Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward has said South Dublin County Council’s (SDCC) implementation of Government policy of providing 25-year leases instead of traditional social housing, is short sighted, unfair and not cost effective.
In the last 5 weeks, SDCC have advertised 56 long term leases on their choice based letting scheme.
Teachta Ward said:
“This Government have learned nothing from the past. They continue to rely on the private market to provide solutions to public housing.
“It is this ideology that has created the housing crisis that we find ourselves in today.
“In the last 5 weeks SDCC have advertised 56 long term lease properties. These are available to workers and families who have often spent well over 10 years waiting to secure a home from the Council.
“Investment firms have been buying up homes on the private market and then leasing them back to the Council for 25 years.
“This is not a good use of public money. A home that the investment firm bought for €250k could cost the Council €450k over the lifetime of the lease.
“The Council are also responsible for the maintenance and tenant management of the property, which adds additional costs.
“At the end of the 25 year lease, the home reverts back to the investor firm so it retains its asset and the Council still have responsibility to house the tenant.
“This strategy of investment firms buying up homes and then leasing them back to the Council is also another barrier stopping first time buyers obtaining a home for their family.
“It’s absurd and wrong that a lot of the homes that SDCC advertised were originally Council houses to begin with.
“They were sold to the original tenant at a discount and are now being leased by the very council who used to own these homes. This is just bonkers.
“We are also aware the people had been renting some of these homes through the HAP scheme. Their homes were sold to the investor firms, who subsequently sent a notice to quit to the tenant and forced the tenant to find alternative accommodation or even into homelessness.
“These tenants are on the Council list for social housing. They have been forced out of their homes by an investment firm who then leases the homes to the Council to provide a home for someone on the social housing list.
“SDCC’s implementation of Government policy of providing 25-year leases instead of traditional social housing is short sighted, not cost effective and unfair.”