STOP to be put on EVICTION Court proceedings in the courts while the banks are forced to find a fair and sustainable solution for all mortgage holders and 2) To have an official EMERGENCY declared in relation to this crisis. Such a declaration would put a stop to Michael Noonan’s nonsense about the Government being unable to interfere in private property transactions.

All in all it was a very good day and I’m sure that by keeping the pressure on these people we can achieve real change for the better, not only keeping families in their homes but in the process, saving many lives.

I was not expecting to see Fine Gael’s representative from Offaly there as she was one of those who unashamedly voted YES for the Eviction Bill and because there weren’t any photo opportunities for her to take advantage of. I am however extremely disappointed with the non-appearance of the Fianna Fail TD for Offaly. When the meeting was over he walked as we were talking outside the meeting room, he looked and grinned, as much as to say – Who let those peasants into this important place.

Finally, I would like to thank Paddy Healy and his brother Seamus for arranging this first meeting and I have absolutely no doubt that we will now gain the support of other TD’s in our justified fight for fairness for thousands of our people. With the help of these good men we certainly hope to receive an invitation to make a submission to the housing committee.

KEEP SUNDAY 19th JUNE FREE – 1.30pm in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise – EVERYONE WELCOME!

Thanks everyone,

Ken


Claire Byrne Live on Housing and Homelessness
http://www.rte.ie/…/sh…/claire-byrne-live-30003252/10576915/
Listen to First 30 minutes on Housing and Homelessness

————————————————————

Housing is national emergency says Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing

Why does he not formally lay a certificate to this effect before the Dáil?

Because then there would be no constitutional prohibition to stopping evictions and compusorily purchasing the property of vulture capitalists  in order to ease the housing crisis

———————————————-

Why Can’t State Just Borrow 10 billion at very low interest rates to begin Building 50,000 publicly owned  houses immediately as advocated by David McWilliams Below? He claims the loan would be self-financing at much lower than current rents!

ANSWER?   HINT -Read the provisions of the Fiscal Treaty!

David McWilliams  IRISH INDEPENDENT  11/05/2016

Easy for the State to Build 50,000 houses ??

Let’s examine how the State could involve itself in financing a housing trust using the international financial markets to massively reduce housing costs in Ireland.

Currently, the markets will finance any good opportunity. When interest rates are zero, the obvious thing to do is borrow for infrastructural projects and housing is the most significant infrastructural development that one can think of right now.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Builders will tell you that building costs are around €120/130 a square foot. For a large scheme, this could be lower and could move towards €100.

Now let’s say that the average unit in Dublin or any urban centre in Ireland is 1,400 square feet. This means that the average building cost of a house/apartment of this size is €140,000. Add to this VAT of 13.5pc and we get €158,200.

Now on top of this there are professional fees for architects and surveyors and the like. These could be 12pc of the contract price plus 23pc VAT. So this is close to €19,000 on top of this price, bringing the €140,000 initial cost, up with all the fees and taxes to around €166,000.

Then on top of this are development levies which are the costs per unit that are added by the council to pay for new roads, water pipes and sewage. These are typically €9,000 per unit. So we are now up to €175,000 per unit.

Now we have the cost of the build with all the charges and taxes before we talk about site cost.

In 2011, Dublin probably had enough houses to deal with the population. However, there should have been 60,000 built since to keep up with population growth but only 8,000 have been built, so we have a shortfall of around 50,000 for the sake of argument.

Imagine the State was to build or fund the build of 50,000 houses. At €175,000 each, this would cost €8.7bn. This is a big number but the Irish State can borrow for 10 years at 1pc, according to Bloomberg yesterday. Therefore, the State could issue a Housing Executive Bond, which it could sell to Irish residents who are sitting on €94bn of deposits in the Irish banking system. Servicing this debt would cost €87m per year.

Traditionally, countries don’t pay back the principal of their national debts, they simply roll it over.

So it would be prudent to suggest that we would do the same for this Housing Executive Bond.

Now we have a situation where the total annual cost of 50,000 units is €87m. This means that the annual cost per unit is €1,740. The implication is the rent that would be needed to be charged per unit per year to pay the cost of this build, funded by a Housing Executive Bond, is €1,740 per year. Let’s round this up to €2,000 per unit per year, to include maintenance.

So total rental cost of a new house or apartment is not €12,000 per annum, as is the case right now, but €2,000 per annum or €38 a week.

This is feasible. You have seen the numbers. The major cost omitted is the site cost and this is where we come into the land issue.

At a density of 60 units per hectare, this would mean about 833 hectares of development land, or about 2,000 acres, is needed. There are 28,000 acres in Dublin in total but just one bank, Ulster Bank, put a portfolio of 1,850 acres of development land up for sale this year. So the development land portfolio of just one bank could almost cover this total city requirement! Now we are talking.

The State could simply CPO this land at cost and be done with it. You could add the repayment cost of this land to the annual rent. This would bring up the annual cost of the rent needed to cover everything to €3,000 per year or a quarter of present average rent paid.

Thus, the great Irish housing crisis is solved for less than €60 per week for a family of four in return for a new house, fixity of tenure and peace of mind!

That’s how it’s done in proper countries. The choice is ours.

Let’s join the 21st century and stop gouging each other for the basic right of a roof over our heads.

Unlike the lads on the Magic Bus, these are the numbers, no one is smoking funny stuff, just seeing things clearly through the haze of vested interests and inertia.

Problem solved.

———————————————–

“Organised by former garda Ken Smollen, this is yet another meeting attended by many groups who are at the coalface of the mortgage crisis. And a crisis it is”

PUBLISHED08/05/2016 | 02:30   Sunday Independent

Thousands of homeowners left at the mercy of the banks bear a burden of daily fear and uncertainty, with many contemplating suicide, and some acting on those feelings, writes Carol Hunt

‘My name is Sandy and I am in mortgage distress,” says a woman at the back of the room. She clears her throat and continues: “It was ‘my little secret’, because I told nobody, I was too ashamed. My friends didn’t know, my family didn’t know. I felt I had failed and I had made a huge mistake.” She pauses, I catch her eye and then look away, embarrassed.

We’re in the Hotel Killeshin Portlaoise. There are over 300 angry, frustrated and emotional people here – all united by a common goal of “stopping the evictions”.

Organised by former garda Ken Smollen, this is yet another meeting attended by many groups who are at the coalface of the mortgage crisis. And a crisis it is.

According to Smollen, as well as the 100,000 mortgages currently in distress, there are another 200,000 in danger of slipping into difficulty.

Plus, there are many small businesses and farms on the brink of insolvency. Extrapolate that to include families and that is over a million people affected, he says.

These are not accidental landlords or developers rescued by Nama. These are people who cannot pay back Celtic Tiger-size mortgages in a post-crash economy. Consequently, they are faced with eviction by their banks and, increasingly, by vulture funds.

They are ordinary people, most of whom have never asked for anything or fallen into debt before and they are shocked and sickened at the sudden realisation that they may find themselves homeless.

These are the people for whom debt is seen as a sacred obligation, a moral duty.

If they don’t pay what they owe, the economy as we know it will collapse and moral hazard will ensue.

Or so we are told.

So why isn’t mortgage debt front-page news? Why isn’t it an issue garnering the same attention as those damned water charges? Shame, is the simple answer. People are – sometimes quite literally – dying of shame at the thought that their friends and neighbours will find out their dirty little secret.

Sandy wasn’t given the option of choosing to get her problem off her chest by sharing it with others in the same situation. She didn’t decide that she was going to be brave and f**k the begrudgers.

She had been ‘outed’ by her local newspaper, who put details of her indebtedness on the front page.

It’s obvious that the indignity and disgrace she feels still rankle.

“People will be too ashamed to come out and protest,” she insists. But there were some who disagreed with her.

One elderly man stands up and admits: “The only wish myself and my wife have is that we can die in our own home… Am I suicidal?” he asks us as he clings to the microphone. “Yes, I am,” he answers bluntly. “It’s a companion of mine. Every morning I wake up and think of it.”

He looks around at the sea of emotionally distressed faces. “We need to tell our stories,” he insists. “There are so many, many people in similar situations. We need empathy … we need a hug. We need to work with everyone, but,” he warns with the tired voice of a man who has seen much betrayal and hurt, “put your faith in no one.”

Ciaran Doyle explained that his mortgage was sold to vulture funds without his knowledge. Smollen recalls how one woman said she would rather “set fire to my house and set myself alight in it” than hand it over to the moneylenders.

Martina Doyle from The Hub Ireland (a voluntary organisation which helps people in mortgage distress) explains how the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2013, which “gave clarity and comfort to the banks”, has led to the so-called “eviction courts” and needs to be immediately repealed.

Her organisation gets phone calls of desperation “from a mother or father panic-stricken as to where they are going to go, the single person who feels they have no rights, as they are on their own, the elderly couple who are frightened to death of the knock at the door that will drag them out in front of their neighbours.”

Examples are given of how the eviction courts can intimidate such vulnerable people – most of whom are totally unused to courts of any kind.

There is a huge misconception in the public arena that “these people just don’t want to pay their mortgages and are freeloaders”.

“Anyone who thinks that”, she says, “just needs to come to The Hub for just one day and listen to the calls we take.”

But still these people, in despair and anguish, are told, a debt is a debt is a debt. They borrowed money from a bank and they are therefore legally and morally bound to pay it back. Unlike say, the well-heeled speculators who found themselves in Nama.

Earlier this month, it was revealed by Michael Noonan that Nama has written off debts totalling €1.5bn owed by just 80 debtors to the agency.

Noonan explained that the “debt is only written off where all of the underlying assets have been realised, there are no further assets to be realised nor any additional recourse available to Nama to recover borrowings from the debtor”.

Which is the same situation that would apply to most of the ordinary people in unsustainable mortgage debt that I have met up and down the country. And yet it doesn’t.

Why one rule for one group and a much harsher one for the other?

Because, bluntly, when debt is racked up by governments, corporations, banks, or by privileged insiders, it can always be renegotiated or written off. That’s how the system works. It’s only when debts are owed from the poor to the rich that issues such as moral hazard are introduced.

Only then does debt become a sacred obligation. It’s a way of keeping the cash/power flowing upwards. It’s also a way of keeping people in their assigned places.

In the past, precautions were taken to protect debtors from unscrupulous lenders. Yet today it is creditors who are protected at the expense of debtors, corporations at the expense of citizens, banks at the expense of nations.

“There’s no political will to solve this issue,” said one man at the Killeshin Hotel last week. “Because there are no votes in it. Unlike the water charges, people are too ashamed to protest.

He may be right. An invitation was issued to every TD and senator in Leinster House. Five attended – none from the last government parties. “We know that people are going to die [due to debt]” he added.

Another man spoke passionately and bitterly of debt-related suicides occurring daily as he urged people to act now before there are further deaths.

You may think this is emotionally charged exaggeration, but a recent survey by the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO) found that of 488 people aged between 29-70 who are in debt (questioned by clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy), 44pc said they felt depressed all or most of the time; 31pc have had suicidal thoughts in the past four weeks; 22pc had active plans to kill themselves and 45pc indicated harmful levels of alcohol abuse.

Now, just think of the thousands of people in mortgage distress in this country and you can begin to imagine the depth of human suffering in our midst.

So what can we do? This week, we heard promises about putting pressure on banks to offer “sustainable” solutions to those in mortgage distress and there are suggestions for a new court to deal with arrears; but, judging by the numbers at risk and the distress involved, this will not suffice.

Certainly we need people to be offered split mortgages, term extensions and long-term interest rate reductions.

But for many families, what is needed is debt-forgiveness. And quickly. But the banks – who brought the country to its knees through their reckless lending and were rewarded for doing so with billions of our euro – won’t play ball.

They are so confident of their power that they are currently swindling variable-rate mortgage-holders with high interest rates.

They are selling off homes to vulture funds at a cost not offered to the now homeless occupiers. They are doing pretty much as they please.

The new Government is making noises about putting manners on them. But for many families in mortgage distress, it may already be too late.

@carolmhunt

The Hub Ireland: http://www.thehub-ireland.com/ Phone: 01 534 9118

IMHO https://www.mortgageholders.ie/contact/

Phoenix Project Ireland 1850203040

Samaritans 116 123.

Aware 1800 80 48 48.

Pieta House 01 601 0000

Sunday Independent

———————————————————————-

NO COMITTMENT TO STOP EVICTIONS IN FF-FG DEAL FOR GOVERNMENT

“Protect the family home and introduce additional long term solutions for mortgage arrears cases.”

This is so vague that it could mean nothing.

There is no comittment to declaring a housing emergency

FF-FG DEAL on Minority Government

Securing Affordable Homes and Tackling Homelessness
– Significantly increase and expedite the delivery of social housing units, remove barriers to private housing supply and initiate an affordable housing scheme
– Retain mortgage interest relief beyond the current end date of December 2017 on a tapered basis.
– Increase rent supplement and Housing Assistance payment (HAP) limits by up to 15% taking account of geographic variations in market rents, and extend the roll out by local authorities of the HAP, including the capacity to make discretionary enhanced payments.
– Protect the family home and introduce additional long term solutions for mortgage arrears cases.
– Improve supports and services for older people to live independently in their own home, including a provision for pension increases.
– Provide greater protection for mortgage holders, tenants and SMEs whose loans have been transferred to non-regulated entities (‘vulture funds’).

———————————————————-

GREAT ANTI_EVICTION MEETING  Took Place Saturday, April 30 IN PORT LAOISE

MEETING HAS GIVEN FG-FF 6 weeks to END EVICTIONS Listen at Links Below 

Port Laoise Anti-Eviction Meeting-Proceedings  Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYkC_QrkZZo
Port Laoise Anti-Eviction Meeting-Proceedings  Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX_2e8dPQLw&feature=youtu.be

Arrival of Vulture funds set to fuel evictions, report reveals

Irish Times Colm Keena

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 01:00

The arrival of “vulture funds” in the Irish property market means an increased likelihood of people being evicted from their homes, according to a report published today.

The funds that have bought into the Irish commercial and residential property market, mostly by way of buying loans from State-owned institutions, will want to see “big yields” on their investments, which in practice means “squeezing debtors hard”.

The report entitled, From Puerto Rico to the Dublin Docklands, Vulture Funds and Debt in Ireland and the Global South, by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI), said that while there is little research yet available on the effect of vulture fund involvement in the European property market, research from the US indicates an increased likelihood of people being thrown out of their homes.

DDCI is a coalition of Irish development, faith-based and solidarity groups concerned about the effects of debt on developing countries. It is chaired by Sorley McCaughey, advocacy and policy officer with Christian Aid. The report was written by Dr Michael Byrne of the UCD School of Social Justice.

Distressed debt

Hedge funds or private equity funds that invest in distressed debt – vulture funds – originally invested in sovereign debt but since the financial crisis in 2008 have moved into buying loans linked to the property market in the US and Europe.

The Irish Government, according to the report, has “wholeheartedly embraced vulture funds” and their entry into the Irish market could not have occurred were it not for two major public banking institutions, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Nama is the public entity that acted as Ireland’s bad bank for property loans issued by Irish banks, while the IBRC, which is now in liquidation, took over the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

Locals priced out

The report says that these two institutions sold assets under time pressure and did so at high discounts. Because the loans were sold in large “bundles” or portfolios, local investors were priced out. The two institutions “sell big, they sell quick, and they sell cheap”, according to the report.

“This created a context which not only favoured vulture funds, in a sense it meant that only vulture funds had the financial fir