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President is right – we have made a hames of housing

Letters to the Editor


President Michael D Higgins highlighted housing policy failures

President Michael D Higgins highlighted housing policy failures

President Michael D Higgins highlighted housing policy failures

Regardless of the archaic tradition of our President being muted in his or her opinions on government procedures, Michael D Higgins is correct in what he says.

We have pathetic new housing initiatives and a history of parochial thinking when it comes to planning.

In fact, we are so bad at house-building that we had to go back to the developers who defaulted on hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money during the crash and entice them back into the market.

These very developers are now building unsuitable one- and two-bedroom apartments designed for rent-only on behalf of foreign vulture funds.

Eamon Kearney, Dublin 13

Higgins is merely addressing the elephant in the room

President Michael D Higgins’s statement on housing has set off sparks throughout the political system, but as Eoin Ó Broin said, it was “a statement of fact”.

The whole world knows our housing situation is a disaster, with young people’s futures sacrificed for money.

Dublin is on the Titanic, and only those on the upper decks can be saved.

Margaret Docherty, Terenure, Dublin 6W

Michael D speaks truth to power about a real crisis

Perhaps our President’s “housing disaster” outburst might finally make those who run our country grasp the nettle when it comes to what’s causing the accommodation crisis.

With every new job announcement, the housing minister’s projections of meeting supply and demand go out the window – or, to put it more simply, you can land jumbo jets quicker than you can build them.

What Ireland needs now is a cohesive plan taking our sustainable future population growth into account so everybody can have a quality of life that does not include being terrified about putting and keeping a roof over your head.

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Nick Crawford, Dalkey, Co Dublin

If the Government can’t hear us, the Áras must intervene

Noting government ministers’ outcry over remarks made by President Michael D Higgins, I think we need to hear more from him on how successive administrations have failed to deliver effective housing and health solutions.

He is simply following in the footsteps of Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese – if the Government fails to heed the people’s pleas, they need a bigger microphone.

Phil Miesle, Ennis, Co Clare

Failed for decades, so this is a welcome dose of criticism

The intervention by Michael D Higgins on the housing debacle is welcome, if late.

The reaction from government ministers was predictable, but no less frightening.

They actually come across as defenders of the current mess. They seem to have convinced themselves that the housing crisis is of someone else’s making and has nothing to do with the seriously flawed policies that both of the main parties of government have pursued over the past few decades.

These policies saw the deliberate commoditisation of housing, with the State stepping away from its obligations and responsibilities in this vital area. Housing provision was handed over – lock, stock and barrel – to landowners and developers to use as a means of self-aggrandisement.

As part of this policy, social housing provision was handed over to the charity sector. It is remarkable to see there are 500 such private charities now operating. Is it any wonder we have a crisis?

Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Mica culprits must be chased through courts for every cent

Something that should not be forgotten in the mica blocks scandal is that the government, even if poor, was not at fault – apart from allowing too much self-regulation.  

The companies that manufactured the end products should be held responsible as it was the efforts of the building industry that pushed through the idea of self-regulation originally. What seemed to some to be a good idea has come back to haunt them.

I cannot see any valid reason why the tax-payer should foot this enormous bill. The culprits should be chased to the very end, via the courts, for every cent. Where companies have ceased trading, their last legal owners should be pursued as individuals.

What happened to the rules about submitting samples of blocks and concrete before beginning building?  

David Ryan, Co Meath

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