Since 2016 I’ve been highlighting and challenging the corporate takeover of housing in the greater Dundrum area. The research that I have done on this topic has been carried by local and national newspapers, including The Irish Times (Oct 30th, 2018). In March of 2019 my election team distributed over 10,000 newsletters about the corporate takeover of housing to homes across Dundrum, Ballinteer, Sandyford, Churchtown, Windy Arbour and Nutgrove.
I’ve also been able to use social media to expose this largely hidden aspect of the housing crisis. The Fernbank video below was viewed by over 30,000 people in less than four weeks.
Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour, The Green Party and the Shane Ross ‘Independents’ have all contributed to a situation where one in sixteen homes in the Rathdown constituency are now owned by private corporations. I’m asking people in the Dundrum Local Electoral Area to vote for me on May 24th as an alternative to those parties that helped create the current mess; to vote for me so that I can bring the fight against the corporate takeover of housing to the heart of DLR County Council.
In 2013 no homes in the greater Dundrum area were owned by large private corporations. By the end of 2018 they owned over 2,000 homes with plans for another 3,000 in the pipeline. The vast majority of the homes and development land that is owned by the corporations were bought at a heavy discount from NAMA and the private banks, a discount that will ultimately be paid for by tax payers and bank customers. Below is a list of all the homes that already owned by the corporations and the plans that they have in the pipeline.
In 2013 Fine Gael and Labour introduced legislation to allow Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to operate in the state for the first time. Part of this legislation determined that the REITs would pay NO corporation tax on rental income paid by their tenants.
The REITs and other corporate landlords all operate within a new category of housing know as Build To Rent or BTR. Under this model homes are never sold to normal owner-occupiers. Instead the corporations retain ownership of the homes, while maximising profits through extremely aggressive rent-pricing strategies.
Between 2013 and 2018 rents in Dublin South increased by an unbelievable 70% to the highest levels on record (Daft Rent Report). As a result rent in the Dundrum Local Electoral Area is now the second highest in the entire country, while Stillorgan and Glencullen come in as the first and third most expensive areas (RTB Rent Report).
This is the reality of Fine Gael’s ‘solution’ to the housing crisis - foreign private corporations buying up housing and people being bled dry with extortionate rents.
I want to see the corporate ownership of housing banned. The homes that are currently owned by the corporations should be taken into public ownership using compulsory purchase orders. They can then be rented to those who are in need of a home at an affordable rate with full security of tenure.