Financialization, Housing and Dublin: Protest Outside Arthur Cox

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arthur cox financialization housing dublin

Small protest today outside the offices of Arthur Cox, Earlsfort Terrace, to highlight the financialization of the city and the role that law firms such as Arthur Cox play in this process.

This was part of the Right to Housing and the City campaign which will be launched across Europe tomorrow, with the Dublin event taking place at 2pm at Custom House Quay. All welcome.

[Photo by Aubrey Robinson]

Mick Byrne also has a column in The Journal on the reasons behind the protest.

In all of the above cases, debt-driven owner occupancy sectors dominate the housing market. It is no coincidence that from Spain to Ireland and from Hungary to Latvia, property bubbles emerged after widespread privatisation of the social housing stock in the preceding decades. Nor is it by chance that these same countries typically feature over-priced, under-regulated private rented sectors, leaving families little option but to seek a stable home through home ownership. Conor McCabe, in his book Sins of the Father, describes Ireland as a place were the ‘need for a home has been replaced by the need for a mortgage’ – and the same could be said for many countries across Europe.

But the unhappy marriage between housing and finance goes beyond the owner occupancy sector. Throughout the last decade social housing complexes in Dublin and Limerick were to be redeveloped under ‘public-private partnerships’ that relied on private finance. The local authority would give public land to developers for free, and the developer would build new social housing units while making a tidy profit from the construction of additional private housing.