The ongoing failure of the government’s solution to the housing crisis has been highlighted once again. They are paying more in rent for social housing than the cost of building or buying. For example, in Dublin, they are paying an average of €18,698 a year for accommodation. Over 20 years, that amounts to just under €395k. This is on par with buying the units upfront from a private developer. This is almost twice the price of building the same units publicly.
Rather than invest in a sustainable housing model, they are using short term electoral goals to stoke figures that would allow them to show a decrease in the number of people on housing lists.
In doing so they raise the average rent and the average house price. At the same time, they are producing scarcity by refusing to engage in building public housing on public land.
The system of HAP is designed to serve the private sector- yet another indicator of the privatisation of public housing.
The property model in Ireland has become one of profit. This can never lead to any sense of their goal of ‘affordable housing’. They constantly alter how housing is allocated to preclude people from being eligible. Young people are advised to borrow money from their parents to get a foot on the property ladder.
It is time to STOP putting public money into the hands of the vulture funds and developers.
It is time to STOP selling off public lands for private gain.
It is time to START planning ahead by using public lands to build public housing.