A Homeless Man Writes…


I write as a homeless citizen in my late 30s. My father had a house, a car and three children when he was my age.

The Irish capitalist system has failed my generation when it comes to housing rights. The laissez-faire housing strategy has failed us.

I call for a bailout of the sizeable homeless population of Ireland and the urgent utilisation of State power to act as social entrepreneur in resolving inequality of conditions as far as housing is concerned.

Only the bypass of market forces can resolve the situation. We cannot wait any longer for social justice.

Gavin Bushe,
Dublin 22.

A bailout for Ireland’s homeless (The Irish Times letters page)


27 thoughts on “A Homeless Man Writes…

  1. dav

    Well said, a pity those in power care more about corporate tax evaders that their own citizens.

  2. Rugbyfan

    bypass market forces?
    Tell that to people who took a chance, bought and are now in negative be it in any asset class.

    1. realPolithicks

      So because some homeowners are in negative equity, then nothing should be done about this situation? The answer to this issue is for local county and city councils to start building homes again, this worked for many decades and will work again if the will is there to make it work. The biggest problem is that Ireland currently has a hard right government which looks to the “private market” to solves all its problems, an ideology which has proven over a couple of decades not to work. The only thing the private market cares about is making a profit and it has no interest in social issues.

      1. LennyZero

        Ireland doesn’t have a hard right government now does it. Hyperbole really ruins any point you are trying to make.

        1. realPolithicks

          I referred to them as hard right in the same way that Irish media constantly refers to left wing parties as “hard left”. Regardless of what you choose to call them they are certainly a right wing government.

    2. ahjayzis

      What level of homelessness and housing shortage are you willing to accept in order to inflate house prices?

      What percentage of the current generation renters are you comfortable locking out of home ownership to increase people who have a houses’ asset price?

  3. Jonjo

    You can’t just give every homeless person a house….

    But there needs to be a huge increase in social housing. It should be used as a way to help people get back on their feet so they can find their own place, not seen as free houses.

    But to make this possible there needs to be a huge increase in the number of private dwellings available. We need to build up as there is quite a large proportion of people who would be quite happy living in apartments.

    We also need to move away from the whole ‘have to buy a house’ attitude. But to do this, rents need to be affordable and tenants need to feel they are safe to stay in an apartment for 20+ years if they so please.

    It’s a mess to be honest and would probably take a couple of generations to sort. If there was any sort of impetus to sort it out.

    1. ahjayzis

      “We also need to move away from the whole ‘have to buy a house’ attitude.”

      Why? How does that not just deliver hundreds of thousands of people into paying someone elses’ mortgage rather than one of their own?

  4. LennyZero

    I’m mid thirties, i have a house and a mortgage i worked damn hard for, can i have free money from the state too?

    1. Lilly

      @LennyZero – Glad you said you’re in your mid-thirties, otherwise I would have thought you were a child. Can you not appreciate your good fortune and want others to share in it? Life is random. You have no idea what’s around the corner. All sorts of people lose jobs, have a spell of ill health, family breakdown and lo and behold, homelessness comes to kick them when they’re down. Don’t be so smug.

    2. ahjayzis

      You have a few hundred thousand worth of asset, babes and the political class is geared entirely to making sure that asset increases in value, despite massive social harm in your house being a speculative asset.


  5. Gay Tea Shop

    Except the State is hand in glove with property developers. We need a social consensus and voter action, not State involvement. However, “something” must be done.

    1. martco


      & Gavin, didn’t you hear what Lord Leo said last night? He has NO intention of providing you or anyone in your position with the necessary help

      Everything is working really well from his point of view…shure you’re virtually middle class according to him (boy that’s the best one yet) your main problem here is you’re just not “choosing” to live in your own gaff, what’s wrong with you ffs?


      1. jusayinlike

        It’s funny that martco, you see Leo lived most of his life in a boarding school, his next door neighbor in roselawn had never met him in 30 years.. no joke, I know the neighbor personally..

        Leo knows nothing about Irish society, nothing..

  6. Yep

    Whatever side of whatever fence you are on in discussion, building in this country is hampered by factors within the private and public sector. Each needs government involvement that sees past the same unaccounted for subsides to the same successful/failing/successful/failing developers who seem to have influence beyond what should be considered acceptable within a supposed Republic.

    To LennyZero, the vast majority of people in this country have the utmost respect for homeowners in your situation. Your blinkered view on society as a whole in what turns peoples stomach.

    1. ahjayzis

      Anyone landbanking should be financially ruined with punitive taxation.
      All unzoned land should be priced for agricultural use.
      All planning permissions should come with mandatory timelines for completion.
      Multi-unit buildings should be to a high standard with a tonne of landscaped outdoor space.
      Job done.

  7. Truth in the News

    We pay an army to protect and defend the nation and also includes those with no
    homes or who cant afford them, is it past time that an Army Corp of Engineering and
    Construction was established to do the job, the Yanks organised theirs Corp in the ’30’s

  8. Diddy

    In the tiger years people of all incomes were given money to buy over priced poorly built housing.

    Currently only the professional classes in pairs can buy a piece of scarce housing.

    Housing is abstract for most people these days

  9. Ron

    The entire arms and mechanisms of the Irish state is controlled by scoombags.. Filthy dirty scoombags. That’s the problem.

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