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Affordable housing, affordable for whom?

category national | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Wednesday October 11, 2006 04:59author by jim travers Report this post to the editors

Who are they building for?

Have local authorities lost the plot and surcome to the the greed of the building industry by allowing apartments spring up all over the country. When we were told apatments or in lay mans terms FLATS were a thing of the past, why have the authorities allowed the construction of such apartents when the history of Ballymun has show us that in a social context such forms of construction will cause problems in the future. Do local authorities need to look at their proceedures in the allocation of housing to people who want a roof but say to hell with everything else?

Affordable housing, affordable for whom?

In days past when the local authorities built houses they built them with strength to last. Unfortunately that was the only thing they done right, for if they had gone the full hog they would have put in place recreational facilities, shopping complexes and all the good things that allow communities to grow and prosper. Like the Luas system, the M50 cabbageway and the oodles of good things local authorities find to make wrong once they place their grubby hands on a perfectly good proposal or development, housing and for that matter affordable housing is just another local authority game of control and authority with vacant promises given to those in need of a secure and safe roof over their heads. Now donít jump at me because I said the Luas system, because I know and you know that the Luas was a government decision and not the making of a local authority. There again local authorities placed little if any objections to the construction of the Luas despite the fact that environmental and community displacement issues were a huge concern at that time. In very many housing estates throughout this country anti-social behaviour is reaching an all time high because of bad infrastructural planning in the past and the lessons still not learned, or if learned then not applied to current development of housing construction and housing allocation.

Local authorities are renowned for placing the wrong people in the wrong places and then walking away leaving the local community struggle to bring some sort of sanity back within that community. There is always a small few of disruptive tenants who do their utmost best to bring a community to its knees. Local authorities drag their heels in coming to grips with the necessary measures needed in order to promote and protect the interests of the vast majority of people who want to live and contribute to the community they live in. Communities are literally torn apart because people in authority who work nine to five jobs, switch off and go home as if the problems of society do not exist beyond their working hours.

When Dublin Corporation build a new housing scheme in Kimmage back in the 1940S, people in Dublin thought they were going to live in the country. Well in reality they were, for houses were all the local authority built and houses and houses and more houses but very little else. Houses were built with not even a decent road to allow access for tenants to their new homes, as the local authority filled their concrete boxes with families who became prisoners in the houses that occupied a housing construction building site. And the same saga went on year after year as politicians used the housing allocation list to bolster their own political interests on the backs of people struggling to find accommodation. Coolock, Darndale, Ballymun, Finglas and Cabra, north and south, city and county local authorities played their part in promoting and developing the housing crisis we see today. Local authorities have really got out of the business of building houses for people. They rely on the private sector to build houses on lands purchased from local authorities which are then developed with a promise by the builder to provide twenty percent of the houses constructed for affordable housing. Now that sounds nice and simple, the council provides the land and in return it gets houses to allocate to those who are on their list or wish to purchase a house under the affordable housing scheme. Like everything else with a local authority, everything involves money and everything has a catch. The catch is, under the affordable housing scheme, by the time you make your final payment you may not be able to walk on your own two feet to the local authority in order to collect the deeds of the house and thatís if you are still alive. On the other hand the guy next door to you may be having his tenancy in a privately rented house paid for by the local health board to a landlord or housing speculator, as the guy on the other side struggles to pay his mortgage to the bank as quickly as possible so that he can sell up and get out.

Public private partnership, itís the new buzz words. Everything good comes out of it and everything is in the interests of us all, or so we are led to believe. So why have we a serious housing problem and why is there more people now on local authority housing waiting lists when housing construction is at an all time high. The answer is the construction industry is working and operating in a false economy of building for speculation rather than building for need. The vast majority of apartments built in and around this city and in neighbouring counties are built for the purpose of accommodating people who have no immediate desire to start a family. The vast majority of apartments within Dublin city are apartments that have been purchased by speculators for the sole purpose of securing financial gain from their investments. This situation has a huge impact on the people living within apartment communities, as people come and go without ever knowing, meeting, conversing or socialising with others within the own living vicinity. One year, two year leases as everybody come and go, as the only things that age are the buildings that house the ever changing occupants.

Local authorities have learned absolutely nothing over the years and sometimes I wonder do they really care. Do they have a housing department because its nice to say they have one or do they have a housing department because they feel obliged to provide accommodation for people, because they are a local authority and only because of that. Have they learned anything from the Ballymun housing disaster or have they turned a blind eye to the power of the construction industry as it builds all around us precisely what our local authorities swore would never happen again, flatland complexes given fancy names and redefined as apartments. Just look at Tallaght, it could possibly in time become either a shanty town or an area so deprived that it will resemble all the bad things that encouraged local communities to make a stand and force a reluctant local authority to consider, pull down the Ballymun housing complex. It will take just one bad turn in the economy for the people of Tallaght to be left with an area that is void of an effective level of commerce that stimulates or maintains the current levels of visible prosperity that holds Tallaght one step back from social disaster.

So where do the problems lie in our current housing policy and why is the idea of affordable housing more of a pipe dream rather than a social reality? The problem lies with market forces and the advantages of Section 23 and the tax breaks associated with anybody investing in a property in order to rent it out. Builders build houses and apartments, speculators clammer to purchase those properties thereby raising the initial asking price for properties while the vast majority of people are left to rent properties because they cannot afford to get on the housing ladder. Local authorities and health boards add to this surge in property prices by stepping in and providing rent allowences to people in order for them to meet the monthly rental payments to their landlords. The vast majority of properties being constructed around the country today are for private investment purposes where people are either struggling to pay landlords in order to keep a roof over their heads or health boards and local authorities are subsidising payments of rents that encourage private speculators to reinvest their money in schemes that secure state or local authority financial backing.

Why would anybody want to secure a of 400,000 Euro mortgage from a bank for an apartment that will see a social welfare recipient living next door in an apartment that is financed by a local authority or even a health board. Now before you go on your high horse and start screaming at me, I know there are good, decent and respectable people living and being supported by health boards or local authorities and I also know that the same people deserve a good standard of living and that includes their living accommodation no matter where it is. What I cannot stand and I know is a huge problem, is with the mixture of owner occupiers and by that I mean ordinary people who are struggling to pay a mortgage and the scum that are provided paid for accommodation and who turn their place of residence into a ghetto.

The most major problem we have here is with the inability of local authorities to properly manage the properties they allocate to their tenants. I justify this thinking by asking, what is the difference between a corporation house and a private house? The answer is there is no difference in the houses, if anything the corporation house is probably a better built house. The difference is in who reside in the houses and their attitude to the environment in which they live and become part of. For example, take a local authority housing estate in lets say Neilstown. Mary and John have a beautiful house, magnificent inside, a landscaped garden outside with surrounding walls and decorative gates. Outside the gates it is like another world as bags and other waste clutter the pedestrian pathway as the grass verge lies potholed and marked with tyre marks from cars driving off the road and onto the green patch outside their door. Mary and John wonít sweep outside their gates because their attitude is ďitís the councils jobĒ so Mary and John live in a surrounding environment that devalues the pride they take within their own walls because they feel their responsibilities do not go beyond their garden gates. When Mary and John decide to purchase and then sell their corporation house for the advantage of living in a private estate, Mary and John will be seen doing what they done in the past, cleaning and maintaining their property, only this time both Mary and John will be sweeping the road and footpath and keeping the grass verge outside their home neat and trimmed. Why, because Mary and John have a vested interest in their property and that vested interest includes the visual landscape of the environment around them. And that is the difference between local authority and private, a responsibility of tenure that gives every individual a reason for maintaining a system of mutual interest.

Now you might say nonsense, you might even say bull**** but when people have to pay for something or are conditioned to accepting rules and regulations, they conform to those rules and regulations as second nature or face the imminent prospect of eviction or in the case of a mortgage holder, repossession. People hate having to abide by rules and regulation but yearn for the same rules and regulations when the activities of others around them interfere with their peace in life.
And this is what currently bedevilling the urgent need to house people on local authority housing lists in residential private estates and the problems facing people wishing to purchase properties in order to live in combined with their concerns about the potential prospects of both health boards and local authorities placing everybody and anybody they so wish in accommodation that the same local authority walk away from and leave others to live in an environment where their only wish is to sell up and get out.

So one can see why builders are reluctant to set aside twenty percent of their housing construction as affordable housing or local authority housing attached to their private developments, for in reality, potential purchasers like you and I, will find a reluctance in signing our names to a mortgage agreement for the purchase of a home we may find we need to sell shortly after we moved in. Itís not mine, I donít care, F the owner he or she can afford it or the health board is paying for it, all reoccurring responses that shove the responsibility out of the hands of those who sought urgent housing accommodation but are not prepared to respect the value of that accommodation or the people around them. All responses that cause tension and social division basically because local authorities do not act quickly enough when any of their tenants are reported for anti-social activities and this responsibility extends to local authority housing where decent and law abiding people are subjected to anti-social behaviour problems as local authorities and the Gardai struggle and at the best of times fail to protect those within our communities who want to abide by the law but are forced outside the law by the inability of all authority to answer a call for help.

So do we build another Ballymun and house all the social misfits and layabouts who care little about themselves never mind others, or do we look to properly manage a better system of social integration by helping to erase any indication as to who is paying and who is being supported. In modern Ireland the only barrier that is stopping people from relocating to another area is the cost of purchasing a property in that area and that in itself will determine from what social background those people come from. There are people on our waiting lists who long for a time when they can move up the social ladder in order to better themselves and contribute to the community around them. There are other decent people who consistently seek a transfer to another location because of anti-social activities by the few and are left to live as prisoners within their own homes because both local authorities and the Gardai cannot and will not resolve a problem that is eating away at a community by a selected few. It is time local authorities called a halt to the spiralling apartment complex system of construction. It is time local authorities started a local authority housing construction plan that is counted in many thousands of units rather than few here and the few there idea of constructing housing for need. The more local authorities become involved in housing construction the more house prices will fall as construction starts to surpass demand. Local authorities cannot take the old style belief of house them and forget them attitude thereby allowing their estates to fall into decay, void of any respect and ghettoised by the lack of effective control and regulation.

It is time we took a real look at the reasons for the ever increasing division between those who want a roof over their heads in order to live and to progress in life and those who just want a roof over their heads. Before we carve up our country into places to be or places we possibly might be or would not consider, we must resolve the issues that cause division and separate people into specific categories, who through their own actions and deeds make them alien to the environment they have been placed into. Itís not fair to them and it is not fair to those who struggle to raise themselves out of a lifestyle and environment that local authorities and health boards plunge those who have no other nor want another lifestyle or environment that is for their own betterment and all those around them.

author by geoffreypublication date Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This rambling stream of thoughts is all over the place. Here's a tip on writing you should have learned in school, try and make some concise point in each paragraph, don't repeat yourself , or contradict yourself. And try and tie the whole ragbag together with some conclusions.

Firstly, high-rise living is inevitable in Dublin, we're already heading for an LA style suburban sprawl and building up can help prevent this, and make public transport feasible. The problem with Ballymun essentially (apart from the lack of facilities on the edge of the city), is that huge high-rise estates full of tenants exclusively form the housing list is a bad idea. By todays private sector standards the Ballymun flats were well-built and very spacious.

The LUAS has its problems, but surely its a good thing to have it?

You criticise the amount of houses and appartments being built in Dublin, then in the next paragraph bemoan the shortages of housing?

You say the housing shortage is causing the anti-social behaviour in Dublin. Personally I think most of the anti-social behaviour can be traced to the large social housing estates built from the 1960s until the early 80s. The newer schemes like Shared Ownership and Affordable housing (if they actually get built) are a better alternative to the "free houses". These new schemes will not tie you down for life, its possible to buy out the scheme within your lifetime.

Kimmage is bad example of housing gone wrong. The early Corpo estates like Kimmage, Cabra and Marino are actually the most successful ones. The were built in a traditional way around villages. Kimmage at the time was at the edge of the city, built still had all the facilities of the village. Newer schemes like Ballyfermot, Corduff, Ballymun and so on did not have this.

Do a bit research and have a clear head before attempting to spew out your thoughts.

author by LaLapublication date Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surely anti-social behaviour is caused by people being anti-social ? There's no excuse for acting like an animal. A lot of old corpo housing was well built, its just the people who lived there ran the places into the ground.

author by lalopublication date Fri Oct 13, 2006 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's true. Its amazing with so many people trying to rent city centre appartments, or buy one anywhere they can afford, Dublin City Council are knocking down Mountainview Flats in Summerhill, just because the locals wrecked them over the years. The remaining tenants will rehoused in larger house-type units with garden.

author by Jim Traverspublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Go do some research Affordable housing. They are for young professionals, families etc. who want to buy their own house but market prices are too high. Social housing is what you are rambling on about. You should get your facts right. I have just paid out nearly Ä200,000 for an affordable house, am I riff raff???

author by rainman - nonepublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i am really annoyed about all the people in ballymun getting free houses in a city where i, as a professional, can barely make the rent and have no chance of ever even renting, let alone buying a whole house. Give the houses to people who will contribute, in a positive way, to society.

author by hovel-oikpublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

which professionals are worthy of a house & capable of contribution in a positive way to society?
Do Doctors and Dentists get through that hoop which might prove just too challenging for an accountant or cosmologist? How would wider society cope without professionally evaded tax or unbreakable nails?
You know I come from a long line of realists. One of my ancestors campaigned long and hard for free water for the poor so that they might wash their paws after a hard day' s grubbing. Not for their sake - the lord lieutenant alone knows they didn't contribute in any positive sense to the empire but rather to keep my ancestor safe from infection. That was of course about 2 centuries before catholics being allowed own a horse or any name being given to cryptosporidium.

author by Jim O'Sullivan - Community Alliance-Sligopublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 20:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Commenting on the current state of the housing situation in Ireland requires some understanding as to what precisely is happening. And the first thing that must be got clear is that what is happening is being engineered and not just some market driven normality outside of the control of the government.

At the heart of what is happening is the governments neocon policy of "everyman for himself". The State is withdrawing from involvement in providing basic services and invites in the speculators to fill the void and have a field day. As this policy is rolled out, the majority are denied the opportunity to "own" or have control over anything and this privilege is reserved for the chosen few. Gone is any notion that we are a community in which each individual is afforded the opportunity to access basic vital services by the efforts of the community as a whole.

The government allowed the price of housing to escalate which day by day pushed and is still pushing ownership beyond more and more. The outfall of this is that more and more people are placing their names on Local Authority housing lists. This very visible evidence that people were being hurt by what is happening was dealt with by changing the rules under which an application to join the housing list was deemed valid. Up to the introduction of the "greed " policy, all that was required to access a housing list was to show that you could not afford to buy a house on the open market. This was changed, without any explanation, to allow a Local Authority to refuse an application on the grounds that the Local Authority is of the view that the person could afford to rent in the private sector. And there was good reason why this had to change and why in fact Local Authorities have almost stopped any involvement in the provision of what's referred to as "social housing"

The new policy being rolled out threw up a serious anomaly. The wealthy obviously could afford to buy a house and the low paid also had a route to ownership. After ten years in a Local Authority house, the tenant had the "right to purchase". This meant that the people caught in the middle in private rented accommodation were the only ones who now had no way of achieving ownership and as perpetual renters had the duel disadvantage of paying rent week after week, which did not build up any equity and had no security of tenure. This was discrimination in short.

In order to maintain the neocon policy, the government decided that the solution was to remove the right to purchase from local authority tenants. This is being rolled out by encouraging Private Housing Associations to intervene and take over the role of the Local Authority. Houses are built by State grants, handed over to these associations who house those on the housing list with the new clause of no "right to purchase" in the tenacy agreement.

So now in time, the only people who will actually own houses are the wealthy and the speculators. Local Authorities are simply withdrawing from the provison of housing in the same way that they have withdrawn from providing other basic services. Very soon we all will be delivered into an environment that will differ very little from that which existed in Victorian times. The Lord and Masters owned everything.

Whenever Bertie calls the election, think long and hard before you vote. Another term of this government would be disasterous for fairness and equity and would allow the likes of Mary Harney to complete the job of dismantling all community values and make individualism pre-emenant.

author by San Franpublication date Thu Apr 26, 2007 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who do you think people should vote for Jim?

author by Jim O'Sullivan - Community Alliance-Sligopublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 08:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My personal view is that it is of the utmost importance in the first instance that the present government is ousted. The anti-community policies of the PD's is of particular concern. While it is clear that the largest element of the next government will comprise either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, the best that can be aimed for is to ensure that a party of the left is involved. I would urge people concerned with the the way that injustice and unfairness has been woven into the fabric of our society to come out and vote for a party of the left. This would be a beginning.

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Government has announced it is investing Ä1.2 billion in affordable housing. (Auction politics?) But what it didnt announce was that this money would be used to bail out the developer buddies of Fianna Failure. They intend to build up a block reserve of 'Social Housing' by buying the already built units from these developers AT CURRENT MARKET VALUE (sorry for the caps, but the emphasis tool isn't working for me) thus giving them a leg up in a last ditch attempt to string along the Proprty Market. Which incedently in on the verge of collapse. This also begs the question, why dont the government wait till it collapses and buy the units then at a greatly reduced price and massive saving to the taxpayer.
The simple answer is that the property boys are now calling in their markers with Fianna Fail and we the tax payer are footing the bill.

I dont agree with Jim O Sullivan that a left party can be voted in along with Fianna Fail to prevent this. I think Fianna Fail have to go full stop. They need to be turfed out on their ear to at least give them something to think about. Just look at the antics over poolbeg. Unbelievable cronyism and arrogance.

And as much as it galls me to say it FG/Lab and possibly the Greens look like the preferred option at the moment. I know I will come in for some blueshirt bashing, but on the issue of Housing FF cannot be trusted. That Galway tent will always ensure FF do what the developers tell them to.

author by San Franpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here in Sligo Jim, who should we vote for?

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An economist at UCD whose name escapes me for the moment revealed in the SBP a couple of weeks ago that ther are now 210,000 empty houses in the country.

Ahern said around the same time that there is 'demand' for 6,000 more.

Six houses were set aside for affordable housing on an estate near where I live in Clonakilty . All the people on the council's lists were notified and approximately 40 applied. In conversation with one of the builders on the site one day shortly afterwards, he told me that the previous week a well-off speculator had shown up to have a look at the houses and announced that he was going to buy two of them - one each for his daughters. This isnt unusual. All those people were waiting at home in the hope that they would be the lucky ones but they obviously didnt matter a damn to the speculator. I'm not sure whether his offer has gone through but Ive seen this happen with another scheme in this area.

There is the environmental impact to be considered too. These guys are ripping up our countryside and green spaces in urban areas for no good reason and it can never be got back. A few people wanting to make themselves disgustingly rich is not a justifiable reason for doing this.

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fact that a specuvestor bought houses which where earmarked for Social housing is unusual in that normally the developer uses the buyout clause FF instilled which was demanded their developer friends as a work around of the 20% clause in the previous legislation.

That has allowed the continued 'clustering' of local authority housing with all the negative consequences we are well aware of. This 'ghetto'isation was what the original legislation targeted and as an attempt at positive social intergration was broadly welcomed by the left. The effectual reversal of that policy is an act of gombeenism and cronyism unparralled in recent times.

As for greenfield developement, we all know why that happens and who is responsible. The criminal and wrecklessly irresponsible re-zoning of land, the continuance of ribbon developement along already congested motorways, the mass construction of Tallaght mark II at Adamstown and to a lessor degree Tryllstown, the commuter belt saturation of miles and miles of compact box housing with no amenities, transport links etc etc.

The city planners are either incompetant or cow towing the line with Fingal and Dublin South Co Council.

Fianna fail need to go. Their myopic 'quick fix, quick buck' mantra has created problems our grandchildren will still be dealing with.

San Fran. Why are you asking Jim O Sullivan who to vote for? Is this a personal thing or are you genuinely asking?

If the later the case the answer is simple. Do you want more of the same or do you want change. I believe he said vote for your local Left wing candidate. After having a quick look at MyCandidate.ie that would be either Sean McManus of Sinn Fein or Jimmy McGarry of Labour. If there are issue at a local level (there always are) that prevent you from voting from either candidate, well then nobody can help you I'm afraid.

But I would say this. The current mess this country is in is a national crisis. Parish pump politics will only play into the hands of Fianna Fail. This election will be a numbers game. If FF get the numbers to go back in with the fucking PDs then its game over. More cronyism, more incompetance, more corruption, more privatisation, more neo-liberal ecomonics shoved down our throats.

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I forgot to ask you, do you know how that specuvestor managed to get around the preconditions and eligibiltiy clauses for social/housing? Was it here in Dublin? If so how did he get around the lottery?

Sorry for all the questions, but its near impossible to get affordable housing here and yet this SOB managed to blatantly float regulations and look after his nearest and dearest.
At any rate, you can bet he was FF groat and the more ammunition against them the better.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 15:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Marlboro Man

I have no idea how he got around it and I dont know if the sale went through/will go through. But I know there is at least one precedent here in West Cork whereby a wealthy solicitor was able to buy an 'affordable house' in a small development at a rural location despite owning loads of property already. A lot of people build houses on their land which they claim are for their children but they get rented out anyway.

But even at 'affordable' prices the mortgage repayments are tough anyway. It's a renters market. If rents start to go up then the migrant workers will be forced to go, along with a new generation of Irish emigrants. I was part of the exodus in the late seventies. Nothing (except for their treatment of people with disability) will indict this government's mishandling of our wealth more than the spectacle of thousands of young Irish people having to go abroad to surive. After all this time and all this money. We wont be able to stick on the Brits this time.

I know I've said it before but the ecnomic terrorists at IBEC will be telling their political wing (Fianna Fail and PDs) that if PD and FF is possible then they have no choice. That'll be it. Curtains. IBEC own this government lock stock and barrel - all of its policies are dictated by them. Any other prospect has to be better than that one. Surely.
Interesting discussion here:

http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=GUEST...1.asp

author by Kevin T. Walsh - Social Inclusion and Justicepublication date Fri Apr 27, 2007 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We all know affordable housing was conjured up in Bertie's tent. I applaud Mr. Travers on his detailed article on Affordable Housing that involved a lot of research and interesting points.

Tonight, I am not researching in the usual bureaucratic manner....(paid by taxpayers). Last Saturday, I was walking past Beggars Bush.......when my Jack Russell chased a cat into Beggar Bush Court........what a beautiful setting for houses, in leafy Dublin 4 - steeped in history. I notice two were empty. When I got home full of excitement to my partner - I told her about the property, the surroundings, the proximity to all areas - Michelle turns around and says sorry Kevin - these houses are not for sale, they are part of Bertie's affordable housing.

I scratched my head with curiosity and myself and Jack Russell have been doing our own research over the last number of days. Good times for research - with Election coming up. I phoned a few councillors and the City Council. Now, when I rang Michael Bailey I became more baffled - Kevin you know I am a leading member of Bertie's Ethic Committee and the wink and the nod is the only way forward in this society. Then I realised and then dug a little more at a local level. In the areas between Waterloo Rd, Wellington Rd, Pembroke Rd, Raglan Rd/Lane, Elgin Road and Clyde Road, there are over 350 people still in bedsit dwellings out of that there is over 90 getting rent allowance on a waiting list for affordable housing. These people are welfare recipients and some live a sad and frugal life in this rich Dublin 4 area. I call them the silent people. Some suffer from depression and I know from personal experience receiving unacceptable treatment from Baggot Street Hospital.

Now I heard a rumour going round the Baggot Street area yesterday.....it is getting stronger (similar to Enda's scent for the Taoiseach's chair). The rumour says in the last few months a lawyer, and a retired district nurse (who sold her apartment to purchase the affordable dwelling). I can only ask what does the word Affordable mean????? Who determines the parameters? I smell a massive corruption fraud scheme in this area that would make George Redmond look like Padre Pio (God forgive me!).

It is affordable housing - it seems. But let's get real and leave out the word Affordable and just say Government housing for sale.

I know two ladies who live in this area for over 40 years. The conditions are below any standard acceptable. The Health Authorities in Baggot Street are well aware of the conditions yet they do nothing - I wonder why.

Quotation
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Full Life
'May you live every day of your life'

author by redtech - nonepublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are talking out your ass mate, to get an affordable house you have to pat at least 70% of the value, the scheme is put in place for the many hard working people that a re earning sh**e money in this city and can't afford a 1500 euro mortgage like most of the yuppies that seem to multiply when a bit of money comes into a city. A lot of people are only earning 30 thousand a year doing jobs that the likes of you
would never do. I would be more worried living next to a toffee nosed git like you that some normal hardworking person. Why dont you stick your head further up you a**hole, it might pop out the other side.

author by Micjelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 23:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But your response, your language, your interpretations of a personal nature destroyed the content.

Why not direct your attention to what can be done to ensure people are paid sufficient and enforce legislation that ensures Developers do not manipulate markets and thereby increase prices to an exhorbitant level.

An example you could give some input to is the alleged payment of Euros 60 million from Government to Galway Co. Council to purchase suitable properties in random areas......Personally, I see this as a good idea but the fact that people who pay the 'real' price for their house do not want neighbours who have been allocated so called affordable housing in their circle.....How do we deal with this?

Negative equity if anticipated may throw up some solutions to the housing crisis figures of those seeking houses.......they will be on a list, yet some with the 100% loans from Banks and Building societies will find themselves evicted (Taxing office is the source of eviction figures, quite shocking since Christmas time, so lets keep alert, let's look to what the negative equity situation caused in the UK in the 1990's and ensure minimum casualties and maximum housing.

Who pays for the property ought to be irrelevant. If you have access to the Irish Times today, Fintan O'Toole writes about affordable housing with reference to attitudes and neighbours. Time to start writing to people in power - the new Government - and tap their initiatives and action policies.

Good night.

Michelle Clarke
Gandhi
'You have to be the change you want to see in the World'

author by Jack Russell - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 19:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Enjoyed postings.

This is going to be a really interesting period of time in Ireland. The affordable housing plan worked against itself itoward the end of the Celtic Tiger because of the unexpected and unrelenting prices. What now?

What will be story with negative equity and falling prices?

Who will take the official role in rental and housing provision, to house vulnerable people and ensure young people have to the market? Could private equity funds be used .... via mergers with puplic companies?

What will determine the market forces of supply and demand that create price?

I hope there a re policies in the wings to tap the change in housing provisions.........

Jack Russell

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