Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Why Vultures Matter

Archive Statements > 2016

Why Vultures Matter
5th May 2016

A report issued this week by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland makes grim reading for the ordinary people of Ireland and particularly those who are in negative equity or who are hoping to buy their first home or those who are on the social housing waiting list.

It appears that the Government has facilitated the arrival of hugely wealthy foreign vulture funds to buy up vast amounts of land and built assets from NAMA and IBRC with the aim of making enormous profits from their further sale.

Essentially, NAMA and IBRC were encouraged by Government to sell assets big, quick and cheap. This meant that these foreign financiers or vulture funds were the only ones able to buy the large tracts on offer and they now hold the whip hand over when and how these properties are sold or developed.

In today's market, it appears that more profit can be made from developing sites for commercial use than for housing and so the public need for housing will come in second place. It is also clear that these foreign vulture funds will have no hesitation in evicting homeowners who are in negative equity from their homes in order to maximise their profits from the residential properties they have acquired from these state agencies.

This is an outrage and should immediately be stopped. The Government should reform the role of NAMA to become a Housing and Community Infrastructure Agency which would seek to provide housing land and build houses and community facilities throughout the country. This is the responsible course of action for the Government to take but sadly I can find no mention of this issue in the documentation from the FG/FF Government talks.

I believe this is a major issue for the people of this country and I hope it is not too late for a change of policy by those who will be ruling over us in the next few months/years.

Cllr. Joe Behan

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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