Home > Uncategorized > FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY BY GOVERNMENT NEEDED TO STOP EVICTIONS, REPOSSESSIONS, TERMINATION OF TENANCIES AND TO ENABLE COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDERS FOR VACANT PROPERTIES

FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY BY GOVERNMENT NEEDED TO STOP EVICTIONS, REPOSSESSIONS, TERMINATION OF TENANCIES AND TO ENABLE COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDERS FOR VACANT PROPERTIES

Private Members Motion to Be Proposed by Seamus Healy TD on Tuesday Oct 24 in Dáil:    FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY BY DÁIL NEEDED TO STOP EVICTIONS, REPOSSESSIONS, TERMINATION OF TENANCIES AND TO ENABLE COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDERS FOR VACANT PROPERTIES

Text of Motion

“ That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
Article 40.3.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State guarantees in its laws to respect and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen;
Article 40.3.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen;
Article 43.1.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that 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;
Article 43.1.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that 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;
Article 43.2.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that 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; and
Article 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that 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;
further notes:
the importance of the provisions that require protection of private property to be regulated by the principles of social justice and, accordingly, that the State may as occasion requires, such as the current housing and homelessness emergency, delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good;
the statement of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in the Irish Examiner on 11th May, 2016, ‘I think we have a national emergency that needs a response that is comprehensive and so I have been working late hours trying to start the process of putting that response together’;
the call for the declaration of a national housing emergency by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Peter McVerry Trust;
the recent statement by the Jesuit Centre For Faith and Justice that ‘As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we need to recognise that housing deprivation is one of the most serious forms of poverty in the Ireland of today and that in recent years the housing system has become the locus of some of the deepest inequality evident in our society…the Jesuit Centre is calling for a new direction for housing policy in Ireland, one based on recognising that housing is a fundamental human right’; and
that a legislative precedent for declaring a national emergency exists in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009, 2013 and 2015;
affirms that during the current Emergency in housing and homelessness the State is entitled to delimit by law the exercise of private property rights; and
calls on the Government to bring forward legislation affirming that a national housing emergency exists and, while that housing emergency exists and in order to end that emergency as quickly as possible, the state is enabled to bring forward measures which, in the public interest, impinge on private property rights in matters relating to housing provision in accordance with Articles 43.2.1° and 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland in the matter of the exercise of private property rights.” — Seamus Healy

 

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Why have we not Had A Demonstration of 100,000 To The Dáil to Change Government Housing Policy??

Over 30 TDS Voted FOR The Formal Declaration By Dail Eireann o a Housing Emergency to enable evictions and termination of Tenancies to be halted by Law.
THE ENTIRE LEFT and SINN Fein Are Doing Something Wro
Why have we not Had A Demonstration of 100,000 To The Dáil to Change Government Housing Policy??

World Homeless Day-Protest outside Dail Tuesday October 10

Child Homelessness in Ireland has risen above 3000 for first time!

LET US DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!
Budget Day, Tuesday ,October 10, is World Homeless Day

LET US ALL PROTEST OUTSIDE DAIL From 5.30 Onwards

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Government Housing Policy Continues–House Prices Rising TWICE AS FAST as a Year Ago

Co Tipperary: Price of 3 Bed Semi-D Increases faster than national average of 3.1% over last 3 months – REA Average House Price Survey

Price of House in Tipp 147,500E    Sept 17

Price of House in Tipp 141,691E   June 17

Increase=5,809 in 3 months=4.1%

Or an average increase of 447E per week


Independent.ie  Newsdesk
  September 25 2017 7:03 AM

The average three bed semi-detached house nationally has risen by 3.1pc to €221,843 from215,713 since June, as the housing crisis continues to grow.  6130/13=471.5 perweek

This means that the average price for a home is jumping by €500 every week.

Overall, the average house price across the country has risen by 11.2pc over the past 12 months.

The three-bed semis – which are the most common type of family home in Ireland – are now increasing in price at a rate of almost twice as fast as they were 12 months ago.e hits nMeanwhile in Dublin the average price of a three-bed semi-detached home has jumped in value by €17,000 in the three months to the end of September, and now costs an average of €431,500.

The 4.1pc rise over the last quarter means that prices in the capital’s postcode areas have increased by 15.6pc over the past year, with properties selling in an average of four weeks after hitting the market, according to the third quarter REA Average House Price Survey

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Time for a One-Day General Strike on Housing-Seamus Healy TD

Listen Live To Seamus’ Dail Speech  https://youtu.be/UKRKNPEeIAA

Ictu wants Government to declare national housing emergency

Sarah Bardon,  Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 00:01

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) will on Wednesday call on the Government to declare a national emergency on housing.

In a new policy paper, Ictu strongly criticises the Government for failing to tackle the housing crisis, and calls for initiatives to be introduced in Budget 2018.

A sharp increase in the output of social housing to a rate of at least 10,000 per annum by late 2018 or early 2019, the introduction of a 6 per cent vacant site levy and the use of compulsory purchase orders are some of the proposals made by the Ictu.

In its housing policy document it says the key priority for the State is to avoid reliance on the private sector, and increase the build of social housing dramatically. The local authorities, it says, should drive the building with the financial assistance of the State.

The focus initially should be on the five areas of greatest social housing need – Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

The paper, seen by The Irish Times, reads: “It should be clearly understood that this target should only be pursued as part of an integrated strategy of well-planned, mixed-income housing, with an equal third going to social, affordable rental and affordable purchase housing provided by local authorities.

Weak public services

“We do not want a return to the large-scale, poorly planned estates located on the outskirts of major urban areas with few facilities and weak public services.

“Social housing must be provided in the context of new spatial and environmental plans at local authority and regional level that address transport, water, waste and social services’ needs.”

The unions stress the failure to invest in housing will cost the State in the long-term, and will make Ireland unattractive to external investment.

The Ictu says compulsory purchase orders should be used to acquire vacant land and homes, while a vacant site levy should be brought forward for introduction in 2018 at a rate of 6 per cent. It insists all monies generated from such a system should be ring-fenced for homelessness services.

The paper says the issue has affected every person in the country, and requires a multi-dimensional approach involving a significantly enhanced role for local authorities

Human suffering

“Given the extent of human suffering caused by this public policy failure, as well as the economic damage it is doing, the housing situation should be treated as an emergency. This is not a matter of choice, but an absolute necessity.”

Greater flexibility from Europe is also required to allow for off-balance sheet investments, it adds.

The Ictu has also called for the abolishment of the first-time buyer scheme, claiming it is a wasteful use of public money that is increasing house prices to the benefit of the seller.

The money, it says, should be allocated to local authorities, and used to expand housing supply and thereby reduce price increases for first-time buyers.

Meanwhile, the Dáil will on Wednesday discuss a proposal by People Before Profit/Solidarity to have a referendum to insert the right to housing into the Constitution and to delimit private property rights.

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Fake Housing Summit Fails to Formally Declare a National Housing Emergency as Central Bank Predicts Increase in Evictions and Repossessions as Vultures Sell Off and Prepare to Leave

Murphy’s social housing plan ‘falls far short’-Irish Examiner, 09/09/2017

Plans to increase the number of social houses being built “fall far short” of what is required to address the escalating crisis, a key homeless charity has claimed.

Focus Ireland said the meeting had produced some positive proposals, but had failed to live up to the expectations created by the decision to bill it as a summit.

Focus Ireland director of advocacy, Mike Allen, said the proposals announced were “dominated by managing the emergency rather than tackling the problem”.

Mr Allen said the plans failed to address areas that the organisation had identified as crucial, including a vacant homes tax, legislative action to stop evictions from buy-to-let properties, and increases in housing assistance payments to match rent hikes.

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FROM ICTU PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION

“Government must now step in and declare a national housing emergency and  act accordingly.

We abandoned the housing market to private developers and let profit

become the key driver of housing provision.

The market has failed.

Given that this is an emergency, compulsory purchase orders must be utilised

as a matter of urgency to ensure available serviced land is put to good use,

while the introduction the vacant site levy should be brought forward

from January 2019.”

Comment:

ICTU Made A Similar Call in Early July Through Secretary General, Patrocia King . Government totally ignored the ICTU call. When will ICTU  actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

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Government Failure on Homelessness Due to Putting Property Rights Ahead of the Interests of Tenants –Focus Ireland

Irish Times   Sat, Sept 2, 2017

Charities involved in helping homeless families have criticised the Minister for Housing for claiming “ideology” does not play a role in the housing crisis.

Focus Ireland Advocacy Manager Roughan MacNamara told The Irish Times: “We’re never going to tackle this problem if we don’t reduce the flow of people coming into homelessness.

“There is a failure to understand how critical that obvious point is that you need to cut the numbers coming in and not just look at the emergency measures when they’re homeless.

This is a question of ideology. It’s putting property rights ahead of the rights of tenants.”

The housing charity criticised the Government for voting down the so-called Focus Ireland anti-homelessness amendment late last year which called for an end to evictions of tenants in buy-to-let properties that were being sold or repossessed.

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Surge in Homeless In July 2017

Mike Allen, head of advocacy with Focus Ireland, described the increased homeless figures “shocking” .

He said 99 families had presented as newly homeless in Dublin in July, a record high for the past 18 months. “The reduced inflow we had been seeing at the end of 2016 and earlier this year has gone entirely and we are back to rising inflow figures.”

The number of homeless children in all forms of emergency accommodation in Dublin during the week July 24th-30th was 2,423 in 1,178 families an increase of 153 children and an increase of 63 families in 1 month

Irish Times Kitty Holland   Sept 1, 2017

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/surge-in-the-number-of-homeless-children-in-dublin-1.3205167

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Launch of #MyNameis , a Campaign by Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) to Highlight the 2,895 Children who are without a Home in Ireland today

“We are facing into this crisis that’s escalating, the potential scenario of up to 6,000 children being homeless in Dublin Alone by 2020.”-Dr Rory Hearne, TASC

A home repossession “guillotine is on the way down”, dwarfing the current homeless crisis and creating a huge catastrophe.  David Hall (IMHO)

‘An entire Croke Park of people could end up homeless’

Joyce Fegan , Irish Examiner, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A home repossession “guillotine is on the way down”, dwarfing the current homeless crisis and creating a huge catastrophe.

That is according to the CEO of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation (IMHO), David Hall, based on a recent discussion he had with a major bank.

“We think we have a problem at the moment, for those of us dealing with people who are in mortgage arrears, there are 33,000 families in arrears of more than two years,” said Mr Hall.

“There are 15,000 people in long-term arrears in buy-to-let properties. Each of those represents, depending whatever statistical analysis you want to do, three-and-a-half bodies.

“That’s an entire Croke Park of people that will dwarf this housing crisis and turn it into a complete catastrophe.”

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation says there are 33,000 families in arrears of more than two years.

He was speaking at the launch of #MyNameis yesterday, a campaign by Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) to highlight the 2,895 children who are without a home in Ireland today.“The problem now is the ECB [European Central Bank] is saying: ‘Eighteen months, lads [to clear loan books].’“I met one of the major banks two weeks ago and I said to him: ‘I’m aware the guillotine is going to drop in 18 months,’ and he interrupted me and said: ‘Forget about 18 months’ time, David. The guillotine is on the way down.’

“And that will mean fast and furious loan sales of family homes to protect the balance sheet of their portfolios and there is a small, tiny window of maybe 12 months [to address this].”

Also speaking yesterday was economist Rory Hearne, who recently co-authored Investing in the Right to a Home: Housing, HAPs [housing assistant payments] and Hubs. He said 3,000 housing units could be built within 12 months.

Rory Hearne: 3,000 homes could be built on State-owned land in 12 months ‘if the will was there and the capital funding was allocated’.

“The most recent study that was done by the Government’s housing management group found that there were 730 hectares of State-owned land ready for building to launch a programme of construction,” said Mr Hearne.

“That includes a significant amount of land in Dublin’s inner city. The public land is sitting there.

“They could build two to 3,000 housing units within 12 months if the will was there and the capital funding was allocated to it. That is the solution that is there otherwise we are facing into this crisis that’s escalating, the potential scenario of up to 6,000 children being homeless in Dublin by 2020.”

During the research for his paper on housing, Mr Hearne spoke to a number of families already living in emergency accommodation and detailed the impact it has on children and parents.

“We saw directly the impact on children of being homeless and you can see, over time, the deterioration,” said Mr Hearne. “It’s basic things. It’s going to school in the morning knowing they don’t have a home to go back to. It’s basic things like watching the worry and stress in their parents not being able to
access a home.

“Different parents told us that their child was asking: ‘When are we going to go home?’ And the parents having to say: ‘Well this is our home for the moment.’ ”

Anthony Flynn, CEO of ICHH, said he has visited the hubs that homeless families are now being placed in as an emergency accommodation measure instead of hotels and B&Bs, and said they are run like direct provision centres.

Anthony Flynn, left, and Michael Caul at the launch of #MyNameIs, a social media campaign to highlight homelessness. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

“The hubs are being portrayed as the answer to the housing crisis and they’re not,” said Mr Flynn.

“It’s basically direct provision. You eat at this time, you drink at that time, and you go to bed at that time.

“Let’s inspect the units that they’re not showing us that we have families in. They’re unacceptable. You’ve urine-soaked mattresses, blood-stained mattresses. You’ve shower units that have sewage coming back up into the basins. We’ve got photographs.”

The #MyNameis campaign got underway yesterday with posters of homeless children’s faces going up right around the country.

The campaign was initiated after reports emerged of three children, aged six, nine, and 11, being given sleeping bags in the capital this summer when no emergency accommodation was available.

The organisers are asking people to use the hashtag #MyNameis on social media to start conversations about homelessness, to lobby councillors, TDs or prospective political candidates on the issue, and to get people to reflect on their skill or trade to see if they can volunteer an hour of their time to help an organisation in their area.

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Rents at all time high, supply all time low – Daft.ie

“Housing Catastrophe coming down the road”- Fr McVerry  Interview on Radio

“For example Cerberus is to repossess 2,900 dwellings-77 court cases already taken in 2017

Only 75 local authority houses built in entire state last year.

 Government must make it illegal for banks or landlords to evict people into homelessness—Acquire property for social housing by compulsory purchase order if necessary

Some landlords are keeping property vacant so that they can sell it at a profit in a few years time, that is not acceptable. Government policy has failed.”

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Rents at all time high, supply all time low – Daft.ie

As Governments Protects Big Landlords and the Super-Rich and FG-Ind Alliance-FF-Greens Oppose Formal Declaration of a Housing Emergency

RTE News  Tuesday, 22 Aug 2017 01:59

The average monthly rent nationwide in the second quarter of this year was €1,159, up 12%.

Average rental prices reached a new record high during the first six months of this year, while supply is at an all-time low.

That’s according to the latest rental report by property website, Daft.ie.

€1,159 – that’s the average monthly rent nationwide in the second quarter of this year, up 12%.

Daft.ie says this is the fifth quarter in a row a new all-time high has been set.

In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to June was over 12%.

That means rents in the capital are up €260 a month since their previous peak in 2008.

Elsewhere, rents rose by 6.8% in Cork, while in Galway the average rent is €732 – 10% higher than a year previously.

At €525, Leitrim is the county with the cheapest average monthly rent.

The property website also says that there were just under 3,000 properties available to rent nationwide on August 1 – the lowest number they have ever recorded.

In its response to the latest Daft.ie figures, the Peter McVerry Trust has urged the Government to fund the building of affordable rental housing.

The national housing and homeless charity says the rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases.

Focus Ireland has said the Government review of Rebuilding Ireland must include immediate action to ease the rental crisis and to get more vacant homes back into the housing stock.

Reacting to the latest Daft report, the Labour party’s spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan, said it shows the absolute failure of the Government’s Rent Pressure Zone model to slow the pace of increases in the rental market.

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Census Shows 765 Children Under 4 among  Almost 7000 Homeless !

Barnardos, Fr McVerry Support Call For FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING  EMERGENCY Made By Seamus Healy TD In Dáil over 6 months ago 

People Facing  Homelessness Should Know:

Those who opposed the Amendment of Seamus Healy TD to the Housing Bill Declaring a National Housing Emergency are responsible

GOVERNMENT DEFEATED Amendment Calling For Formal Declaration of a National Housing Emergency with Support of Independent Alliance ,Labour Party and the Greens.  Fianna Fail and Rural Independents ABSTAINED

SIPTU CALLS FOR DECLARATION OF A HOUSING EMERGENCY!

BUT LABOUR TO WHICH UNION IS AFFILIATED VOTED AGAINST IT IN Dáil!

Housing Minister Coveney explained to the Dáil that he was advised by Attorney General Mara Whelan that due to the protection of private property clause in the Irish  Constitution the imposition on private property owners had to be “proportional”.

Accordingly he insisted that the property owner could evict tenants on sale of the property  unless the  the number of dwellings  being sold exceeded ten dwellings. The  landlord could also insist on the tenant leaving if the sale price with vacant possession exceeded the sale price with a continuing tenant by more than 20%

Seamus Healy TD pointed out that the protection of private property in the Constitution is not absolute but is subject to the public good. Accordingly the declaration of a national housing emergency would enable   all tenants to be protected. The government had already declared a national financial emergency which enabled private property in pensions to be confiscated. But it was refusing to make a similar declaration in the matter of housing which would enable tenants to keep a roof over their heads

Amendment to Housing Bill to Prevent Evictions by Seamus Healy TD

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 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.
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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.
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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

GOVERNMENT IGNORES ICTU CALL FOR CHANGE OF HOUSING POLICY -FAILS TO ANSWER PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION FROM SEAMUS HEALY TD

Seamus has officially complained to Ceann Chomhairle that the Minister made no attempt to answer the specific questions asked and has sought that the Minister be instructed to answer the questions asked-Paddy

QUESTION NO: 460

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy)
by Deputy Seamus Healy
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 12/07/2017

To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning; Community and Local Government his views on a media report by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied)

Interview With Patricia King on Morning Ireland
http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F21197014%5F48%5F04%2D07%2D2017%5F

Will he agree that “We now have a housing emergency and that the Market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional in housing and that Local authorities should be immediately funded to build social housing with State and Local authority Lands being used to build social housing only That enough of the 200,000 voids identified in Census to solve the crisis should be taken over quite quickly, using Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) where necessary; That 3.5 billion from AIB share sale should not be used to pay down debt but to build social housing-there are over 90,000 families on housing lists; That we do have a choice , That we must tell Financial Europe-“We do need to write down the debt but you have to wait-our housing needs come first”” and Will He and his government IMPLEMENT The Actions Advocated by The ICTU General Secretary; Interview With Patricia King on Morning Ireland
http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F21197014%5F48%5F04%2D07%2D2017%5F

REPLY.

This Government recognises the housing access and affordability pressures faced by many households, particularly in certain parts of the country. It is for this reason that the overarching objective of  the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness is to increase the supply of new homes to 25,000 per annum by 2020 and, in particular, to boost the supply of high quality social and affordable homes, to buy or rent, as quickly as possible, in areas where demand is greatest.

With particular regard to the needs of those on the social housing waiting lists, Rebuilding Ireland set a target of delivering 47,000 social housing units through build, refurbishment, acquisition and leasing over the period to 2021, alongside an accelerated roll-out of the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme to some 80,000 households.

This activity is being supported through a significantly increased investment programme of €5.35 billion, comprising €4.5 billion in capital funding and €844 million in support of programmes funded from current expenditure.  A further €226 million is provided for the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund for investment in key enabling infrastructure to open up lands for early development.

While still at an early stage of implementation, there is already strong evidence that the focus on increasing and accelerating housing supply in Rebuilding Ireland is yielding results.  In terms of social housing, in 2016, the housing needs of over 19,000 households were met through a range of social housing programmes, supported by expenditure of over €935 million.  A further €1.3 billion has been provided in 2017 to support the accelerated delivery of social housing and the achievement of the 2017 target to meet the housing needs of over 21,000 households.

In terms of housing more broadly, a suite of measures have been put in place to make housing construction viable at more affordable price points, including the €226m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund; leveraging the value of State-owned lands to deliver a more affordable rental offering in Rent Pressure Zones; streamlined planning systems for housing developments; and other planning reforms to provide flexibility to deliver viable housing schemes and apartment developments in the right locations.  In addition, analysis of vacant dwellings data from the Census 2016 provides strong evidence for targeted policies to maximise the number of vacant properties that can be brought back into use, especially in our cities and large towns where demand is greatest.

While we are coming from a low base, all recent key indicators show that the house-building sector is continuing to gather strength and pace. Planning permissions for 17,934 new homes were granted in the twelve-month period to end March 2017, representing a 39% increase year on year. Commencement Notices for 15,579 new homes nationwide were submitted in the twelve-month period to end May 2017, a 42% increase year on year. ESB connections for the twelve-month period to end May 2017 reached 16,340 across the country, showing a 19% increase year on year.  Furthermore, the recently published RTB Rent Index shows a significant moderation in the rate of rent increases, with rents virtually flat during the first quarter of 2017.

While this is encouraging, considerable further progress is needed and we will continue to closely monitor trends in that regard. In addition, a focused review of Rebuilding Ireland is now underway, targeted for completion in September. The aim of the review is to build on the significant progress already being made, strengthen the measures in place and identify additional measures to underpin further momentum in the months and years ahead.

 

 

 

 

Limerick families facing eviction as fund seeks to sell off city apartments

 CLLR JOHN GILLIGAN BLASTS TERMINATION NOTICE AS ‘TOTALLY IMMORAL’

 

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick Leader 20 Apr 2017

esidents Alex Grigorjeus, Alan McCarthy and Ryan Mowat with Cllr Gilligan

UP to 14 families are facing eviction from their homes in Limerick city as their new landlord seeks to sell on the apartments.

Residents in a number of two bed apartments at Fishermans Quay at the Grove Island woke up on Good Friday morning to notices informing them they had to leave their homes on various dates throughout the summer.

The letters sent on behalf of their landlord, Munster Pensioner Trustees Ltd, state that due to the fact they intend selling the property, the current tenants must “vacate and give up possession of the dwelling”.

The Leader understands the pension fund purchased the properties earlier this year.

Residents have pledged to fight to stay in their homes and have gained the support of local Independent councillor John Gilligan, who said that while the landlord’s action is legal, “it’s almost certainly immoral”.

Alan McCarthy, who lives with his only son Daniel, 19, in one of the apartments, said once he received the termination notice he “couldn’t stop being sick”.

“My whole life has been turned upside down. I had just come back from walking on the Canal Bank and a poor swan had hit the wire. I had to dive him to save him from drowning. I thought I had my good deed done for the day. But no good deed goes unpunished apparently,” he said.

Alan – who pays rent of €550 a month – added: “I think it’s all about money. Someone is trying to make a fast buck at our expense”.

The Property Price Register, the national database of all residential sales, currently lists two apartments as sold at Fishermans Quay. One sold for €111,000, the other for €89,300, both in the last month.

A number of other apartments in the complex are on the market from €100,000, while a unit there was recently listed for rent at €900 per month.

Alan also criticised the timing of the letter, adding: “It just suggests a total lack of any heart. I’m not particularly religious, but on Good Friday – come on! That’s not particularly nice.”

The letter was dated Thursday, April 13, but Alan says he received it the following morning.

Ryan Mowat, 20, has lived in the complex for five years with his father Andy.

He said: “We were shocked, and taken aback. We’ve been living here the last five years and have never been happier.

“To get a letter telling us to pack up and go – because we don’t want you – is not right.”

Cllr Gilligan condemned the letters, saying: “These people will have no place to go. These people have the indignity of being kicked out on the side of the road.

“These are hard working decent families who should not be treated like this. Nobody should accept this kind of treatment by a faceless individual.”

Munster Pensioner Trustees Ltd – which has an address in Castletroy – referred queries from the Leader onto the management firm in the area Kersten Mehl Property Management.

Mr Mehl said: “We have managed this complex for the last eight years. I received instructions to issue these notices on a number of two bedroom apartments, as the landlord wished to sell them.”

While local residents claim 14 apartments are subject to these notices, Mr Mehl said that number is closer to eight.

 

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