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Almost 40,000 people sign petition demanding government takes more action against vulture funds

The petition includes demands such as the scrapping of investor tax breaks.

Housing expert Professor Rory Hearne outside Leinster House in Dublin
Housing expert Professor Rory Hearne outside Leinster House in Dublin
Image: Niall Carson via PA Images

ALMOST 40,000 PEOPLE have signed a petition to demand the Government take more action against vulture funds in Ireland.

Uplift petition starter and housing expert Dr Rory Hearne and Uplift campaigners delivered the petition to government buildings today.

The petition calls on Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to take action against vulture funds as part of the Budget 2022.

Dr Hearne said: “Last May the Irish public were outraged by investor funds buying up an estate in Maynooth and the Government implemented measures it said would stop this practice.

“However, the measures excluded the main area that institutional real estate investors are buying and building – apartments.

“We continue to see investor funds buy up thousands of homes in this country, locking out those seeking to buy a home, and forcing renters into paying unaffordable rents.

“All of this is supported by Government policy such as the Real Estate Investment Tax break.

“In the new development of Griffith Wood in Marino, Dublin, no units are for sale as it has been bought up by US investor Greystar, despite home buyers initially being indicated they would be able to purchase a home in the development.

“One-bed apartments are now being advertised in the development at the obscene rent of €1,900 per month.

“Investor funds continue to flood into Ireland and buy up and now develop via build-to-rent unaffordable rental homes.

“There was a four-fold increase of real estate firms buying up homes between 2016 and 2020, increasing from spending €500 million in 2016 to spending €2 billion on buying up homes in 2020.

“In 2020 investors bought approximately 8,000 homes in Ireland.”

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Campaigners said the Budget presents an opportunity to bring in more measures that can stop global investment funds buying up homes, which drive up prices.

The petition, entitled Stop Investors Buying Up Our Homes, includes demands such as the scrapping of investor tax breaks, and imposing an investor tax of 50% on profits.

The group also called for a restriction on the sale of new developments to individual home buyers and not-for-profits, and to build public and affordable homes on state lands.

They have also called for a right to housing to be inserted in the constitution and to remove a landlord’s ability to evict tenants for sale and no-fault evictions.

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