Eviction Proceedings – No Pause in Government Action Plan On Housing and Homelessness

by Paddy Healy


Now we Know why the Oireachtas Committee refused to invite Ken Smollen and The Hub-Ireland to address it!

“Plan” is not much more than a pre-election gimmick

The Oireachtas Committee recommended that there be a pause in eviction proceedings until new debt resolution procedures were in place

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Surprise! Surprise! There is no halt to evictions (even on a temporary basis) in Coveney’s plan. Unfortunately Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change(Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan) went along with this easily rejected recommendation. (The same attorney general had advised Alan Kelly against it)

But now government promises  to introduce more favourable resolution procedures for distressed mortgages have been seriously “watered down”

The number of people presenting as homeless has doubled in the last 12 moths

Opposition members of the Oireachtas Committee say the Coveney Plan for building  social houses contains half the investment recommended by the committee.

The EU have been resisting informal government requests to allow money to be borrowed  by Ireland to build social houses despite the restrictions of the Fiscal Treaty for months..

NOW Taoiseach Kenny is going to WRITE A LETTER to the EU asking that Ireland be allowed to borrow money to house Irish people? (Decisive action that!!!)-Irish sovereignty how are you?

Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-

The Committee should, of course. have recommended that the government TELL THE EU THAT IRELAND WOULD BE BORROWING THE MONEY TO HOUSE IRISH PEOPLE IN THIS EMERGENCY, as advocated by Seamus Healy TD.

Instead Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change joined  FF and FG in a shamefully compliant recommendation in the frame work of the Fiscal Treaty


Before any extra houses are built, financial supports will be given to first time buyers in the budget next  October (and backdated to to-day) “to help  them” to purchase houses! But there will be no freeze on house prices! In the context of miniscule supply this cannot fail to raise the price of houses. This will be of no benefit to first time buyers but will provide a bonanza for developers. Others moving jobs will also have to pay the higher prices!

Developers will also be given publicly owned land at cheap leasing rates on which to build private houses. 

IRISH HOUSING NETWORK-“In effect, it looks like this will mean leasing public land to private developers who will decide whats affordable. Without secure rent controls and more public housing this will leave people as vulnerable as they are now, with evictions and rent hikes commonplace as the markets decide people’s future for them. This hasn’t worked before and it wont work now.”

According to Minister Coveney these measures will”fix the housing market”!

NO Housing Emergency Formally Declared

Despite verbal recognition of “a national housing emergency” by Minister Coveney earlier this year, no formal declaration of a housing emergency will be laid before the Oireachtas.

Such a declaration would enable the public good to out-weigh the right to private property in accordance with the Irish Constitution. Former Minister Howlin explained to the Dáil that annual certification of a financial emergency was necessary to enable continued confiscation of private property in pensions. Minister Donoghue has done this recently

The absence of such a formal declaration could  enable banks an landlords to continue evictions even if the government ordered a pause.

Also, it is at least possible that private owners (including vulture funds) will be able to block even some of the inadequate improvements contained in the Action Plan.

My DIT colleage, Dr Lorcan Sirr ( Faculty of the Built Environment) has pointed out that thousands of dwelling houses are becoming obsolescent each year, thus reducing the number of houses available for habitation.  Government or local authorities are unable to intervene unless the building becomes a physical danger to the public. No account is taken of these obsolescences in the government targets for housing provision.

The absence of the formal declaration of a housing emergency enables the owners to resist any interference with their private property no matter how outrageous their disregard for the common good!

Like many previous Plans and Reports this ACTION PLAN is bound to fail

I believe that the government ACTION PLAN is a combination of a pre-election gimmick and a bonanza for private developers.

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