Check out my post from January 2012. I had read that our house starts were lower than in the 70s. I predicted effectively that when demand took off again that supply would not be able to keep up. Wow. I must be a genius to have seen that coming! We are now in the midst of a full blown housing crisis because no one is building. And of course without going into the fundamentals of cost, tax and other matters I suppose we can all remember what we thought of developers.
But isn’t it obvious that we need developers to build our homes and our offices? Its axiomatic that we create the right conditions for them to build and make a profit. Unless we are looking for those soviet type constructs that we have had to rip down the private sector is demonstrably the best people to solve our housing crisis.
Anyway I have been doing a lot of travelling recently across Ireland and what has struck me is the amount of derelict shops-houses in the towns of our country. Before you say ‘not another tax break’ I say look:
1. If the internet is killing the mom and pop store then these buildings need to be converted back to residential use.
2. The best way to do this is through the much maligned tax break.
3. The occupied houses will breathe new life back into our towns and cities.
4. There would be a boom to smaller scale builders to complete this work.
5. We could stop wasting the money we are shelling out on temporary accommodation and have something constructive in place.
6. Even if the government gave soft loans for people to develop those properties to convert them to accommodation we would be in a better place than we are now
So in summary what I am saying is that we have the housing stock there, we just need to think creatively and use the resources we already have to solve our housing crisis.