Land & Profits For Them. Housing Crisis For Us

pbp_logo_newCllr Gino Kenny, People Before Profit general election candidate for Dublin Mid-West, has condemned the recent sale of the massive land bank at Adamstown to a private developer and US vulture fund saying it will do nothing to tackle the worsening homeless and housing crisis in the area.

The 142 acre site, previously held by Nama debtor and member of the Maple 10 of Anglo borrowers Joe O’ Reilly, was sold as part of ‘Project Clear’ by Ulster Bank to Cairn Homes and US vulture capital giant Lone Star for a huge discount of 503 million euro. The original value of the site was two billion euro.

According to Cllr Kenny, “Project Clear involves the sale of one-fifth of all available residentially zoned land in the Greater Dublin area to the same type of developers and profiteers that brought economic ruin to the country. And it’s got all the hallmarks of the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger. Not only was Cairn Homes bid partly funded by a 150 million loan from AIB, one of the failed bidders was Mr O’ Reilly’s Castlethorn Developments backed up by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority! Apart from O’ Reilly, the likes of Johnny Ronan, Bernard McNamara and Sean Mulryan are also back in business. It’s like the crash never happened and is inviting disaster all over again!”

Cllr Kenny said that the “private market has never been able or interested in building the number of affordable and social homes needed to tackle the current housing crisis and this sale will do nothing for the 9,000 applicants on the South Dublin County Council waiting lists. What adds to the crisis is a government ideologically dependent on the private market for 80% of its 2020 housing targets and more interested in keeping developers, speculators and landlords happy with tax breaks. Such is the scale of the crisis, only a massive new programme of directly provided public housing including large-scale acquisitions and use of development land can address the problem.”