The Government has been warned that unless urgent action is taken – the housing crisis will continue. A new report claims the crisis is the biggest threat to our economy. The situation is also being compared to the Celtic Tiger era – with overnight queues for properties – days before they go on sale.
In its latest economic outlook Friends First predicts that average house prices across the country look set to rise by up to 10% next year. It warns further that the lack of homes poses a serious national challenge and threat. Dozens queued for more than 30 hours for a property at Hansfield in Dublin 15 – despite the properties not going on sale until Friday.
Three or four bedroom houses in Beechwood outside Clonsilla are on the market for a bracket of between €300,000 to €500,000. A refundable deposit of €2,000 is required up front if you want to proceed. That’s neither here nor there it seems. The actual real problem is getting a place in the queue!
The Construction sector says it’s too expensive to build homes as builders look for a VAT reduction to make it more cost-effective. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is being urged to step in after overnight queues formed for new homes. Labour says it shows the need for the government to start building and to forget the private sector.
Richard Boyd Barrett finance and housing spokesperson for People Before Profit said that recent overnight queues of prospective home buyers and the latest Friends First Economic Report confirms the ‘disastrous failure’ of government policy and an ‘utterly misguided addiction to market dogma, when it comes to addressing the emergency.
Deputy Boyd Barrett proposed five emergency measures to include, the state directly providing 20,000 public and affordable units per year for the next five years and abandon the reliance on HAP.
Properties vacant for over six months should be taken for public use – land hoarding should be banned.
Local authorities must set affordable rents and there should be an immediate freeze on economic evictions and mortgage repossessions. All NAMA building projects must be public and affordable only.
All private development must provide a minimum of 40% public and affordable housing.