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Readers Blog: Our youth denied the right to own their homes

This country needs entrepreneurs, risk-takers and investors.

Investment in property is the antithesis of all that. There is virtually no risk. Passive investment in property is a ticket to ride paid for, in part, by the taxpayer.

We all know what has been happening.

One borrows money, buys a house or apartment, writes off the borrowing costs against income tax and one gets tenants to pay the rest of the mortgage, if not a little more.

In the meantime, the capital value of the property is zooming up and one stands to make a tidy fortune when one sells the property.

Despite this prosperity, in the housing market we must not underestimate the scale of the housing crisis.

Young couples cannot afford to buy a home of their own. They are not earning enough to buy a house because prices are too high and they are earning too much to qualify for public housing, because the income eligibility limits are too low.

This is the generation of confident young Irish people of whom we are all proud. But it is a generation which, in many respects, has drawn the short straw.

These are the same young people who had to endure huge class sizes at school and had to go through the cruel points race to get into third-level education.

Now they are graduating to a society which proclaims economic prosperity but which cannot give them the basic entitlement of owning a house of their own.

What status do these young people have in a so-called successful economy if they are denied the right to buy a house?

How can we continue to claim to remain a home-owning democracy if only the very well-off can afford to buy a house?

How hollow is the constitutional right to property if home ownership for many people on low and middle incomes is becoming a thing of the past? How very sad in this ‘Island of Saints and Scholars’. The demon down below is working overtime!

Cllr Noel Collins

“St Judes”

Midleton

Co Cork


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