The news that Green REIT is putting a multi-million property portfolio onto the market turns the spotlight onto Ireland’s latest property bubble.

Green REIT bought up a vast amount of property after the Celtic Tiger crash and is now making a fortune selling it off. Last year it made €156 million in profit – a jump of 264 percent on the previous year. Its chairperson and chief executive were awarded a €21 million share bonus between them.

Brid Smith from People Before Profit said,

The new bubble in commercial property prices shows that this recovery is being driven by property speculators. Their fortunes have recovered and many of the same people who brought this country to its knees are once again making vast amounts of money.

The global index of firms, MSCI, has stated that returns on Irish commercial property are among the highest in the world. Last year, they were double those for London.

Many of the big builders have used company law to walk away from their obligations and start off a new round of speculative activity elsewhere.

The people of Adamstown, for example, are still waiting on sports and community facilities that were included in a contract with Castethorn investments. But its owner has moved off into new speculative ventures in Ballsbridge.

The FG-Labour government facilitated this new orgy of speculation by giving a special tax break to Real Estate Investment Trusts as part of a deliberate effort to reflate the property bubble.

People Before Profit, by contrast, would impose a special solidarity tax on these speculators to help pay for the damage they caused in the last crash.’

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Right2housing protest in September  with Cllrs Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless
Right2housing protest in September with People Before Profit Cllrs, Brid Smith and Tina MacVeigh, highlighting scandal of empty houses while families are homeless

The Junior Minister with responsibility for housing, Paudie Coffey has finally admitted that there is an ‘emergency situation’ after a shocking RTE documentary appeared on housing.

Brid Smith, from People Before Profit said,

‘This government is speaking a different language in the weeks before the election than in the weeks beforehand.

‘One of the junior Ministers has admitted there is a housing emergency but his government has persistently refused to declare an official emergency.

‘Such a declaration would have allowed the government to speed up the social house building programme and impose a special levy on vacant properties that are left idle for speculative purposes.

‘The reality is that this government has turned its back on social housing and has invested less in this sector than any government for the past twenty five years.

‘Their primary aim is to re-stimulate the property bubble and that is why they prefer to subsidise private landlords than build social housing.

‘Just 55 social housing units, on average, have been built in Dublin in each of the last six years.

‘Efforts to curb rising rents have also been puny. The two year restriction on rent rises only means that tenants get a double rent whammy whereas real rent control would mean rents are tied to the rate of inflation.

‘We need a real change so that housing is not seen as a commodity but as a social right.’

For more information- Cllr Bríd Smith ( 087 909 0166)
Twitter- @bridsmith

housing

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The Labour Party worked happily with Fine Gael for four years but has suddenly discovered that they are a party for the rich. Joan Burton has started to warn about a ‘lack of balance’ if Fine Gael started to rule alone.

In a statement Cllr Brid Smith said,Labour is acting like a second-hand dealer of dodgy cars. In 2011, they won votes on a promise that they would restrain Fine Gael. And they are trying the same trick again.But once the votes were counted after 2011 Labour dropped all talk of restraining FG and acted as their collaborator. Labour warned that Fine Gael would introduce water charges – but then voted for them.

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A demonstration to highlight homelessness and the need for meaningfull housing policies and actions, was held this evening outside the Dail. It marked the anniversary of the death of  homeless man Jonathan Corrie. Right2Housing campaign supported the protest of around 1,000 people, who marched from the Spire to the Dail. Cllr Brid Smith who helped build the campaign and protest this evening said “Its a national disgrace that this government’s policies have made the situation worse not better, for people who are homeless as well as those in fear of homelessness. We need immediate rent caps, an end to evictions and a massive programme of social housing”.

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The Turning of the Sod at the opening of the development of Canon Troy Court for Senior Citizens accommodation is hugely welcome. Ballyfermot will benefit greatly from this initiative supported by Dublin City Council with the Iveagh Trust. Senior Citizens Accommodation is in great need right across Dublin and will play a major role in solving the housing crisis.

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Press Release

23/10/2015

A combination of rent controls and a massive social housing programme is needed to solve housing crisis

People Before Profit has refuted the claims which have surfaced today in the press, that rent controls will not work.

Cllr Bríd Smith said: “What we have seen today and over the last while is a tidal wave of neo-liberal dogma. For anyone to suggest that rent controls are not an absolute necessity is absurd. One example that we can see is from Berlin. On June 1st of this year the Germany government brought in a new set of rules that limit rent increases within a given area, the average cost of new rents in that area dropped by 3.1% within a month. In other German cities that do not have these rent controls rents have remained static.

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Cllr Brid Smith Calls on Minister Alan Kelly to immediately increase Traveller Accommodation Budget

In line with requirements of the DoECLG, DCC’s Traveller Accommodation Unit (TAU) in collaboration with the local Traveller organisations undertook a consultation process with Traveller families across the city to identify current and projected accommodation needs for inclusion in the TAP 2014-2018.

However, the budget allocation for the 2015 DCC TAP targets has recently been announced as a meagre €366,299. This is a devastating blow to the delivery of the TAP, the budget is such that it cannot deliver even a fraction of the targets nor will it make any positive impact on the accommodation needs of Travellers and Traveller families will be once again failed by the state as many families have already been waiting over a decade for accommodation.

 

The human cost of this on Traveller families is devastating. It is widely documented that accommodation is the most significant determinant on health and the gap between the health status of Travellers and that of the settled population is startling.

Life expectancy at birth for male Travellers is 15.1 years less than the general population,

Life expectancy at birth for female Travellers is now 70.1 which is 11.5 years less than women in the general population

Traveller infant mortality is estimated at 14.1 per 1,000 live births (compared with the general population rate of 3.9).

Travellers have a greater burden of chronic diseases than the general population

Suicide rates are nearly 7 times higher in Traveller men compared with the general male population.

Suicide accounts for 11% of all Traveller deaths.

Despite this stark reality the FG/Labour government has wielded a systematic and dramatic disinvestment in the Traveller community including Traveller Accommodation. .

Cllr Brid Smith and People Before Profit call on the Minister to meet with DCC and Traveller organisations as a matter of urgency and to provide the budget required to address the accommodation needs and we support the protest called by the local Traveller organisations 2pm at City Hall on 8th July.

 

For further information contact Cllr Brid Smith 087 9090166

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