Reader's Blog: State must act to stop profiteering in housing

Many people are sleeping rough, and were it not for the good work of organisations such as Cork Simon Community, St Vincent de Paul and sheltered housing, many more would be left on our streets.

With the severe scarcity of social housing could result in the lay-off of staff in local authorities.

Exorbitant rents for private accommodation and planning regulations are putting many more families on the poverty line.

Planning permission for one-off houses is proving a financial nightmare for many young couples because of the stringency of the regulations and frivolous objections from some of the more affluent members of society.

A great number of new houses are being purchased not by people wishing to live in them but by speculators planning to rent them at exorbitant rents.

Speculators have been turning their attention also to local authority estates.

So-called investors, usually from leafy suburbs, purchase houses for sale and then rent them at exorbitant rates to people who cannot afford to buy their own homes and who are sometimes also on the local authority housing waiting lists.

More often than not, the exorbitant rents are heavily subsidised. This amounts to insidious speculation in the housing market.

The result is to push the price of the homes in these estates way beyond the reach of young adult members of families settled in these estates, who wish to live beside parents and siblings.

These young adults find themselves priced out of the contention and out of any hope of purchasing a home in their local community, or at all. It adds insult to injury that taxpayers’ money is funding this aspect of speculation.

The speculators are parasites. they benefit from misery and, in turn, cause more of it by pushing the possibility of a home beyond the reach of those who desperately need it.

successive governments have allowed speculators to run riot.

Firstly, the failure to have an

emergency programme of house-building is creating a situation

where rents are going through the roof.

Secondly, carte blanche given to landowners and speculators to charge any price for building on land rezoned for housing is an outrage.

Thirdly, the total failure of successive governments to halt the obscene profiteering in the new housing market is allowing this kind of speculation to thrive.

The Government must take action to halt speculation and profiteering in the basic human need for shelter.

Cllr Noel Collins

Midleton

Co Cork

Justice Office

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