Cosy relationship of developers, corporate lobbyists and government laid bare in explosive report

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has said that the Strategic Housing Development (SHD)scheme has now been exposed as “a gift for developers”, a “bypassing of democracy” and a “total failure for delivering the promised homes and construction jobs”, following an explosive report in today’s Sunday Business Post.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the Sunday Business Report confirms what he and People Before Profit have been saying repeatedly to the government about the SHD process over the last year. Deputy Boyd Barrett challenged the government over SHD’s on a number of occasions in the Dáil and made a submission to the SHD review pointing out the problems and failure of the process. People Before Profit councillors in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown also put down a motion earlier this year, which was passed by the Council, calling for the SHD scheme to be scrapped.

The report in the Sunday Business Post shows that building has yet to begin on 10,000 units promised under the scheme.

It also shows evidence from a new report from UCD and Queen’s University that the SHD scheme was essentially designed by property developers in the Property Industry Ireland (PII) and, in the words of one of their members– “we gave him (then Housing Minister Simon Coveney) our recommendations and they took it lock, stock and barrel and stuck it into the new housing bill.”

The TD said:

“The SHD scheme has at last been exposed for the failure and scam that it is. It confirms what I and People Before Profit have said repeatedly over the last year, that the scheme is nothing but a gift for developers, a bypassing of democracy, and is a total failure when it comes to delivering the promised homes or construction jobs.

“What is also exposed in this report, from the research by UCD and Queen’s, is the cosy relationship that exists between property developers and the Department of Housing. The influence of these lobbyists and developers have over the Department and the Government is really quite staggering. These guys have basically admitted to writing the policy and the Minister and Department ‘took it lock, stock and barrel and stuck it into the new housing bill’.

“This is a scandal of massive proportions and shows that the government have been at best disingenuous when dealing with questions about housing supply from myself and other opposition spokespersons.

“Ministers Coveney and Murphy must face questioning in the Dáil for this outrageous situation which is preventing vital supply from coming on stream and providing cover for hoarding speculators and developers.

“Furthermore, we have to confront the issue of unfettered access and influence that corporate interests, property developers and their lobbyists have over the countries housing policy.”

© 2020 People Before Profit