The Lord Mayor agreed to a debate on the following three emergency motions which concerned the same issue:
Emergency Motion No. 1:
That is this council calls upon the Government to take all necessary measures at the earliest possible time to prevent vulture funds, cuckoo funds, and any other for profit corporate bodies from purchasing residential property to the detriment of individual purchasers.
Submitted by Councillors Tom Brabazon, Briege MacOscar, Claire O’Connor, Daithí de Róiste, Daryl Barron, Deirdre Conroy, Deirdre Heney, Eimer McCormack, Keith Connolly, Michael Watters, Racheal Batten.
Emergency Motion No. 2:
That Dublin City Council notes that:
· the housing crisis continues to spiral out of control;
· residential property in Dublin City remains unaffordable for the vast majority of people;
· high rents and residential property prices are making it increasingly difficult for workers, families and struggling home buyers to purchase and own their own home;
· institutional investors avail of significant tax advantages granted by Government which are distorting the housing market and are displacing workers, families and struggling home buyers in the residential property market;
· local authorities, including Dublin City Council, are placed in competition with institutional investors who have developed monopolistic and oligopolistic pricing power, which is driving up the cost of building and procuring residential property for social and affordable housing;
· investment by these institutional investors in the residential property market reached €1.2 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow in this and subsequent years without immediate policy intervention; and
Calls on the Government to:
· ensure the delivery of social and affordable housing to buy and to rent through Dublin City Council acting as lead developers of publicly owned land in the Dublin City Council area;
· introduce legislation to end the tax advantages and exemptions granted by the Government to institutional investors, including REITs and IREFs, in the residential property market;
· introduce legislation to impose a stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of residential property by institutional investors including REITs and IREFs;
· direct the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to bring forward, as a matter of urgency, measures to restrict the activity of institutional investors in the residential property market and their displacement of workers, families and struggling home buyers from the market;
· direct the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to consider, as a matter of urgency, amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2000, introducing tenure type and mix as a matter of consideration in all, future planning applications and approvals; and calls on the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to meet with the Dublin City Council Housing SPC as a matter of urgency to deliver on the agreed plans for the Oscar Traynor Road site; Calls on the An tArd Mheara to write to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage outlining the content of this Emergency Motion.
Submitted by Councillors Daithí Doolan, Janice Boylan, Anthony Connaghan, Daniel Céitinn, Máire Devine, Micheál MacDonncha, Séamas McGrattan, Larry O’Toole.
Emergency Motion No. 3:
In view of the recent shocking revelations that Investor Funds are purchasing entire housing estates and blocks of apartments for market rental purposes, Dublin City Council totally rejects such practices; calls on the Government to immediately introduce legislation banning them; and seeks an all-Party meeting with the Minister for Housing and the three government leaders to impress upon them the urgent need for a comprehensive range of housing and homeless measures for the capital and the need to provide the resources to fund them.
Submitted by Councillors Joe Costello, Dermot Lacey, Alison Gilliland, Mary Freehill, Declan Meenagh.
Emergency motions 1,2 and 3 were unanimously agreed.
The following Emergency Motion No. 4 was taken without debate:
That Dublin City Council in acknowledging the steps and actions taken to date by the Director of City Centre Recovery since being appointed to the role last month;
· requests that City Recovery be included as a separate and specific agenda item on each monthly council meeting for the foreseeable future to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to revitalise and re-energise Dublin City;
· calls on the Director of City Recovery to provide a weekly update to Councillors regarding what steps have been taken by their office and the City Recovery Task Force to contribute to the City's recovery;
· requests an update from both the City Recovery Team and the Covid Mobility Team regarding measures implemented outside of the Canals area, including the number of applications received and approved for outdoor dining in public spaces, and an update on the urgent need for the provision of temporary public toilets in areas where a significant number of people congregate, in areas such as public parks, along the Canals, and the Grand Canal Dock etc.
· calls for the necessary steps to be taken to allow for the appointment of a Night Mayor for the City to support night-time culture post COVID-19;
· requests that several measures be implemented with immediate effect by both the Covid Mobility Team and the City Recovery Team to get Dublin City summer ready, including but not limited to:
· Additional litter bins to be provided and for bins to be emptied more than once a day in areas of high footfall, particularly at weekends and when warm weather is expected.
· Accessible portaloos to be put in place in areas of high footfall across the City (including public parks), in addition to the decision to open public buildings for access to toilets, and before the introduction of temporary retail units with adjoining public toilets that will be in place this summer.
· Expedite and be more ambitious in the roll-out of car-free streets in the city centre to enable accessible outdoor dining hubs.
· To introduce more parklets, prosocial outdoor spaces to encourage safe cultural events, gigs, music and arts performances, as well as spaces for outdoor markets.
Submitted by Councillors Colm O’ Rourke, Ray McAdam, Danny Byrne, Anne Feeney, Declan Flanagan, Terence Flanagan, James Geoghegan, Paddy McCartan, Naoise Ó Muirí.