Wolf Tone's view on Conor Skehan's article on homelessness

WolfeTone

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A great article, well worth reading in full
With respect, it is an awful article. I suspect we have been down this road before, so I will keep this post to bullet points and avoid any further interaction.

- Homelessness is an issue by itself, increasing levels of homelessness is another issue, and one that the article has completely missed

- Having security of tenure is fundamental to the progression of civilised societies. Not having security of tenure is regressive.

- as has been mentioned before elsewhere, the levels of homelessness have been increasing, not just in Dublin, but in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Athens, Rome, Berlin...lauding our 'fourth' or 'fifth' lowest position on the European average is ludicrous, and shows a complete ineptness to understand the complexities of the issue

- Im not sure what the author is inferring when he writes about the bigger issue of 'arrears', he is hardly advocating more homelessness?
So I guess im dumb on his meaning on that point.

- the immediate consequence of homelessness is not having a roof over your head, or not having a secure residence to live and function routinely as individuals, couples or families do on long-term basis (ie - hotel rooms or hostels are not homes).
The long-term consequences, particularly with young children involved, are not certain. But I would hazard a guess that the probability that those consequences are not favourable increases dramatically.

- Homelessness, and increasing levels at that, cannot be separated from the rest of societal issues. It is part of a melting pot of other issues, increases in drug addiction, gang-warfare, unemployment, poor education, waiting lists in hospitals, hygiene, etc.
When all these issues keep adding up, keep increasing, it will instigate a reaction - of some sort, or sorts. This is human nature.
Trump, Brexit, Yellow Vests, Ghetto riots in Paris before that, Arab Spring, or whatever - in Ireland, the people marched against Irish Water. Not because of some profound devotion to a public water system, but because incrementally a large body of ordinary working people had felt they had been pushed too far by austerity. Since then we have had 'new politics' where the main opposition supports the government in power.

- Homelessness only affects a tiny portion of the population directly, but it affects the entire population indirectly. Be it businesses, communities, be it through tax increases, or increased borrowing, be it social disorder, a rise in xenophobia, racism, extreme nationalism....ALL of it is interlinked.

- And when some, or ALL of these issues are increasing then the last thing that is needed is inane commentary that touts our standing above or below European averages

- If people cannot see the connect between all these issues, and continue to box them off into different separate compartments, then we are heading for a rude awakening one day.

Finally, I don't purport to have answers, although building more houses and apartments seems reasonable.
 
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Purple

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I agree with most of that Wolfie but the point of the article is that, relative to other countries, we are handling this quite well; the Minister and the Government are doing quite a good job. That's all.

We are building more houses and will increase that output. We are not building the Ballymun's of tomorrow. We are doing all we can to increase supply. No matter how much money the Government throw at the problem we don't have the people to build the houses. During the boom we had a massive new supply of highly skilled labour in the form of the new Eastern European EU States which weren't allowed into most of the rest of the EU. That supply is just not there now. This will take time and money. The populists ignore the time element.
 

WolfeTone

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391
All the landlords threatened with this latest law should up their rents. I know I wish I had. But I naively didn't want to do it to my tenants
You effectively imposed a rent freeze on yourself then? So any prospect of a government imposed rent freeze on the conscientious landlords like yourself who wish not to raise rents on their tenants, is no threat at all.
 

galway_blow_in

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1,583
The media exagetate the urgency of the situation here, skeehan illustrates how homelessness is an international reality and how relative to most nations, the numbers here are low

The homelessness issue has been utterly politicised at this stage, it's also an industry in itself
 

The Horseman

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338
This is such a considered piece that it deserves to be highlighted and not lost in the following thread:



With respect, it is an awful article. I suspect we have been down this road before, so I will keep this post to bullet points and avoid any further interaction.

- Homelessness is an issue by itself, increasing levels of homelessness is another issue, and one that the article has completely missed

- Having security of tenure is fundamental to the progression of civilised societies. Not having security of tenure is regressive.

- as has been mentioned before elsewhere, the levels of homelessness have been increasing, not just in Dublin, but in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Athens, Rome, Berlin...lauding our 'fourth' or 'fifth' lowest position on the European average is ludicrous, and shows a complete ineptness to understand the complexities of the issue

- Im not sure what the author is inferring when he writes about the bigger issue of 'arrears', he is hardly advocating more homelessness?
So I guess im dumb on his meaning on that point.

- the immediate consequence of homelessness is not having a roof over your head, or not having a secure residence to live and function routinely as individuals, couples or families do on long-term basis (ie - hotel rooms or hostels are not homes).
The long-term consequences, particularly with young children involved, are not certain. But I would hazard a guess that the probability that those consequences are not favourable increases dramatically.

- Homelessness, and increasing levels at that, cannot be separated from the rest of societal issues. It is part of a melting pot of other issues, increases in drug addiction, gang-warfare, unemployment, poor education, waiting lists in hospitals, hygiene, etc.
When all these issues keep adding up, keep increasing, it will instigate a reaction - of some sort, or sorts. This is human nature.
Trump, Brexit, Yellow Vests, Ghetto riots in Paris before that, Arab Spring, or whatever - in Ireland, the people marched against Irish Water. Not because of some profound devotion to a public water system, but because incrementally a large body of ordinary working people had felt they had been pushed too far by austerity. Since then we have had 'new politics' where the main opposition supports the government in power.

- Homelessness only affects a tiny portion of the population directly, but it affects the entire population indirectly. Be it businesses, communities, be it through tax increases, or increased borrowing, be it social disorder, a rise in xenophobia, racism, extreme nationalism....ALL of it is interlinked.

- And when some, or ALL of these issues are increasing then the last thing that is needed is inane commentary that touts our standing above or below European averages

- If people cannot see the connect between all these issues, and continue to box them off into different separate compartments, then we are heading for a rude awakening one day.

Finally, I don't purport to have answers, although building more houses and apartments seems reasonable.

Having security of tenure is important yes but people want this security in certain places. I don't have an issue with security of tenure but if there is a property on offer then take it. Once it is not damp mould etc. Those who work in an area should be given priority over those who don't work in the area on the allocation of property.

The whole idea of lenght on the housing list as the determinant of allocation of property should be reviewed. Why should somebody who goes on the housing list at the age of 18 be entitled to a house in their late twenties early thirties just because they are on the list 10 years.

The majority of the societal issues you mention above do not stem from homelessness. Gang warfare is not down to homelessness it is down to people seeing gang members living a life they would never afford through legitimate means. Unemployment and education opportunities are increasingly available to help people better themselves. I lived in the very type of area the above alludes to and I have seen the best of supports going into the area. It was a state of the art playground, all weather football pitch modernised changing rooms etc.

Within a week of all of this going in it was all destroyed. This is a cultural issue which we are not willing to address. These are teenagers under the age of 16 who when arrested by the Gardai and brought to their parents end up going to court and getting a slap on the wrist. Going to court is seen as a badge of honour.

We do need change of that there is no doubt but all sides need to be involved in this change, some people can't be helped and should be held accountable for their actions, it is the actions of a minority of people that are ruining it for the majority.

Yes homelessness is impacting on society but all societies woes does not eminate from homelessness.

We need to culturally change before we can be compared to other countries. Other countries are culturally different where respect is earned by all concerned and not just given.
 

WolfeTone

Registered User
Messages
391
The media exagetate the urgency of the situation
With respect, it is an urgent issue for many caught up in emergency accommodation. Particularly those with young children.

The homelessness issue has been utterly politicised at this stage, it's also an industry in itself
It is a political issue. All parties across the board want to end this crisis. Its the manner, and policies applied that is for debate.

I do accept opposition accusations of the government having 9yrs in power to fix the issue are politically opportunistic. Realistically, it is about half that time, and I accept it is an issue that takes time to effectively resolve. So im not under any illusions that opposition parties, had they been in power, would have done anything differently.

That said, I do take exception to the commentary that seeks to induce a normalisation of the issue. Referencing other European or American countries and States, a sort of...see, look over there, they have the same problem, only worse.

The housing and homelessness crisis have been brought about by an economic policy that applied a free market approach to housing and with government and local authorities moving out of the sector.
It has failed, here and elsewhere. There hasn't been a functioning stable housing market in this country for nearly two decades.
 

galway_blow_in

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With respect, it is an urgent issue for many caught up in emergency accommodation. Particularly those with young children.



It is a political issue. All parties across the board want to end this crisis. Its the manner, and policies applied that is for debate.

I do accept opposition accusations of the government having 9yrs in power to fix the issue are politically opportunistic. Realistically, it is about half that time, and I accept it is an issue that takes time to effectively resolve. So im not under any illusions that opposition parties, had they been in power, would have done anything differently.

That said, I do take exception to the commentary that seeks to induce a normalisation of the issue. Referencing other European or American countries and States, a sort of...see, look over there, they have the same problem, only worse.

The housing and homelessness crisis have been brought about by an economic policy that applied a free market approach to housing and with government and local authorities moving out of the sector.
It has failed, here and elsewhere. There hasn't been a functioning stable housing market in this country for nearly two decades.
Very large inflow of people from outside the country since 2011 has not been matched by increased house building.

A huge minority of homeless are foreign

When one of the key contributors to a crisis is taboo for discussion, it's difficult to deal with the problem

The media have gagged open debate so the issue becomes even more agenda driven
 

Purple

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The housing and homelessness crisis have been brought about by an economic policy that applied a free market approach to housing and with government and local authorities moving out of the sector.
It has failed, here and elsewhere. There hasn't been a functioning stable housing market in this country for nearly two decades.
The homelessness issue, as well as many other issues such as the move to the far left and right in many developed countries is part of a larger global issue which is the fundamental nature of wealth creation has changed and our taxation systems have not changed with them. Free Market Capitalism is, by far, the most just and fair and democratic economic system we have ever had. It works. It is also an artificial construct and needs political oversight to be maintained. It is the source of the wealth that governments take in taxes and distribute in order to create and maintain the societies we live in. When the wealth created is split about 50:50 between capital and labour everything is fine. When it shifts too much to labour economies collapse. When it shifts too much to capital societies collapse. At the moment the shift it towards capital. It is a fundamental global issue and homelessness is just one of many of the problems it is causing. The last time this happened was between 1850 and 1910. The result was two revolutions, two World Wars and a billion dead people. It would be nice if we could avoid that this time.

We need to stop asking the wrong questions.
 

Purple

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Very large inflow of people from outside the country since 2011 has not been matched by increased house building.

A huge minority of homeless are foreign

When one of the key contributors to a crisis is taboo for discussion, it's difficult to deal with the problem

The media have gagged open debate so the issue becomes even more agenda driven
We've had a net inflow of about 20,000 a year for the last 5 years. That's hardly a very large inflow.
Over the previous 5 years we had a net outflow of a slightly smaller amount.
 

jpd

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20,000 a year for 5 years is 100,000 or around 30,000 housing units required - we built less than that by a long way and we have an increasing indigenous population plus housing units falling into dis-use/abandoned

It doesn't matter who builds them - but obviously not in my back yard
 

Purple

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20,000 a year for 5 years is 100,000 or around 30,000 housing units required - we built less than that by a long way
I don't think they'll need a house each...
The net figure over the last ten years is about 2500 a year.
 

Purple

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JohnJay

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We have a homeless problem.
But we have a bigger problem with addiction. If we dont tackle this and provide the required wrap around services to support them when they do find a home, then we are heading in to a bigger problem.
We have one of the highest welfare rates in Europe, but still we have people who cant afford to feed themselves or their families. Just finding a flat for them is not all the help they need.
 

Delboy

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I have said it before but will repeat again.

A small country like Ireland which has just 1 major economic hub (Dublin) and which has an open border with 500 million people and also generous visa schemes with non-EU countries will be in a continuous housing crisis. We'll have a housing shortage and 'homelessness' whenever Dublin is going well. And when we're in a downturn and the population dips a bit, we'll experience mortgage arrears crisis, landlords going bust, housing oversupply , banks taking a hammering and unemployment amongst those in the building trade.

That is how it's going to be and will not change.
 
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JohnJay

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Galway has a homeless problem, https://www.rte.ie/news/connacht/2019/0630/1059299-cope-galway-homelessness/
Cork has a homeless problem. https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/The-number-of-Cork-homeless-continues-to-rise-with-more-than-400-in-emergency-accommodation-6065d729-6a8c-4539-8e75-db73e7e7bcee-ds

Dublin had a homeless problem long before "immigrants" started to come here, even during our recessions.
When 1000's of Irish people emigrated to London in the 1980's it didn't shove 1000's of Brits out on to the streets.
 

Brendan Burgess

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- Having security of tenure is fundamental to the progression of civilised societies. Not having security of tenure is regressive.
Having security of tenure is important yes but people want this security in certain places. I don't have an issue with security of tenure but if there is a property on offer then take it. Once it is not damp mould etc. Those who work in an area should be given priority over those who don't work in the area on the allocation of property.
And this is the problem.

Most of the people I know who bought their own home had to buy well outside the areas where they grew up and where they worked. They had to make compromises which often involved very long commutes and not seeing their young children.

But if you apply for social housing, you demand it "in your own community" and turn down house offers until you get one you like.

People who buy their own home don't have this choice.

Our current policy encourages people to declare themselves homeless so that they get the Lotto win of a home for life.

And it encourages single women to have children because single women with children who are homeless go to the top of the list.

If we offered people who were not working housing wherever in the country it was available, their would be far less homelessness.

Many of them would go and live with their mother who is often living on her own in a three bed social house and is never asked to contribute to solving the housing problem.

And we could build three social houses outside Dublin for every house we build in Dublin.

Brendan
 
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