Tag Archives: Eoghan Murphy

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy; Fine Gael TD Jim Daly

Yesterday.

In the Dáil.

During the Topic Issue Debate, Social Democrats co-leader and Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy raised her concerns about delays facing people trying to access their Housing Assistance Payment and the implications of these delays.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy wasn’t able to be present for her contribution but Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly responded to Ms Murphy.

Ms Murphy claimed some people are facing a nine-week delay in getting their HAP application processed.

Mr Daly said applications are processed, on average, wait two days.

Ms Murphy said:

“I want to focus on is a serious problem that seems to have dramatically worsened in the past two or three months, namely, the delay in having a HAP application processed.

“This in addition to the lack of flexibility shown in cases where rents are very high and the HAP is not sufficient to cover them, meaning people have to try to source accommodation in a very limited sector.

In the past few months, the delay in processing an application has become dramatically worse and now averages nine weeks.

“One can find a situation where a family will find a landlord who will accept the HAP. However, when they get the contracts and present the application they are told the process will take nine weeks.

Several people have told me they have been told to pay the rent in the interim. Who, in his or her right mind, would say that? If people had several thousand euro in their bank account, they would not be looking for a housing assistance payment.

“It is absolutely mad. These people do not have money to pay rent in the interim. The delay has got dramatically worse.

Ms Murphy added:

“Another major concern I hear expressed all the time is that when people borrow the money they do not feel secure about getting the money back because they will have demonstrated an ability to pay it. This issue is adding to the stress.

“Landlords are also left in limbo because they do not know, if they have accommodated somebody with HAP, that the payment will be processed. It would be enormously helpful if a letter was sent out confirming that people are approved.

“I speak to a number of estate agents, and I had cause to speak to one particular letting agent, who I know is very good at sourcing accommodation and encouraging landlords to take HAP tenants.

“He spoke about having very good experiences and not having an issue. However, he feels he has been left with egg on face because he recommended HAP but it is taking so long to process it that landlords are coming back to him saying they are uncertain they will get paid.

“It is perfectly legitimate and legal for a landlord to evict somebody in that scenario.

The letting agent told me that once a property is advertised in the north Kildare-west Dublin area, he expects to receive 150 or 160 emails within 24 hours, of which 70% would be from HAP tenants.

The remaining 30% of applicants have the best chance of securing that accommodation if the landlord knows he or she will have to wait nine or ten weeks to have the HAP payment processed.

“I have come across several cases where people who have been told to leave accommodation subsequently find other accommodation and then have to reapply for HAP.

When we ring the office in Limerick we are told the reason for the delay is that a large number of additional applications have been received.

Is there a large number of additional applications? Is the problem a shortage of money or a staffing issue? What is causing the problem because the situation is chaotic at the moment?

Mr Daly responded to Ms Murphy by explaining how the HAP system works before saying:

“Limerick City and County Council provide a highly effective transactional shared service on behalf of all HAP local authorities and manages all HAP related rental transactions for the tenant, local authority and landlord.

On average, HAP applications are processed by the HAP Shared Services Centre within two working days of receipt.

“Any rental payment arising for a given month will then be made to a landlord on the last Wednesday of that month.”

Ms Murphy told Mr Daly to ring the Limerick office and warned him that she believes his information is “wrong”.

She said:

“What is in his [Mr Daly’s] reply does not match in any way the experience of the applicants. That information must be out of date.

“It is not fair on applicants to put them in this situation. If their applications were being processed within two days I would not be on my feet raising this issue.

I would not have queues of people coming into my office in tears totally stressed out by this. This is also not fair on landlords who are being left in a precarious position. It is not fair all round.

“Regarding the timelines the Minister of State mentioned, it can take up to two months, and mostly it does, to process a housing application.

“It can take another eight or nine weeks to process a HAP application. What is happening is potentially adding to the homeless crisis.

“The way HAP is being applied is problematic. In some local authorities the uplift of the 20% for a person who is in a homeless situation is not being applied. From my experience of its application in Kildare, it has been very patchy.

The delays in HAP payments are sending the message to landlords that they should stay away from this scheme.

“That is not the message that needs to be delivered when we know people are already in a precarious position in terms of security of accommodation.

“I ask the Minister of State to check the facts he has put on the record because they do not align with the experience of people with whom I have been dealing and the situation has dramatically disimproved during the past few months.

“I believe the information in the reply is wrong.”

Mr Daly said he would relay Ms Murphy’s contribution to Mr Murphy.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Playwright Colin Murphy’s column in the Sunday Business Post at the weekend

In the Sunday Business Post at the weekend, playwright and columnist Colin Murphy wrote about the coverage of Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey.

He wrote:

In school, we called this a pile-on. Online, it’s called a shaming. The journalist Jon Ronson wrote an illuminating book about this, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, where he tracked down people to whom this had happened.

This emerging culture of online shaming “felt different to satire or journalism or criticism”, he wrote. “It felt like punishment.” This punishment may not have been intended by those contributing to it, but it was real.

…Maria Bailey gave us all a laugh. For those who perceive her party as out of touch, arrogant and reeking of privilege, #SwingGate was symptomatic of a broader malaise.

But it is not a significant political or policy story. Linking it to the ‘compo culture’ issue is valid but unenlightening; most of this linking of it has merely been self-righteous political opportunism.

The newspaper failed to mention that Mr Murphy is a brother of Fine Gael TD and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Further to this…

ucancallmecaroline tweetz:

Should journalist state a conflict of interest if they have family members related to political parties when writing political articles.

It’s time to back off: Bailey has been punished enough (The Sunday Business Post)

From top: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone; People Before Profit’s Peter Dooley

Yesterday.

RDS Count Centre.

People Before Profit Local Election candidate Peter Dooley talks to reporters after his supporters confronted Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy with chants of ‘you can stick your co-living up your arse’.

Rollingnews

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

This afternoon on RTÉ Radio One’s News At One.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy was interviewed by reporter Louise Byrne about the latest Daft.ie quarterly report which shows just 2,700 properties were available to rent nationwide on the website on May 1, while the average rent nationwide is €1,366.

Mr Murphy told Ms Byrne rent inflation is low.

The Daft.ie report did refer to the national annual rate of inflation at 8.3%, in the first quarter of 2019, being the lowest in five years as a “crumb of comfort” in the report.

Ms Byrne put it to Mr Murphy: “Are rent increases of 6.8% in Dublin year-on-year slow?

He said:

“It’s the slowest rate of increase that we’ve seen since 2013. We know that rents have run away in the capital because of the lack of the supply that we have had with homes to buy and homes to rent.

“And that’s why with Rebuilding Ireland, we’re dramatically increasing the number of homes to buy, but we’re also bringing in these reforms to protect renters which is so important. We know we have more work to do.

“We’re halfway through Rebuilding Ireland but it is showing signs of progress in some key areas like supply. But there’s more to do and that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing over the rest of the year.”

Asked when 80,000 homes will be built in Dublin – given that this is the figure Daft.ie claims is required and only 18,000 were built across the country last year, Mr Murphy said:

“What we saw last year was the 25% increase in the number of homes built over the previous year, it’s going to increase again this year. Each year, under our plans we’re committing more money to building more homes for social and affordable housing, we’re also seeing on the private side more housing being built as well.

“The key thing we need to see in places like Dublin is more apartments, but it’s not just Dublin where we need to see more apartments being built, it’s in each of the cities in the large towns that we have in the country. And that’s why we talk about our vision beyond Rebuilding Ireland.

“We’re talking about growing the population outside of Dublin, taking the pressure off Dublin, not just for homes but for jobs as well.”

Mr Murphy also told Ms Byrne that the rent caps “that have been working” have been extended to 2021 “at the earliest”.

Listen back in full here

Earlier: Daft Figures

Rollingnews



Boo.

Hiss.

This afternoon.

The Liberties, Dublin 8

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy officially opening homeless charity Focus Ireland’s new 31 unit development at John’s Lane West (just Off Thomas Street] which is ‘providing homes for families and individuals in the heart of Dublin city’.

Fight!

Focus Ireland

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Comedian Oliver Callan and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

For decades, Dublin has been hailed as a low-rise capital that protects its historical skyline – until [Housing Minister Eoghan] Murphy said high-rise was needed to solve the housing shortage and would encourage more apartment developments.

So far, the only tower approved for planning under his new laws is Johnny Ronan’s 22-story office block and hotel.

It will be the tallest building in Ireland but won’t provide a single home for anyone.

…In 2017, over four million square feet of office space was built in the capital, enough for 25,000 extra workers.

But during the same ­period, just over 3,500 new housing units were built to house them. Basic math reveals the problem.

…Government policy on social housing is abysmal — last year in Dublin there were just 74 social housing units built, 69 of which were “modular” homes, basically prefabs. That leaves just five proper houses built in 12 months.

FIGHT!

Our housing crisis was created by design and the Government, led by disastrous Eoghan Murphy, is refusing to solve it (Oliver Callan, The Irish Sun)

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

This morning and afternoon.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is addressing the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government.

His appearance follows a report on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday in which journalist Louise Byrne reported that, according to documents she obtained under Freedom Of Information, the Department of Housing – in a briefing note dated January 31, 2019, to its press office – said further approvals under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme are not currently being issued for these particular loans.

Specifically, the memo said the department “has been advised that no further approvals should issue for now”.

These loans allow first-time buyers to borrow up to 90 per cent of a property’s value from their local authority. The conditions to secure one of these loans includes that the borrower has to show they’ve been turned down for mortgage approval by two banks, while gross earnings cannot exceed €50,000 for a single person or €75,000 for a couple.

Yesterday, in response to questions from Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin about this memo and – specifically Mr Martin claiming Mr Murphy didn’t tell the Dáil that no further approvals were to be issued, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government needs to decide whether to increase the scheme’s initial cap of €200m, and it needs to consult with the Central Bank.

Further to this…

Mr Murphy told the committee this morning that the scheme is not closed, money for the scheme has not run out and people can still apply for these loans.

He also told committee member Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien, who claimed to be possession of a copy of the memo obtained by RTÉ, is not his memo.

He said:

“I’m telling you I don’t know what the memo is, I’m telling you it didn’t come from my department. That’s what I’ve been informed. I’m telling you that memo did not come from my department…

“I don’t have the memo, it’s not my memo…

“It’s not my memo. The FOI was released by DEPR [Department of Public Expenditure and Reform] not by my department. It’s not my memo.”

Earlier, Mr O’Brien asked Mr Murphy not to take the public for fools and said there are 100s of people who are concerned about the loan applications under the scheme.

Mr Murphy said:

“Any confusion here has been caused by people asking questions that they either know the answers to or want to cause confusion.”

He also said:

“I’m genuinely surprised about how this was reported yesterday. The scheme is not closed, funding has not run out and I’ve been very clear about how it’s progressing.”

Watch live here

Yesterday: ‘It’s Low-Income People Being Let Down Again’

Outside the GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin last Monday

This afternoon.

Homeless figures for January have been released….

The figure of 9,987 marks a rise of 234 people nationally when compared with the last month of 2018.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has described the situation as “very disappointing”.

The Department of Housing report shows there were 6,363 adults requiring a bed in January and 3,624 children/dependants. When added together the figure is just 13 shy of the 10,000 landmark…

.
Homeless figures heading for 10,000 people in emergency accommodation (Indpendent.ie)

Meanwhile

Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony said:

“It is disappointing to see the figures rise again and to see that there are almost 10,000 people experiencing homelessness and living in emergency accommodation. The rise in both adults and children is disappointing given that last month’s figures showed a decrease in the numbers.

The numbers suggest we need to do more in our efforts to stop individuals and families entering emergency accommodation. That requires input and action from all agencies and departments and we must ensure we are doing everything in our power to bring the numbers down.”

Rollingnews

This morning.

Iveagh House, Dublin 2

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy (left) with Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe arriving for the launch of Home Building Finance Ireland….

… the state’s new financing initiative for the residential construction sector, will offer loans of up to €35m to house builders.

HBFI has been established to fill a funding gap for smaller builders. It will lend to developments of as few as 10 houses or apartments. The company’s website, which went live on Friday, states that it is open for expressions of interest.

HBFI will be funded with €750m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif). A borrowing entity must provide a minimum of 20% equity of a building project, which can include the site value. HBFI will provide up to 80% of the project cost.

Home Building Finance Ireland to lend up to €35m to house builders (Niall Brady, The Times Ireland edition)

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

This morning.

College of Anaesthesiologists (!), Dublin 2.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy (fourth left) with the Interim Board of the LDA (Land Development Agency) ahead of the first meeting of the Board

Leah Farrell/RollingNews