People Before Profit Housing Policy

SUMMARY

  1. Declare a national housing emergency
  2. Build 50,000 council houses– 10,000 a year over 5 years. This will cost €3 billion in the first year and a total of €7 billion over 5 years, but it will become self-financing by year 6 and into the future. This programme will also provide jobs in the construction sector and add to revenue receipts.
  3. Transfer of 20,000 NAMA housing units to local authorities.
  4. Introduce immediate Rent Controls. Establish a new Rental Board that oversees rental prices according to transparent criteria. Reduce rents where they do not meet these criteria and limit rent increases to the rate of inflation.
  5. Give tenants security of tenure to protect them against homelessness.
  6. Legal measures to outlaw discrimination – an end to “Rent Allowance not Accepted”

Click here to read our full Housing Policy

Dublin is facing a major crisis of evictions according to Bríd Smith, People Before Profit MEP candidate for Dublin. Growing numbers cannot even access emergency accommodation and there is an increased incidence of discrimination against those who rely on rent allowance. The government must tackle this crisis with emergency legislation.

Commenting, Cllr. Brid Smith said: “I am dealing with a particular case in Dublin 8 at the moment which exemplifies the nature of the crisis: Carol Macguire was an exemplary tenant for five years who always paid her rent on time. She has had many references from landlords.In December, the property developer who owned her apartment was declared bankrupt and receivers took possession.Carol was served with a notice to quit and made several attempts to find alternative accommodation.However she quickly discovered that it was impossible to get accommodation in the Dublin 8 area for herself and her two-year-old child.

“Carol is now refusing to vacate the rented accommodation and has told the receivers that she will not move until alternative accommodation is found. She is the last tenant remaining in the building and is in effect occupying it to demand that alternative accommodation is found. In a vengeful move, Joan Burton’s Department of Social Protection has withdrawn Carol Maguire’s social welfare on the basis that the receiver wants her evicted.”

Cllr. Smith called for emergency legislation tot tackle the crisis saying: “Legislation needs to be introduced immediately to outlaw discrimination on ground of economic status. If it is illegal to discriminate on ground of colour or religion, then why is not illegal to discriminate against social welfare recipients. We also need new laws to impose rent controls and grant tenant rights. Finance Minister Noonan may be happy that property prices are rising again but the new property bubble is leading to more discrimination against the poor. Landlords want to get the highest possible rent in this rising market and will openly discriminate against those who rely on rental allowance.”

Cllr Brid Smith along with other People Before Profit public representatives have been campaigning for the rights of people to social housing, rights that have been ignored by this government. Brid used the media opportunities provided by her candidacy for the European parliament to promote the demand for a strategy that addresses public housing need.

Brid speaks on housing crisis on Vincent Brown programme

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