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Policy issues concerning Housing

In their report for the Community Foundation of Ireland, The Future of Council Housing, An analysis of the financial sustainability of local authority provided social housing, Prof. Michelle Norris and Dr. Aideen Hayden examine the existing structures for the provision of social housing to low income households and recommends the introduction of a Cost Rental model of social housing provision.

Social Justice Ireland submitted to the Department of An Taoiseach on the Draft National Risk Assessment 2018.  In our submission, we urge Government to view the absence of a progressive tax system and lack of infrastructure development as real and immediate risks and to take necessary steps to address them.

A new report by the CSO has shown that housing construction was consistently been overreported by Government between 2011 and 2017, by almost 60%, a total of 31,576 dwellings. 

The lack of quality, affordable, long-term rental properties; double-digit rent inflation and the continued use of private rent subsidies for families in need of a real social housing response only serves to add to the problem. It’s time to think of alternatives, and alternative ways to finance sustainable and affordable homes.

Last week (12th April 2018), the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government released its Review of Delivery Costs and Viability for Affordable Residential Developments, which enumerated the many reasons why providing affordable homes was difficult.  There are many issues with this report, primarily with the lack of urgency in the Government’s response to this national emergency, however one glaring problem is its viability and affordability model.  It is neither viable nor affordable.

Almost 10,000 people accessed emergency accommodation in February 2018.   Research released today by the Central Bank of Ireland suggests that almost 35,000 more are at risk of homelessness through late stage mortgage arrears.

Homelessness in Ireland has reached another all-time high. Most shockingly, the increase of 7.5 per cent in a month (more than 700 people) was driven mainly by increased child-homelessness. There are now almost 10,000 homeless people in Ireland. This includes 3,755 children.

Government needs to move away from reliance on the private rented sector to provide solutions to Ireland's housing crisis.  This was echoed by the OECD last week in their recommendation that Ireland seek longer-term solutions that prioritise housing supply.  Cost-rental may provide one such public housing solution which allows the State to recover the cost of housing provision while providing security of rent for tenants currently experiencing double-digit rent inflation.

In the most recent, and high-profile, mortgage sale, Permanent TSB this week announced its intention to sell 14,000 non-performing mortgage loans.  Some commentators have suggested that, instead of selling these loans, that individual borrowers be allowed to ‘make a deal’ with the lender to buy the loan at the intended sale price.  However, this solution is too simplistic. 

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