Tackling the housing crisis

 

Sir, – The current Government policy of providing housing for those in need by either purchasing houses built by private developers and renting these properties at much reduced rents or providing exorbitant Hap payments to tenants to rent from private landlords is flawed to say the least.

The local authorities are effectively competing in the house purchase market with those trying to purchase their own home and in the rental market with those trying to rent privately without Hap assistance.

This is inflating the cost of purchasing and renting and surely increasing the profits of developers and investors, all paid for by the same taxpayer, struggling to compete with these local authorities for the same rental properties and properties for sale. This is unfair and unjust. This policy must change. – Yours, etc,

MARY HINDS,

Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Sir, – Assuming population projections materialise and given that Ireland’s landmass will remain unchanged, we can expect, with great certainty, further immense pressure on prices for development land for homes, other buildings and infrastructure.

This begs the question why such prices are not regulated given that underlying changes in land use are determined by the apparatus of the State.

As the benefits of land ownership often arise from speculation or inheritance, why should unearned, windfall profits always accrue to owners and not to society at large?

Methinks the time has arrived to dust off the long-fingered Kenny Report in line with the Constitution’s qualifications about the “common good” trumping private ownership in the interests of social justice. After all, the State already has, for example, ownership of mineral and mining rights under the land and broadcasting waves above the land. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN FLANAGAN,

Blackrock, Co Dublin.