SELECTION WRITTEN FOR CITIZEN JOURNALISM SITE
AND SENT TO GOVERNMENT MEMBERS ET AL –
|Subject:||Published Citizen Journalism site. Title Urban Abandonments and Dereliction|
|Date:||Wed, 24th February 2010 19:08:37 -0000|
|From:||Michelle Clarke <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||markets <email@example.com>, markets <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Fagan John <John.Fagan@financialregulator.ie>, Contact <email@example.com>, conp <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Cahill Gavin <GCahill@financialregulator.ie>, Amy.Mahon@Taoiseach.Gov.IE|
|CC:||Mary Cleary <email@example.com>, Karen Murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Karen Greville <email@example.com>, Irish Senior Citizens Parliament <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Clare Finglas <email@example.com>, Budworth, David <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bannon, Mary <Mary.Bannon@enterprise-ireland.com>, Ariana Ball <email@example.com>|
Tuesday February 24th, 2010 17:26
by Michelle Marcella Clarke
|Subject:||Photos that cover a thousand haunted words, by Michelle Clarke (Chestnut) Urban abandonments|
|Date:||Fri, 14 Dec 2012 16:51:41 +0000|
|Subject:||Is there a move on properties in Dublin 4, by Michelle Clarke – Urban Abandonments Sun Dec 16, 2012 15:24|
|Date:||Sun, 16 Dec 2012 17:45:02 +0000|
|To:||Ariana Ball <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Clare Finglas <email@example.com>, Cross Border Studies <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Karen@habitatireland.ie, firstname.lastname@example.org, vincent Browne <email@example.com>|
by Michelle Clarke – Urban Abandonments and dereliction
Michael Hasenstab-Franklin Templeton is the optimist for Ireland and the “turn around” circa next year ie 2013 we presume. Let us hope this man who manages a fund of £165 billion is right when he says our bonds “will be one of the best investments of the decade”.
Taking a peek at property in Dublin 4 the For Sale signs are on the down-turn it seems and circa Aylesbury Road, Shrewsbury Road, what had to be sold including the architectural gem which used to be the French Embassy appear to have been sold so maybe we see a bottoming out and a new supply demand quotient in place. What is now the McManus (wife registered) home appears occupied this Christmas season so who knows what the year of EU host Ireland presidency will unfurl. With some luck we might escape that promissory note in March 2013.
At last there is an element of certainty to the cost financially, economically and socially of the property crisis. The Central Bank have finally come up with a list of properties available based on the length of time people are in arrears. We now know that there are 19,541 people in arrears of over 2 years. The question now is how many of these comprise the family home and that without any other financial assets available have social housing as their only alternative option. It is this group of people who have built up 2 years arrears and if they choose to give up their property voluntarily, they are expected to apply for a debt deal under the new insolvency process.
Enter into the marketplace another aspect of Namatised called ‘new Insolvency Process’. This will ultimately release more properties on the market for sellers like Allsop to firesale to the hawks waiting in the wings to get bargains on the basis of income and capital appreciation going forward. This Insolvency Process will allow for the formal write-down of debt, over a 5 year period, with the added bonus of not having to go to court to be declared bankrupt. We await this legislation because definitive non profitable forays in property can be defined and debt written down, so properties will come to market. As they say ‘water finds its own level’ and this is what the property market needs right now.
There are supposedly 180,000 residential mortgage holders – some in arrears, others who have restructuring arrangements with their lenders. Central Bank has consistently put pressure on the banks to basically evict where the assessment is that it is impossible to repay. Bank of Ireland are the first to react to Central Bank pressure. Too long now is the period of time for keeping properties in abeyance with no direction. The Banks are not in the game of managing property for the rental market and in particular for what ultimately could be social housing. Closure is needed and now.
The Troika have power but yet their reticence in certain areas, (particularly property, governmental/public service salaries and pensions) at last state that they want “legal clarity to the procedure” for repossession of foreclosures. Justice Elizabeth Dunne has called to fix the lacunae/loop hole as is also cited in the recent Troika updates. 5 years not knowing, unable to pay arrears, unemployed, having emigrated, accruing debt to capital, extending period of debt for some people, makes the dream of owning their home impossible. This definitive line needs to be set and people need to be free from debt and provided with social housing if that is what their post Celtic Tiger financial circumstances dictate. This also means the Government must review their social housing obligations particular such small provision has been provided for decades now.
Ireland hosts the EU presidency so let’s market Ireland. The Troika admit we are exemplary. If so let’s take the initiative, come up with the mathematical equation, that sorts out our property mess with some form of assurance to people in the family home that provision of accommodation, and suitable accommodation for families through transfer deals, is an option. Property tax is proving to be unfair. The majority of people live in Dublin. You can buy a house in Offaly for £50,000 (fire sale) and the same house in Dublin is £250,000 and the proposed tax is the same. How is this equitable?
Apartments blocks and estates who pay fees eg some as high as £3,500 a year, surely it is a disincentive for people to downsize to apartments if they are hammered by property tax and maintenance?
Where is the forward thinking? Family homes could become generational based on age/need.
Tuesday 18th December 2012
|Subject:||Camelot is what we need before the Gathering kicks into place by Michelle Clarke (Comyn) – Urban Abandonments Ripe for the Picking|
|Date:||Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:29:47 +0000|
|From:||Michelle Clarke <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||Ariana Ball <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Clare Finglas <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Deirdre Bell <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
by Michelle Clarke (Comyn) – Urban Abandonments – Ripe for the Picking
x you have said it.
Someone said – ‘If the Dutch had invaded Ireland, they would have fed the world’.
Who has heard of Camelot? The story will unfurl. Go to the www to twitter and keep informed.
There is a recent report by Deutsche bank and it claims that Ireland has so many empty houses, including 60,000 vacant holiday homes, representing a vacancy rate of 15%. The report then goes on to state that it will take 43 years to fill them. Demand determines how long the supply will last and add to this population growth! The Deutsche bank report states that based on 2011 figures which showed population growth of 13,000, and the average number of residents per house, the bank estimates that it could take until 2055 to overcome the glut that exists in the market. Mr Haughey, Mr Matt Gallagher, Mr Desmond, Mr O’Brien, Mr O’Leary – we need heads together urgently or else this Island which is presently blighted with the emigration of our young and recently educated will promptly re-visit the harsh winter of the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s when we owed the Annuities to our former Colonial master.
We need drivers of Economic growth, we need people with ideas, we need unemployment offices like FAS as centres of initiative to create opportunities. The time is here for all people who are unemployed to upskill to digital so that when they take up employment they bring with them initiatives and value added.
Camelot: A Mr Joost Van Gestel (frustrated with corporate life in Kraft in the 1990’s) took a look at potential opportunities that existed to provide him with an alternative to corporate. He founded Camelot in 1993 and it is now the world’s largest manager of vacant properties. The idea is to put temporary tenants at low rents in buildings that otherwise would be vacant. Ireland is already part of his portfolio and that includes Abbieville designed by the famous archictect Gandon which has failed to achieve the £7.5 m asking price. Common sense dictates and Haughey’s ghost that Camelot is about “Protection by Occupation” and waiting for markets to gather steam again.
Van Gestel started with the intention to combat the squatter culture of recession bitten markets. He went contrary to the Netherlands’ anarchist counter-culture. The aim is to prevent urban decay which is caused by vacancy. Dublin can so easily identify with this if you look at what Unesco regards as our culture while we leave it facing dereliction and decay. Van Gestel was not the first in the business but he did establish Camelot with the core value of professionalism.
Tackling bureaucracy is essential. Dearbhail McDonald rightly identifies that the delay by the Banks and the stalling of proceedings leading to families chained to houses that they will never be able to repay, is part of a huge problem in Ireland. The negative equity crisis could be short-term but based on the Deutsche report it could be decades. Add to this the 100,000 people awaiting social housing and the crisis coming down the road in the buy-to let-market and we need some consolidated think tank with an entrepreneurial mindset like Mr VanGestel to put a halt to the blundering City Council ineptitude before it gets into full belt with the bleet we have no funds!.
Camelot tackled the local authorities. It created a scale model. It tackled the legal structures in each country to establish exemptions to tenancy laws for temporary tenants. He then tackled the Governments and persuaded them that to the advantages of keeping buildings occupied. Certain countries created a tariff system to make owners of buildings liable but this creates its own problems when local authorities begin to count on these tariffs as income for the council, a little like the property tax. Van Gestel promotes occupation not squatting or non utility.
Camelot now operates in 6 countries. The financial crisis is good for the company in that tenants are less fearful about having to leave quickly. The revenues are increasing by 30% a year, hitting Stg£20m 2011 up from £15 m in 2010 – not bad! Their properties include bankrupt bread factories, former convents, abandoned theme parks. Camelot consists of department for database entry, IT department, with software developers in India. His motivation is about keeping his employees challenged.
It is not all bad in Ireland but we have a long way to go. We need vision but it must be motivated by the common good and public good.
Initiatives exist. ‘Come in from the Cold’ is in place by the Simon Community, Focus Ireland and St. Vincent de Paul. It is a tiny step (21 only homes) but let it be the start of something new. The aim in Cork for this Christmas is that every person will have access to a hostel while others will have their own home. As Focus Ireland’s Ger Spillane said “We are guaranteeing landlords a monthly rent, ongoing maintenance of their properties and an assuarance that their property will be returned in its original state at the end of the lease. We will support every tenant as long as its necessary”. Its not a bad deal for the landlords. Too many landlords became victims to bad tenancy arrangements during the Celtic Tiger and the dis-interest of estate agencies and the lack of effectiveness of state agencies like the PRTB especially in the area of rent subsidies.
The public private partnerships for the like of O’Devaney Gardens may have failed but this at least is a start of people using their mental capacity to ensure people have the right to a home.
Sunday December 23rd, 2012
|Subject:||Ghost estates or displaced by motorways, by Michelle Clarke (Chestnut) Urban abandonments and dereliction|
|Date:||Sun, 23 Dec 2012 19:53:13 +0000|
|To:||Corporate Admin <CAdmin@tourismireland.com>, Corporate Coleraine <CColeraine@tourismireland.com>, Clare Finglas <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jimmy Deenihan <email@example.com>, Leo.Varadkar@Oireachtas.ie <Leo.Varadkar@Oireachtas.ie>, Shane Clarke <SClarke@tourismireland.com>, gatheringireland <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
by Ex Commie. Sun Dec 23, 2012 18:49
Capitalism always recovers.
Communism is Dead