Last year, Dublin City Council built just five normal, standard houses – even though there are 17,000 people on a waiting list.
Some of these have already ‘waited’ for over ten years for accommodation. They are part of the hidden homeless, who live in overcrowded conditions or sleep on sofas.
This week it was revealed that it costs more to rent a three bedroomed house in many parts of Ireland than pay a mortgage. But this leads to a further catch. Paying out huge sums in rents means that you can never save for a mortgage – unless you can go to Varadkar’s bank of Mum and Dad and borrow the deposit.
The housing crisis is bringing about a major transformation of Irish society. In the past, a relatively high number of people owned their own home. But renting from landlords will be the norm for the next generation.
They find themselves at the mercy of a ruthless gombeen class and their vulture friends. The Irish rich have had a love affair with property because it gives them a safe way, fairly risk-free way of making money. You just need to have close connections with the political elites so that ‘the market’ can be shaped to suit you.
And, boy, are the property interests represented in the Dail. A staggering one third of both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs are landlords. So naturally they will vote against genuine rent controls and any measure that will drive down their property prices.
We need to change that and there are two ways that will help do just that.
On Saturday May 18th, there is a national RAISE THE ROOF housing demonstration, starting at 1pm from Parnell Square in Dublin. This is a joint effort of unions, NGOs, community groups and political parties like People Before Profit.
We are urging members and supporters to join our contingent on the day and help to make this a very big demonstration of people power.
The second way we can help to bring change is to mobilise a big vote against the mainstream parties who bear a responsibility for this housing.
People Before Profit have a strong track record of campaigning on the housing crisis. We want:
- Public land to be used for social and affordable housing. No sell off to private developers.
- Rent controls and rent reductions where rental income is consuming more than a third of a tenant’s income.
- Security of tenure for all those renting.
- Compulsory Purchase Orders on vacant property..
- Control the price of building land to make houses affordable.