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Right to a house?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,886 ✭✭✭✭Roger_007


    Housing should be a right, because it is a need.

    So, if all citizens decide to exercise their right to a home, then homes will have to be provided on demand to any adult who wants one?
    Also, if a home is a right, no one would have to buy one or pay rent for one? The state would simply have to provide enough homes for everyone free of charge?

    I cannot see that working out well.:eek:


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    Roger_007 wrote: »
    Housing should be a right, because it is a need.

    So, if all citizens decide to exercise their right to a home, then homes will have to be provided on demand to any adult who wants one?
    Also, if a home is a right, no one would have to buy one or pay rent for one? The state would simply have to provide enough homes for everyone free of charge?

    I cannot see that working out well.:eek:
    It will be my right to have my forever home (which is my right) on Sorrento Terrace. Anything less will be a breach of my rights.
    ...and fully furnished with period furniture.
    ...and the windows better not have any draughts!


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,676 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    Roger_007 wrote: »
    Housing should be a right, because it is a need.

    So, if all citizens decide to exercise their right to a home, then homes will have to be provided on demand to any adult who wants one?
    Also, if a home is a right, no one would have to buy one or pay rent for one? The state would simply have to provide enough homes for everyone free of charge?

    I cannot see that working out well.:eek:
    It will be my right to have my forever home (which is my right) on Sorrento Terrace. Anything less will be a breach of my rights.
    ...and fully furnished with period furniture.
    ...and the windows better not have any draughts!


  • Registered Users Posts: 945 ✭✭✭Colonel Claptrap


    Not everything is subject to the free market. For instance, in Ireland we have made the decision that primary education, healthcare, public transport and many other essential or even quasi-essential aspects of daily living should not be subject to the free market. I am advocating that housing be added to this list.

    Housing is not subject to the free market.

    -LPT
    -4% rent pressure zones
    -FTB tax rebate
    -DIRT tax rebate on savings used to buy a home
    -tennants cannot be kicked out unless landlord is selling or refurbishing
    -HAP scheme
    -social housing
    -the existence of PRTB
    -interest relief on borrowings
    -stamp duty
    -restrictive tennancy periods
    -CPO of vacant dwellings

    All of these are distortions of the 'free market' which apparently exists in Irish housing. I don't buy it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,462 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    oceanman wrote:
    300k is the avarage price of the house in the current market, it dosent cost anywhere near that to build it...


    Well site value ain't cheap (but state authorities have land banks), vat is a huge component, as is labour(which is taxed) , so no it wouldn't cost 300k to provide each house, but it still would cost at least 80 to 100 thousand (exclusive of site and utilities) to provide small basic unit of accommodation...
    But that could be well worthwhile with private rents being so high... Helping those on the "bottom of the housing ladder" (ie. No other option but homelessness) and taking some of the "heat" out of the current rental market...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,462 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    Incidentally, I believe in rights and responsibilities... While I don't believe everybody has a right to any home, where ever whenever (which would be daft), I do believe the state has a responsibility to provide housing for people (either through regulation and incentives or building houses, but probably both)

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,109 ✭✭✭Mr. teddywinkles


    pgj2015 wrote: »
    that is not a problem, fair play to the rich for getting richer, its better than sitting around doing nothing, having as many kids as you want even though you live in a hotel (at the tax payers expense) and then whingeing and moaning that the government wont give you a free 6 bed house beside your family.

    A lot of rich people get richer by sitting on their holes too. Ridiculous statement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭oceanman


    Markcheese wrote: »
    Well site value ain't cheap (but state authorities have land banks), vat is a huge component, as is labour(which is taxed) , so no it wouldn't cost 300k to provide each house, but it still would cost at least 80 to 100 thousand (exclusive of site and utilities) to provide small basic unit of accommodation...
    But that could be well worthwhile with private rents being so high... Helping those on the "bottom of the housing ladder" (ie. No other option but homelessness) and taking some of the "heat" out of the current rental market...
    I agree with all that, so why are the government not doing it right now?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    oceanman wrote: »
    I agree with all that, so why are the government not doing it right now?
    it's despicable. Vested interest or interests can be the only reason. I can't believe water charges mobilised so many people yet this scandal which is incomparable, attracts nowhere near the rage!


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,238 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH


    Tabnabs wrote: »
    The problem I have with this logic is that it attracts a very vocal cohort who ultimately seek to make housing a right rather than a need. When we bought our house, we managed our expectations and moved accordingly. There was no way we could afford the areas close to our families. We adjusted our expectations and got on with it. That kind of pragmatic thinking is missing from this debate.

    There are many, many, people who "manage" the "expectations" but will still never afford a home under the current circumstances, despite the two people in a given partnership working full time.

    That's the reality of the situation for a lot of folk today.

    There's "pragmatisim" and there's "bollocks"

    All too often, it's the latter that too may people experience, despite doing their level best and engaging in the former.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,238 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH


    being unemployed is (sadly) not a crime.

    Look at this statement.

    Seriously...look at this statement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,238 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH


    I'm getting sick of seeing McVerry on the TV as well dismissing every strategy the Government bring in while offering no solutions himself.

    If one highlights a problem, it isn't naturally incumbent upon them to also provide a solution.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,616 ✭✭✭masculinist


    PJW wrote: »
    I can’t understand how “families” in emergency accommodation feel they have a right to a house and it’s the right of the government bodies to get them one.

    I have no problem with giving people a right to basic shelter - provided its the cheapest option.

    Theres loads of uninhabited houses and apartments in the middle of nowhere or even in moderately sized townlands. If someone living on the streets refuses one of those then feck them is my view. They can look for a job over the internet or get help from a case worker at that location like any local who lives there.
    By demanding free housing in Dublin while on social welfare they're undermining the economy even more than they have to by driving up Dublin rents and mortgages, making Dublin (which produces most of the wealth they live off of ) more uncompetitive and hence robbing resources from more cooperative vulnerable people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    Housing is not subject to the free market.

    -LPT
    -4% rent pressure zones
    -FTB tax rebate
    -DIRT tax rebate on savings used to buy a home
    -tennants cannot be kicked out unless landlord is selling or refurbishing
    -HAP scheme
    -social housing
    -the existence of PRTB
    -interest relief on borrowings
    -stamp duty
    -restrictive tennancy periods
    -CPO of vacant dwellings

    All of these are distortions of the 'free market' which apparently exists in Irish housing. I don't buy it.

    I am simply advocating for more social housing, which is already on your list. Nobody should be priced out of having a home. I am not suggesting, as others have said, that people should have a right to live on a particular street or to live in a five bedroom mansion, I am merely proposing something akin to a universal basic income but with regard to a dwelling - we should build enough social housing that everybody who earns less than the amount required to rent on the private market can afford to rent social housing instead. There shouldn't be anybody homeless because they cannot afford somewhere to live - that's where the state should step in and provide a minimum living standard below which it is impossible to fall.

    Again, this is in no way outlandish. That's exactly how education, emergency healthcare, and many other areas of Irish life already work. I am arguing that the principle of a minimum living standard be extended to housing, and that that minimum living standard should simply be having an ongoing (as in, not merely day-to-day and insecure) roof over one's head. It should be impossible to be unable to afford somewhere to live, just as it is impossible to be unable to afford treatment if you suddenly have a heart attack in the middle of Grafton St. There are certain things we as a state have decided to guarantee to all citizens regardless of financial concerns, in order to ensure a minimum quality of life - emergency healthcare is one such example. I am suggesting that housing should be another such example and that we should simply take the 1930s Herbert Simms route of building enough social housing to bridge the discrepancy between wages and housing costs. In other words, if there are ten people earning enough to afford €200 a month in rent, and there are no rental rooms below €300 a month, the government should build ten social housing units and charge each of those ten people their affordable €200 a week to rent them. Simple as that.

    We have employed this policy as a nation in the past. I am not suggesting something outlandish or new. Crumlin, Drimnagh, Summerhill, Gloucester Place, Sallynoggin etc were all built directly by local government in response to a housing shortage. There weren't enough houses on the market which were affordable by ordinary people, so the council built its own and rented them at an affordable price. It isn't rocket science - it's something we used to do in this country right up until the end of the 1980s, or possibly even the mid 1990s. I'm not entirely sure when the moronic policy of handing the entire provision of social housing over to private developers was implemented, but it's quite clear that it has been an unmitigated and total disaster ever since. So we should revert to our pre-2000s policy. Simple as that.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-opposition-to-social-housing-is-matter-of-ideology-not-economics-1.2397695
    My mother had been living (with seven other people) in what was essentially a one-room cottage in the Liberties; my father grew up in a little hovel off the Dublin quays.
    The “market” never had and never would give them a decent place to live – the State did so instead. For all the problems, people in Crumlin had a secure roof over their heads and the chance to build a good community. We had homes.
    Why could the State do this in the hungry 1930s and the postwar 1940s but not now?
    Not because we can’t but because, as Enda Kenny put it last week, “interference in the market” must be avoided. The desperation to avoid the simple conclusion that government should build houses for people who need them is about ideology, not resources. Fine Gael, in particular, seems incapable of understanding housing as anything other than a market.

    It is striking that the decline in the building of social housing in Ireland follows directly from the rise of so called “free market” ideology in the Thatcher/Reagan era. In the mid-1970s, social housing made up a third of all new houses. The shift in which that proportion dropped to just 5 per cent was as disastrous economically as it was socially – the property bubble could not have inflated without it.
    And still, after all we’ve been through, 75 per cent of the Government’s promised “social housing” is to be built (supposedly) by the private sector.
    There is an almost obsessive fear of stating the obvious – that a large proportion of people will never be decently housed by “the market”. Those citizens need a State that’s not afraid to clear the ground of narrow ideology and build on the foundations of real human needs. That might involve relearning another forgotten word – republic.

    I've been saying this for years and years - the root of this issue is in the post-Reagan/Thatcher policy era of the free market sacred cow. F*ck the free market, if it isn't providing society with what society needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    I am simply advocating for more social housing, which is already on your list. Nobody should be priced out of having a home. I am not suggesting, as others have said, that people should have a right to live on a particular street or to live in a five bedroom mansion, I am merely proposing something akin to a universal basic income but with regard to a dwelling - we should build enough social housing that everybody who earns less than the amount required to rent on the private market can afford to rent social housing instead. There shouldn't be anybody homeless because they cannot afford somewhere to live - that's where the state should step in and provide a minimum living standard below which it is impossible to fall.

    Again, this is in no way outlandish. That's exactly how education, emergency healthcare, and many other areas of Irish life already work. I am arguing that the principle of a minimum living standard be extended to housing, and that that minimum living standard should simply be having an ongoing (as in, not merely day-to-day and insecure) roof over one's head. It should be impossible to be unable to afford somewhere to live, just as it is impossible to be unable to afford treatment if you suddenly have a heart attack in the middle of Grafton St. There are certain things we as a state have decided to guarantee to all citizens regardless of financial concerns, in order to ensure a minimum quality of life - emergency healthcare is one such example. I am suggesting that housing should be another such example and that we should simply take the 1930s Herbert Simms route of building enough social housing to bridge the discrepancy between wages and housing costs. In other words, if there are ten people earning enough to afford €200 a month in rent, and there are no rental rooms below €300 a month, the government should build ten social housing units and charge each of those ten people their affordable €200 a week to rent them. Simple as that.

    We have employed this policy as a nation in the past. I am not suggesting something outlandish or new. Crumlin, Drimnagh, Summerhill, Gloucester Place, Sallynoggin etc were all built directly by local government in response to a housing shortage. There weren't enough houses on the market which were affordable by ordinary people, so the council built its own and rented them at an affordable price. It isn't rocket science - it's something we used to do in this country right up until the end of the 1980s, or possibly even the mid 1990s. I'm not entirely sure when the moronic policy of handing the entire provision of social housing over to private developers was implemented, but it's quite clear that it has been an unmitigated and total disaster ever since. So we should revert to our pre-2000s policy. Simple as that.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-opposition-to-social-housing-is-matter-of-ideology-not-economics-1.2397695



    I've been saying this for years and years - the root of this issue is in the post-Reagan/Thatcher policy era of the free market sacred cow. F*ck the free market, if it isn't providing society with what society needs.



    Government has provided money, resources and legislation to local authorities. Yet, still Dublin City Council refuses to allow high-rise and high-density housing. Until that changes, the problem will remain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Government has provided money, resources and legislation to local authorities. Yet, still Dublin City Council refuses to allow high-rise and high-density housing. Until that changes, the problem will remain.

    Of course this is also part of the problem. I still feel that the root of the issue is the ideological / policy position of "the free market is sacred and the government does not directly impinge upon it", IE we don't do what we used to and directly hire builders and architects to build housing which would be 100% owned by the councils, who would then administer the renting thereof on a long term basis. This policy worked in the past, the current policy does not work, ergo we need to revert.

    It's just not that complicated. If you own a shop and you find that your sales plummet after you change your internal lighting from warm-yellow to cold-blue, do you then operate for years upon years with the cold-blue lighting and constantly scratch your head saying "I just don't know why our business has fallen apart"? Government policy changed in the late 1980s / early 1990s, that change in policy has been a f*cking nightmare since day one, let's simply change back. Very, very simple stuff.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    If the government do not want to finance social housing builds, they should not be using tax payer money to finance private builds.
    At best we'll have more homes with people requiring bigger loans or more tax funded aid; such is the current ponzi scheme of Fine Gael economics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Of course this is also part of the problem. I still feel that the root of the issue is the ideological / policy position of "the free market is sacred and the government does not directly impinge upon it", IE we don't do what we used to and directly hire builders and architects to build housing which would be 100% owned by the councils, who would then administer the renting thereof on a long term basis. This policy worked in the past, the current policy does not work, ergo we need to revert.

    It's just not that complicated. If you own a shop and you find that your sales plummet after you change your internal lighting from warm-yellow to cold-blue, do you then operate for years upon years with the cold-blue lighting and constantly scratch your head saying "I just don't know why our business has fallen apart"? Government policy changed in the late 1980s / early 1990s, that change in policy has been a f*cking nightmare since day one, let's simply change back. Very, very simple stuff.

    The latest discussions in Dublin City Council are about whether portraits should be hung in the Council chamber. The level of debate is below that of a residents association. Not surprising given the current calibre of councillors, but they have the money, they have the resources and they have the tools to solve the housing problem, yet they refuse to use them or just don't know how to use them.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    We still do directly build local authority housing. The problem is that, for the moment at least, we're not building enough. Admittedly, it's hard to quickly scale up construction to the levels needed, but the problem was foreseeable and they should have started ramping it up sooner.

    Secondly, while we certainly are in the midst of the housing crisis, there are only so many corners you can cut. I've direct experience of what happens when you build vast swathes of local authority housing with little or nothing in the way of infrastructure and facilities and it ain't pretty.

    We can't repeat the mistakes of the past. Smaller developments, built alongside private housing, with decent facilities are the way to go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    We still do directly build local authority housing. The problem is that, for the moment at least, we're not building enough. Admittedly, it's hard to quickly scale up construction to the levels needed, but the problem was foreseeable and they should have started ramping it up sooner.

    Where do we, still? All of the big projects in recent times have involved selling the actual land itself for the mixed use developments, not merely hiring builders to build new units on that land while retaining the land and all units on it in 100% council ownership.

    You can still have mixed use developments this way - just charge different rates based on income demographics. But it doesn't have to involve sell-offs.

    O'Devaney Gardens is a prime example. Why do we have to sell any of it? Every square centimeter of that land should have DCC as its owner-landlord. DCC could then create its own mixed-tenure development as it saw fit. But selling this land into private ownership at a time when we need more, not less social housing is completely mad. We will regret the decision to sell so much state-owned land into the private sector a few years down the line, I guarantee that. Particularly if we also maintain the post-1980s paradigm that we never buy land by compulsory purchase to build housing, as we did in the early 20th century.

    With the crisis we have now, we need artificial rent deflation through loss-leading social housing. Simple as that. Council-subsidised rents are one way to do this, but we're not trying it for whatever reason.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Where do we, still? All of the big projects in recent times have involved selling the actual land itself for the mixed use developments, not merely hiring builders to build new units on that land while retaining the land and all units on it in 100% council ownership.

    Cornamona Court in Ballyfermot for example:
    A €20 million estate of more than 60 council houses and apartments is to be built by Dublin City Council in Ballyfermot, more than eight years since a regeneration project for the site was shelved.

    Cornamona Court in Ballyfermot will be the largest housing estate built by the council since the property crash, and one of the few to be directly built by the local authority in several years


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭Consonata



    "One of the first in several years" being the important point.

    It's a good start yet 60 houses is meagre enough.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Consonata wrote: »
    "One of the first in several years" being the important point.

    It's a good start yet 60 houses is meagre enough.

    I agree. We need to be building more alright. But I think for a single development, 60 is enough. What we need are more developments.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    We still do directly build local authority housing.
    Where do we, still? All of the big projects in recent times have involved selling the actual land itself
    What do people think of NGO's owning and running the nation's stock of social housing? Can they make a better job of it than the local authorities?
    For example


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    I agree. We need to be building more alright. But I think for a single development, 60 is enough. What we need are more developments.

    Ok, this is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. 100%. What we need is this, on the scale of Simms' 1930s blitz which saw council owned developments built all over the city, often after compulsorily purchasing derelict and misused property (back then it was tenements, today it could be the buildings involved in the slum landlords revelations over the last few months for instance) - and we also need to stop selling off council owned land to be completely privately owned, which is completely mental. The manner in which the redevelopments of sites such as O'Devaney, Teresa's Gardens, Charlemont St etc is being pursued seems mad to me - absolutely we need mixed use developments, I'm not questioning that, but the council should remain in full ownership of the entire site and have the power to set its own rents for each unit. I don't understand why they insist on selling, permanently, this land as part of such deals with developers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    recedite wrote: »
    What do people think of NGO's owning and running the nation's stock of social housing? Can they make a better job of it than the local authorities?
    For example

    I have no problem with that at all, and Cluid have done an amazing job of regenerating many of the developments they have been put in charge of. If I'm not very much mistaken, the blocks of run down flats around Railway St which were redeveloped a few years back were Cluid?

    My issue is when we take a site which is 100% state owned and we give bits of it to private developers permanently, to set their own market rates. This is just contributing to the problem of the private sector gouging ordinary citizens, and is the opposite of what we should be doing in my view.

    EDIT: It wasn't Railway Street but Killarney Court which is about five minutes away, my bad. Have a look at before and after pictures, they did an absolutely stellar job regenerating the complex.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    PPPs came about because, while councils had plenty of sites, what they lacked was sufficient capital to develop/redevelop them.

    The days of whacking up a few hundred council flats on a site and nothing else are gone. We only have to look at the likes of Michael's Estate in Inchicore to see how that worked out. So instead you need something with a mix of public and private housing and decent amenities. And that costs more to develop.

    Dublin City Council did actually attempt to go it alone with O'Devaney gardens in 2012 but couldn't raise the cash to do it.

    Now, I guess the question is, if the outcome is going to be the same, a development with a mix of public and private ownership, does it really matter who builds the thing? Or, to put it another way, is it better to have a site lying undeveloped for lack of funds or have it redeveloped by a private developer?


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,710 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tabnabs


    Tony EH wrote: »
    There are many, many, people who "manage" the "expectations" but will still never afford a home under the current circumstances, despite the two people in a given partnership working full time.

    That's the reality of the situation for a lot of folk today.

    There's "pragmatisim" and there's "bollocks"


    All too often, it's the latter that too may people experience, despite doing their level best and engaging in the former.

    You need to reverse that line I've highlighted, because that's what I'm seeing.

    Two people, working full time can't get a mortgage for a house for under €200,000 in Dublin? http://www.daft.ie/dublin/houses-for-sale/tallaght/?s%5Bmxp%5D=200000

    When you can't live in the real world and accept you will never own a house near the mammy, your local and the school you went to 25 years ago, then your problem is self inflicted and not because of some conspiracy between some neo-liberal, capitalistic, Fine Gael unholy trinity. Stop whinging and looking for someone else to solve your problems and suck up the two hour commute, or life in the double figure postal address in Dublin, or the plane ticket to the UK/USA/Aus because Ireland can't afford you a future. That's what the rest of the working population are doing. Make the hard decisions and compromises because life isn't fair and notions of equality of outcome is an illusion, peddled by those with vested interests.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Cluid have done an amazing job of regenerating many of the developments they have been put in charge of.
    I agree. Also it seems they hold onto the properties permanently.
    Most of the council stock of houses built in the 1960's seems to have disappeared. Often sold off by the next generation of the family, who in many cases were not short of a few bob.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    PPPs came about because, while councils had plenty of sites, what they lacked was sufficient capital to develop/redevelop them.

    The days of whacking up a few hundred council flats on a site and nothing else are gone. We only have to look at the likes of Michael's Estate in Inchicore to see how that worked out. So instead you need something with a mix of public and private housing and decent amenities. And that costs more to develop.

    Dublin City Council did actually attempt to go it alone with O'Devaney gardens in 2012 but couldn't raise the cash to do it.

    Now, I guess the question is, if the outcome is going to be the same, a development with a mix of public and private ownership, does it really matter who builds the thing? Or, to put it another way, is it better to have a site lying undeveloped for lack of funds or have it redeveloped by a private developer?

    Who builds it is not the issue. It would always be a private builder. The issue is, if funded or banked by the tax payer, who owns it once built?
    Building privately owned homes put for sale at market rate won't make any notable inroads into the problem.
    The councils put profit over their actual job and they were encouraged by national government to do so. That didn't seem like a bad idea to the short sighted, narrow minded at the time. We are not in a place, (thankfully) where credit is free flowing and readily available to enable the general public to avail of these new builds. The idea that making profits solves everything is simply bad management. As with selling off public land for profit was foolhardy, so to is using tax payer money to bank private builds, which will then be sold at artificially high market rates, (artificial due to government meddling).
    Current moves as regards housing are not helping, the government is actively working against the public interest in that regard.


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