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Edited version of letter also published in Irish Examiner
Show urgency on vacant housing
Show urgency on vacant housing

The news that Ireland has the 10th highest housing vacancy rate in the world makes for depressing reading. Our 183,000 vacant homes (excluding holiday homes) could solve our homelessness problem and dramatically reduce the price of houses on the open market.

Many of these vacant properties are owned by global property and hedge funds who seek to bid up rental and purchase prices by constricting supply. At least a third are owned by older people who can no longer live in them and who need to be incentivised to make them available on the open market.

If a vacant property tax brought even half these 183,000 properties to market, it could reduce house prices and solve our housing crisis almost overnight.

The Government claims it needs more information on why these houses are vacant before it can introduce a vacant property tax. This is a shallow excuse to continue to favour vacant and often absentee property owners over those who need homes to live in now. It's like saying they need more information on why people work before it can introduce an income tax!

If a vacant property tax brought even half these 183,000 properties to market, it could reduce house prices and solve our housing crisis almost overnight. It's time the Government showed some urgency on this issue and incentivised these homeowners to make their properties available on the open market to those who need them most.




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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 29th, 2021 at 10:55:16 AM EST

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