The lobbying activity of major corporations like Kennedy Wilson on rent controls should not be tolerated, according to Annette Mooney, the People Before Profit representative in Dublin Bay South.
‘There is a large rental sector in this constituency and we have already come across countless cases where people are being effectively evicted because they cannot pay exorbitant demands for rent rises.
‘Rent controls are clearly needed but we now discover that the global real estate company Kennedy Wilson is using economic leverage to influence Irish state policy.
Kennedy Wilson is a huge US company that has become one of the biggest property owners in Ireland since the crash.
‘This has been a direct result of government policy. This government has given tax breaks to Real Estate Investment Trusts and sees the entry of these global giants into the Irish market place as its answer to a ‘supply problem’.
‘Nama has also entered into a partnership with Kennedy Wilson for a Capital Dock project in Dublin. This has given the company even more leverage to influence government policy.
‘But the supply problem has been caused by the failure of successive governments to control; speculative building activity and by the systematic run down of council house building.
‘At the start of the crash the state was building just over 5,000 social housing units which was already a very low number. Yet today that has declined to just one tenth of that figure.
‘The chickens are now coming home to roast for the Labour Party. Even when they try to introduce small measures such as ‘rent certainty’ they are now faced with lobbying activity from the big corporations that they have encouraged in here.
‘The real answer to the housing crisis is a massive expansion of the social housing programme and the immediate introduction of the type of rent controls that will allow for rent reduction as well as limited rent rises.
A major meeting will be held in the old Fire station in Rathmines to highlight the need for rent controls on Thursday 19th November at 8pm.
For confirmation: Annette Mooney on 087 6332170