Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 2 June 2016
Committee on Housing and Homelessness
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
Apartments are advertised this week on Watling Street, Cork Street, Middle Gardiner Street and Dolphins Barn. For example, on Middle Gardiner Street there are ten one-bed apartments and five two-bed apartments, a rent roll of €153,000, roughly €1,000 each. Hook and MacDonald advertise that the buyer will be able to achieve a rent roll of about €228,000, an increase of 50%. We can expect at least half of those people to get tossed out of those units because they will be unable to afford the new rent. We are looking at paying much more to produce units while these are ready-to-go units. Some of these units will become vacant and the people in them will be looking for new places. Is there any way in which the State can engage in buying such property? At the moment, these properties are occupied and should stay occupied, but if vulture funds buy them they will not stay occupied because landlords will increase the rent and make them unaffordable for these people and somebody else will move in and the former tenants will be looking for a place. The State should be looking at bargains. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd was giving out that local authorities are guilty as they did not take up all the NAMA options. It was unfortunate that the local authorities did not get a better pick of what NAMA was offering. It offered them the thrash but not a lot of very suitable units that the local authorities would have jumped at and that was unfortunate. NAMA cherry picked and sold off the lovely property to the investment funds and offered much poorer quality property in many cases to local authorities. If one analyses the property turned down by local authorities, one will find that more often than not there was a good reason for doing so.