From top: Homegiving posters for Ryanair, Guinness, Apple and Tesco
Further to the debate on company towns in Ireland.
Antoine D’Alton writes:
Our mission is to persuade large and medium sized employers to build affordable homes for their employees and help make a lasting contribution towards solving our national housing crisis.
We aim to initiate a Employee Homestead Provision Bill before the Irish Parliament this year with the aim of removing unnecessary restrictions which have been placed on employees regarding employer housing provision.
We want to encourage large and medium sized employers throughout Ireland in the private and public sector to consider investing in housing projects whether it is apartment buildings or housing estates which are purpose built to serve the increasing demand for our nation’s growing workforce.
We believe that we can include large and medium sized companies in the social bargain, and encourage them to return to building homes and communities which they used to do in the past.
We maintain, that Government by itself cannot and will not solve the housing crisis on its own. We further believe that the Irish property market has been skewed in favour of speculators, property developers, financial institutions and private landlords all of whom have a vested interest in ensuring unaffordable house prices and disproportionately high rental prices prevail into the future
As it stands it has become increasingly difficult for young families and employees to find an affordable home or rental property in our cities and major towns. We understand the frustration this is causing and recognise the long-term adverse effect this will have on our economy and our nation going forward.
The current housing crisis has been caused by poor planning and ill-considered public policy. It seems our government has not learned the lessons of the financial collapse of the Irish economy in 2008 which necessitated a bailout from the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF.
We are conscious of the hardship which speculation and price gouging in the housing and rental markets is causing. We know that it is resulting in families being evicted from their homes and being unable to pay rents which are way out of sync with average household earnings.
We know that private landlords and private equity firms are basing their returns on what they assume working professionals will pay. In the city of Dublin many of those employees work for large and medium sized tech firms whose staff are effectively competing for scarce rental properties and as a consequence through higher purchasing power are displacing people who can no longer remain in those properties which have served as their homes.
Moreover, those higher rental and accelerating home prices are putting disproportionate pressures on existing employees working for large and medium sized employers.
The exorbitant costs of rents and the difficulties in finding a home is acting as a disincentive for employees coming for abroad. We know from experience that thriving companies rely on and need new personnel, without them those companies cannot grow and prosper.
We all know that Ireland provides one of the most generous tax regimes for private companies in the world at 12.5% per annum. We know that many companies who avail of that rate are not contributing their fair share to our economy nor to the common good.
In some respects their low-earning employees have no alternative but to ask the government to assist them with housing. We do not believe that the tax payer should fit the bill for the failure of profitable and well capitalised companies to provide accommodation for their employees.
We want to change the dynamics of the Irish property market, and ensure that there is home security for our growing work force in the years ahead. We know that this will have positive knock-on effects for our nation, our people and for our economy. We believe that by investing in affordable housing, large and medium sized companies will be putting down long-term roots which in turn will create long-term job security.
We appreciate that there will be people with a vested interest in not allowing our bill go forward, we know who they are and we know the damage they have inflicted on our nation in the past? If they are allowed to succeed, we know they will damage our nations future and worse the future of our children.
It is our common cause to ensure that they will not succeed in that respect.
Finally, at the most basic level, we have a very human need, one that should be affordable to all and one that is the bedrock of our society – the need and the desire to have a place we call, home. With the Employee Homestead Provision Bill, we believe we can make that a realisable objective again not just for employees of large and medium sized companies, but for all.
We need your support.
Previously: Our Kind of Town?