Sinn Féin - On Your Side

50% priced out of home-ownership -- Land speculators ripping off people

9 April, 2004


Responding to reports today that almost half of all those living in Dublin and a third of all those living outside Dublin will not be able to afford a home in two year's time, Dublin EU election candidate Mary Lou McDonald said "Everybody knows land speculators and developers are ripping off the people of this state, and that this government either doesn't have the guts, or isn't interested in standing up to them."

The reports are based on a study by Trinity College professor PJ Drudy, which points out that while salaries are rising on average 3% a year, the price of new homes are rising by 11-19% annually. There are currently over 48,000 families or almost 140,000 people on the 26-County housing waiting list - which doesn't include Travellors, people with disabilities, or refugees.

Ms McDonald said:

"In his study, Professor Drudy points out that in many other European countries, the right to housing is enshrined in the constitution. Sinn Féin has been campaigning for this to happen for some time now, and submitted a document to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution dealing with the issue of private property and the right to housing, just last year.

"The study's findings will come as no surprise to anybody who's currently struggling to get on the property ladder. The average price of a house in Dublin is €300,000, and only slightly less around the rest of the country. Everybody knows land speculators and developers are ripping off the people of this state, and that this government either doesn't have the guts, or isn't interested in standing up to them. In fact Noel Ahern tried to defend his government's housing policy today. He should sit down with some of the young people I've met who are despairing because they know they have been priced out of ever owning their own home.

"This state needs a housing strategy and a housing agency to co-ordinate all aspects of housing provision. The right to housing has to be enshrined in the constitution. There has to be investment in affordable and social housing. Capital Gains Tax on speculative owners of multiple dwellings, needs to be increased and a statutory ceiling must be introduced on the price of land zoned for housing, to stop speculation and reduce soaring house prices. These are just some of Sinn Féin's proposal's, which will help to solve the massive housing crisis in this state." ENDS

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