A referendum to tackle housing crisis


Sir, – May I congratulate Pat O’Brien, Rathmines, Dublin 6 for his excellent letter with forensic analysis of the reasons for artificially high house prices (April 10th). His and others’ “self-evident” observation in relation to land rezoning that “there is no reason why the huge increase in the value of a privately owned asset arising from a public decision, ie the rezoning of land, should accrue to private and not public benefit” points to the nub of the problem.

Such a situation in turn gives rise to the hoarding of land with development potential which is further distortion of land values.

As Pat O’Brien points out, the solution, as per the Kenny report, is for politicians with genuine public interest, to arrange for a referendum on the matter on the basis of 125 per cent of the agricultural value being paid for the rezoned land as per the Kenny report.

A positive outcome of such a referendum would undoubtedly go a long way to eliminating the current artificial distortion of land and house prices that are patently the curse of many young people’s lives in particular resulting effectively in their debt-enslavement to land developers. – Yours, etc,


Templeogue, Dublin 16.