We WANT homelessness


#1

We have chronic homelessness because we want it.

The only way to reduce homelessness is to create more accommodation at lower prices. But the law of supply and demand says you can’t do that without lowering the value of all the existing accommodation. All the land hoarders speculating on future prices, and all the people who squeezed onto the property ladder in the madness of the last 20 years, have a vested interest in keeping prices high. If prices go down they are somewhere between losing the nice little nest egg they’ve accumulated (if they bought 20+ years ago) and losing their shirt (if they are still trying to climb out of negative equity).

All of these people will say they only want to be treated fairly. But there’s no getting away from the fact that “fair” treatment for them means massive rents for others and a whole lot of people have to go without accommodation at all.

When will this change? When more people – or rather more people who vote – are being screwed by the system than are benefitting from it. (I count the people in NE as benefitting from the system, as without current high prices they’d be even worse off).

In that light, you can see most government house building efforts as a cynical divide and conquer tactic. If you give people social housing you take them out of the equation – they’re alright Jack, and are no longer lost votes. Then limit the affordable housing to people satisying income criteria. More people peeled off. All you have to do is keep the size of the screwed middle below the critical vote-losing mass. By having two artificially separated housing markets the “haves” keep their expensive property, the “have-nots” are bought off. (You also cripple social mobility, but that’s a small price to pay so that the “haves” keep on having).

The government are running scared in case they’ve let the screwed middle grow too large. That’s why there’s suddenly money for social and affordable housing. But there are probably better ways to cure the housing crisis. Some of them have been discussed on this forum. Will the government ever adopt them? Not on your nelly. It would be political suicide. Because we want homelessness. We don’t think we do. We certainly don’t say we do. But we do.


#2

Fully agree. The same attitude that in the 1840’s saw famine as an opportunity to make money from selling food to starving people at inflated prices has emerged again. The direct line from that landed merchant class can be traced through the current government.

Just like in the 19th century the policy now is set from the top and the people establish the culture. The ‘Republic of Opportunity’ makes the weak and poor an opportunity to exploit.


#3

Like the only way to reduce traffic congestion is to build more roads?


#4

I have 6 social welfare applicants for 2 properties currently for rent.
None are Irish.
We’re ***importing ***our housing crisis.

If you tackle the demand, you’ll solve the ‘crisis’ much faster.

From 2011:

herald.ie/news/over-half-on-housing-list-are-foreign-27973856.html

Haven’t seen any updated stats published since 2011.
My guess is it’s more now.
Having a reasonably small population, it doesn’t take much outside influence to stress the domestic figures.


#5

A very good point. There is more angst in Dublin about building large buildings than attempting to address homeless families
Squeezing supply has been the FG wheeze since the crash to raise house prices.
Its a political calculation. There is more votes in those who work and are in negative equity and the ‘squeezed middle’ than any homeless cohort.


#6

Ithink you are ignoring the main point
however
Belgium and other EU countries send back EU social welfarerecipients, id be in favour of that.
Non nationals usually have a much higher labour force participation though.


#7

It’s an economic and financial calculation too…emptying ordinary people’s pockets to line those of the establishment.


#8

Absolutely.
As an economic migrant myself before, I’ve been there.
But Ireland doesn’t have the economic or population depth to sustain welfare tourism.


#9

Agreed.

But what are the reasons that the Irish authorities facilitate welfare tourism?


#10

And there’s the question.

Germany also blocks welfare tourism.

The ruling followed a string of verdicts which have negatively affected the rights of unemployed EU citizens living abroad.

thelocal.de/20160225/germany-can-withhold-welfare-from-foreigners-eu-court

We simply cannot afford it, both in terms of money and resources.


#11

‘Ireland of the welcomes’ image to uphold
Not to be perceived as racist
Fear of the media/SJW/left-wing brigade
To make rich richer

  • cheaper labour for businesses
  • more people seeking rentals
    etc.

Any politician speaking on the issue is automatically castigated. Why are FG/FF politicians silent on the fact that so many Irish people are homeless yet we can find accommodation for asylum seekers.


#12

Agreed ps200306, I’ve mentioned this a few times. But immigration will have 2 effects - it will push up house prices but also reduce Ireland’s government dept/person. The problem with letting sponges in is they are a liability to government - they increase the debt/person.
Ireland should welcome those willing to work, a supply demand effect will reduce labour costs. Less strain on government will allow resources to be directed to house building.

It’s all about running a lean ship. Ireland is a business. Create an efficient business and those working in it will be rewarded handsomely.

Remember, the private sector debt was transferred to the government’s balance sheet, it is now been sold back of to the private sector, the debt needs to be repaid one way or another. High house prices means the youth will be strapped with more debt to pay of government debt.

It all comes back to big inefficient government & allowing the banks losses to be socialised.

Gotta love socialism.


#13

We’d first need to agree on a definition of an “ordinary person”. I believe there are many, many “ordinary people” who already have homes/mortgages and are more than happy to see prices continue to rise.


#14

A group being happy to see price rises and price rises being in the interests of the group are two different things.
If you are living in a house an increase or decrease in the paper value of it has no immediate impact on your economic position.

It can become a factor if you decide to borrow against the equity. Either price rises will continue indefinitely or this is borrowing against the equity of an essential asset that has a cyclical value which is by definition a bad idea.

It also becomes a factor if you have children who eventually want to leave and set up home for themselves. If house prices have risen faster than wages during the time since the parents set up home then these children are in a situation where they need to borrow more for longer than their parents did. Parents borrowing equity out of their home to supplement this is not an advantage over the situation where house prices had remained stable relative to wages during that time period.

So, in a situation where house prices rise faster than wages typically both the original and the next generation of the home-owning families find themselves in more debt than they would if house prices were stable relative to wages.

This article is one ex-politicians take on the phenomenon:

Lots of people, who did not understand the macro-economics, were probably quite happy at the notion of being paper millionaires during the house price boom of the last decade but either they “took advantage” of this by borrowing against equity and subsequently saw that equity reduced or they didn’t borrow against it and had no major effects from this increase in the value of their property.
I’m sure both groups would happily have foregone the price increases if it meant they could avoid the consequences in terms of USC, increased banking and interest charges, increased government borrowing etc… that followed.


#15

Ronan Lyons made this exact point this morning.

Homeowners don’t want more housing as it will reduce their property value. That’s why we have the politicians we vote for.
It’s the homeowners that are the cartel, the vested interest influencing Govt decisions

Homeowners vote, and homeowners like high house prices - IT Feb 2016
“There’s often a tradition in Anglo-Saxon countries of limiting supply to drive up house prices, because homeowners vote, and homeowners like high house prices,” Lyons says.
“You will hear people saying, ‘I’d love it if my children were able to afford to live near me,’ but they actually wouldn’t if it meant their own houses were worth 30% or 40% less.”


#16

Right up to the point where we get told yet again, that we are very expensive relative to Germany/US/Poland/India/Bangladesh. Because we need high wages to pay for high rents/big mortgages. The majority are being played like a fiddle for the second time in ten years, oblivious to their fate.


#17

I’ve heard that argument many times but it just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s the sort of argument made by people who think about prices a lot.

I don’t know anyone who has ever mentioned property prices as a motivating factor in their voting decision, and it’s not a super-sensitive issue like immigration where non-taxi drivers would be inclined to keep their opinions to themselves.

Neither do I recall any political party ever declaring high property prices as a policy objective (have they?). Consequently, whilst “wealth effects” from rising property prices are fairly well understood, people see them as an accidental windfall rather than a consequence of deliberate government action, so there’s no political gain.


#18

did you see the political/online/meejia backlash when the DoF mooted ending the CGT exemption for PPRs?

Do you see any left-wing party advocating it?

Where’s the resident Sinn Fein spokesman when it comes to ending it? Look over there - we need a wealth tax on millionaires!


#19

Voters know that falling house prices/less money impact them, that’s why they vote for politicians who keep the status quo. That’s why people object to social housing, developments etc. as it ‘devalues’ their home value. Politicians know this which is why they object on behalf of voters.
Would you want to invest in your home, knowing its price may ↓, value of your investment ↓ ?
Further, former Min for Finance did state he wants houses prices to rise in 2014


#20

very well put. The objection to Part V planning or any social housing is palpable