The Irish Housing Network believes the proposed Housing Bill which appeared before Seanad today will facilitate evictions and increase the grip of slumlords and vacancy.
The Bill proposes to entitle landlords the right to evict tenants if the state of tenancy is deemed to decrease the market value by 20%.
In a time when Dublin has seen an over 40% rent increase in two years and now boasts the second highest rental rate in Europe, the clause of market value is meaningless. This bill will increase homelessness and make our communities a vulture’s paradise. With the percentage of people renting in Ireland growing steadily, this clause will place almost 25% of the population under constant threat of eviction.
The Network believes this section should not be amended but entirely abolished.
The Network believes that the new power being given to allow An Bord Pleanala to privately develop plans with private developers without public consultation is worrying and will lead to unsuitable, untenable and unfinished housing developments nationwide. The Network also believes the new clause stated in this Bill to financially compensate developers whose applications are delayed while going through the planning process to the tune of €10,000 is an obscene waste of public money. Furthermore, the bill guarantees landlords and developers who wish to sit on their half finished or empty properties, ruling out any fines for vacancy. This is depite the fact that there are 5,000 empty homes across South Dublin alone. This Bill directly steals from the pockets of a public struggling to keep their homes, to give to private developers and landlords enjoying sky rocketing profit.
This Bill is an obscene affront to the most basic right to a home, and is an insult to the thousands of families and individuals homeless and living on the streets and in cramped hotel rooms nationwide. The Network demands that this Bill be rejected and that security and safety and enshrined in future documents including rent controls, an end to evictions, and a publicly funded building process that will ensure housing is built, finished, and maintained for the good of the communities who live there.