Monday 5 December 2016

Housing shortage is now putting the recovery at risk

Published 02/07/2015 | 02:30

Our builders are back in business
but not in Ireland
Our builders are back in business but not in Ireland

The Taoiseach felt obliged to "give the benefit" to Europe's leaders of his experience of how to handle a bailout. He unburdened himself of yet another homily on his economic miracle.

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It was the usual guff about the fastest-growing economy in Europe and record job creation. He's impervious to any awareness of the single greatest domestic emerging economic and social disaster under his watch. Each week, more misery is apparent with the growing lists of homeless; already more than 2,000 are in emergency accommodation in Dublin, with a further 1,000 elsewhere; 90,000 queue for social housing nationally. We've a double whammy of evictions: 8,000 civil bills for repossessions of houses with unsustainable mortgages; separately landlords can turf out tenants who can't pay market rents.

The maximum rent subsidy payable to a couple with two children in Dublin is €975 per month. This ceiling was reduced in 2012 by Joan Burton to reflect market conditions. Rents are now up 30pc, between €300 to €400 per month on average. Yet, housing benefit remains frozen.

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