The New Property Boom: More Dublin Homeless than 1925

Irish government policy is creating a fresh property boom that is once more driving the most marginalised onto the streets and into insecure accommodation. The deliberate creation of housing scarcity has seen huge numbers being evicted by greedy landlords, normally making use of the rights stripping clause that allows them to claim they are intending to move a family member into the property. Right now in Dublin who doesn’t have friends being evicted under that clause?

The cause is rapidly increasing rents and a wish by some landlords to cash in on rising property prices by selling. Tenants have suddenly found themselves dumped into a market where housing if very scarce, further fuelling the bubble of rent rises. Many landlords are refusing to accept tenants dependent on rent allowance and this along with the rising prices have left many unable to find suitable affordable new accommodation.

 

This is happening in a context where there was already a serious shortage of affordable housing. Such shortages means people are forced to fall back on family and friends and where such help is unavailable of exhausted end up relying on emergency accommodation. Some end up on the streets and as Depaul revealed last week; In November 1925, a street count carried out by the police on a single night found 134 people (116 men and 18 women) sleeping rough (or as it was politely described,"Travelling for Work"). Ninety years on, in November 2014, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive identified 168 people sleeping rough.”

Depauls CEO revealed that “Latest figures from the Department of the Environment reveal that, over a weekly period, 3,143 people, including 1,118 children, are statutorily homeless in Ireland; 2,107 of these people (including 970 children) are in Dublin, while 1,036 (including 148 children) are outside the capital.

In the month of January, 2,980 people, including 865 children, were homeless in Ireland. This represents an almost 30% increase in child homelessness over a 3-month period.

This is the product of a housing system that is built first and foremost on the greed of property developers and landlords. The shortage is artificial, there are loads of empty properties that are being hoarded by speculators or kept off the market by NAMA. The purpose of this scarcity is to create a new property boom at a considerable cost to the vast majority of us.

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter)

Originally written for Solidarity Times, June 15th 2015

  


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