- May 20, 2010
Did the Caped Verde crusader - Eddie Hobbs put you up to it?Yes, that is a deliberately attention grabbing headline, but stick with me. In the UK, London councils are going to start 'moving' poor families out of the city because property prices in the capital are too high.
Here in Ireland there have been some quite successful pilot schemes to (voluntarily) rehouse homeless Dubliners in rural areas as both a cost saving measure, and as a way to offer families more space than could ever be affordable by the council in the city.
Dublin homeless may be housed in rural areas
But perhaps there is a slightly more radical solution if we look a little further afield. I'm just back from the Portuguese island of Madeira. Beautiful place - with a great mix of perfect weather and great (EU funded) infrastructure. They've also had a housing bubble that makes ours seem minor. The banks basically own around 20% of all property on the island and are very keen to shift it.
I went property hunting while I was over there. You can get a massive 4 bed in the main city for 80k. There are 1000s of similar properties for sale. The cost of living is around half or less of Ireland.
Do the maths, and the cost of housing a family for a year works out at under 3k, vs 15k minimum in Dublin. There are over 1000 homeless families in Dublin tonight who are housed in hotels at the tax payer's expense. For a fraction of that cost, Dublin City Council could buy a couple of apartment buildings in paradise and fly them over. Voluntary, of course.
This would be a very quick way to reduce the homeless crisis and save money to boot.