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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2019
Question for written answer E-002123-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  UN criticism of Ireland's human rights failures in the housing sector
 Answer in writing 

In March the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, wrote to the Irish Government condemning its policies that have resulted in denials of the human right to adequate housing.

Specifically, the UN points to cuts to the public housing budget and land hoarding by investors who deliberately restrict supply in order to inflate rent and prices. This criticism also applies to the actions of the Irish Residential Properties real estate investment trust (I-RES REIT), which the letter’s authors point out has ‘openly discussed policies of introducing the highest rents possible’ to increase returns for shareholders.

The UN authors single out three specific policies that have caused the financialisation of housing in Ireland, including: the establishment of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA); the promotion of real estate investment trusts (REITs) from 2013 onwards; and the sale by the state-controlled banks of non-performing loans to US vulture funds.

Has the Commission engaged with the UN and EU Member States on the issue of the financialisation of housing, including the role of US vulture funds, and its impact on the social and human rights of EU citizens?

Does the Commission plan to respond to this series of reports, which involve EU Member States?

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