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Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis: Population and Settlement - Rob Kitchin


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Royal Irish Academy Conference: Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis
23 April, 2013, Academy House

The on-going crisis and associated responses to it (political, governance, popular etc.) provides an entry point for a wide-ranging exploration of spatial justice as a theoretical construct and a departure point for empirical analysis. Discourses of justice, equality and fairness remain central to a range of interconnected debates as Ireland seeks to recover from the interrelated collapses of the banking system and property markets and the knock on effects through the rest of society and the economy. Scale is an important dimension in framing and constructing popular discourses concerning issues of justice, e.g. the role of EU institutions in shaping Ireland’s treatment of banking debt or the impact of national budgetary measures on particular places. The focus of this conference is on understanding these spatially connected processes, how they are functioning at different scales, their impact on particular or specific places and spaces, as they give rise to new or evolving social and economic geographies.

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Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis: Population and Settlement - Rob Kitchin

  1. 1. Unfinished estates, housing and spatial justiceRob KitchinRob KitchinRIA,  23rd April 2013
  2. 2. Drivers/enablers of the bubble• DemographicsE i th• Economic growth• Neoliberal policy adoptionD l t d fi (d l t & t )– Deregulated finance (development & mortgages)– Tax incentives; tax benefits– Laissez-faire planning/over-zoningLaissez faire planning/over zoning– Rolled back on Part V - forego social/affordable obligations– Pro-growth, market-led, state facilitated, zero-sum development– Self-regulated construction industry• Cronyism, clientelism and localism• Speculator capitalism (buy to let, buy to flip)• Consumer panic (getting on the ladder)• Tax generation (VAT, stamp duty, capital gains,development levies)
  3. 3. 800009000010000050000600007000080000Huge growth10000200003000040000Huge growthin housing 01993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010in housingstock andstock andhouse priceshouse prices
  4. 4. th POP!then POP!five years of unwinding
  5. 5. Residential property price changes 2007-2013
  6. 6. Housing vacancy 2011 (Census)g y ( )289,581 unitsOversupplyc.110,000 (6%base rate)base rate)9 counties >15%9 counties 15%vacancy ( homes)Source: CSO
  7. 7. • spatial justice Whereas social justice tends tofocus on the inequalities between people, spatialq p p pjustice focuses on the disparities between places.Given the uneven spatial distribution of resourcespand rights, with some places better served thanothers, spatial justice seeks a fairer redistribution.p jSpatial justice also recognizes that some placesreceive a disproportionate share of harmfulp ppractices that exposes the local population to risks,such as the siting of a polluting industry, which itg g yseeks to ameliorate.Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography, 2013, 485Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography, 2013, 485
  8. 8. Unfinished estates: 2 876 (2011)Unfinished estates: 2,876 (2011)
  9. 9. Unfinished estates• Number of unfinished estates 2012: 1,770 (definition change)• 1,100 estates are in a ‘seriously problematic condition’• Only 250 estates (8.5% of 1,770) are active• 16,881 units vacant; 17,032 units still under-construction• 421 estates not liable for property tax (units lacking decentroads, lighting infrastructure, paving, sewage and water)Change in occupancy 2010-2011105 (3 6%) t t h d f ll i th l l f• 105 (3.6%) estates had a fall in the level of occupancy• 1,536 (54%) estates no change in the level of occupancy• 573 had a change of 1-2 ; 287 estates change of 3-5573 had a change of 1 2 ; 287 estates change of 3 5• Vast majority of estates experienced very little change in thelevel of occupancy between 2010 and 2011• Top 100 estates (3.5%) with the most positive change inoccupancy accounted for 60.7% of all newly occupied units
  10. 10. Issues with unfinished estates• Completion and maintenancep• Health and safety• Security• Security• Anti-social behaviour• Lack of services and public transport• Building control and planning complianceg p g p• Bonds and finance• Negative equity• Negative equity• Sense of place and community
  11. 11. Build quality and pyrite• Priory Hall q y pyPriory Hall– Out of homes for >18 months– 187 apartments deemed unsafe to live in187 apartments deemed unsafe to live in• PyriteEstimates 20 60 000 homes– Estimates 20-60,000 homes– DECLG claims 74 estates with 12,250unitsunits
  12. 12. singhousorityhDublinauthocalaLocLimerick
  13. 13. Local authority housing Dublin CC: PPPsy g
  14. 14. Local authority housing Dublin CC: PPPs
  15. 15. Social housing waiting listg gHousing needs 98,318Homeless persons 2,348Travellers 1,824Persons living in accommodation that is unfit or materially unsuitable 1,708P li i i d d d ti 8 534Persons living in overcrowded accommodation 8,534Young persons living in institutional care or without family accommodation 538Persons in need of accommodation for medical or compassionate grounds = 9,548Older persons 2,266Older persons 2,266Persons with a disability 1,315Persons not reasonably able to meet the cost of the accommodation they areoccupying or obtain suitable alternative accommodation65,643
  16. 16. Mortgage arrearsg g
  17. 17. Mortgage arrears Negative equityg g• 792,096 total residentialg q y• 2010:mortgages in state• 143,851 mortgages in• 34% of mortgages in negativeequity (47.5% in 2011)143,851 mortgages inarrears (18.2%); 94,488more 90 days (11.5%)• 52% of BTL mortgages innegative equitymore 90 days (11.5%)• Plus 42,031 restructured butnot in arrears (term• Spatial trap• Reduced labour marketnot in arrears (termextension, reducedpayment interest only)Reduced labour marketmobility• Restricts recovering market topayment, interest only)• 28,421 (18.9%) BTLaccounts in arrears of more• Restricts recovering market toFTBs and those not innegative equityaccounts in arrears of morethan 90 days as of Dec 2012negative equity
  18. 18. % Owner occupied with mortgageDublinCorkGalway
  19. 19. Post 2006 build2001-11 buildblinDuborkCo
  20. 20. Solutions to housing issuesg• Slow decline rather than sudden collapseSlow decline rather than sudden collapse• Minimal effort, minimal cost approach that givesthe impression of policy at work but to a largethe impression of policy-at-work, but to a largedegree pushes the problem down the roadW iti f k t ti• Waiting for market correction• NAMA, SHLI, SRP, scale back of regeneration• Neoliberalism in, neoliberalism and austerity out
  21. 21. NAMA• The idea behind NAMA was to relieve Irish banks of theirimpaired assets providing them with government-backedimpaired assets, providing them with government backedbonds which they could use to borrow from the ECB, andthus inject liquidity into the Irish banking system.• It also had the effect of protecting both the banks anddevelopers from going bust quickly• €73.6b of loans transferred• 67% of loans relate to Irish development and land• NAMA has paid on average 42.5% of the loan value for theassets in its portfolio• It’s largely a black box; it’s significantly overshadowing theproperty market and its operation• Focus is solely restoring market not spatial justice as withRTCs in US
  22. 22. Social Housing Leasing Initiativeg g• Launched in September 2009 to complement the work ofNAMANAMA• Ties new social housing supply to market based mechanismsand the private rental sectorand the private rental sector• Properties are rented from the private sector for 20 years, andused to accommodate households from local authority waitingused to accommodate households from local authority waitinglists.• Properties are to be tenanted managed and maintained byProperties are to be tenanted, managed and maintained bythe local authority, with the rent guaranteed for the wholelease period• After the twenty year period, the house will revert to thelandlord• Barely makes a dent in social housing waiting list
  23. 23. Site Resolution Plans• Partnership approach to estate completion• All stakeholders (developers, banks, local authorities, residents,estate management companies, Health and Safety Authority,etc) produce a negotiated plan of actionetc) produce a negotiated plan of action• Non-mandatory, voluntaristic, deregulatedLack comp lsi e mechanisms• Lack compulsive mechanisms• Time frames are suggestive not mandatoryN fli t l ti h i• No conflict resolution mechanisms• Local authorities are being given no additional resourcesL k f fi d i l i i d• Lack of finance and insolvency is ignored• SRPs are likely to be slow and haphazardf f €• The associated government fund of €5m is a paltry sum• Focuses on tidying up and health and safety not larger issues
  24. 24. Conclusion• There are a number of pressing spatial justiceissues relating to housing in Ireland– Unfinished estates– Build quality and compliance– Stalled local authority housing projects– Mortgage arrears and negative equity• The approach to addressing them has largelye app oac to add ess g t e as a ge ybeen a minimal effort, minimal cost effort• The result is households and communities beingThe result is households and communities beingleft to wither on the vine whilst government waitsfor market correctionfor market correction• Market correction is not happening any time soon
  25. 25. AIRO – open data/tools to understand crisis
  26. 26. Thanks• Kitchin, R. OCallaghan, C. and Gleeson, J. (in press) The new ruins ofI l d? U fi i h d t t i th t C lti Ti I t ti lIreland? Unfinished estates in the post-Celtic Tiger era. InternationalJournal of Urban and Regional Research• Kitchin, R. (2013) Making informed decisions on future housing policy., ( ) g g p yHousing Ireland• Kitchin, R., Gleeson, J. and Dodge, M. (2012) Unfolding mappingpractices: A new epistemology for cartography Transactions of thepractices: A new epistemology for cartography Transactions of theInstitute of British Geographers.• Kitchin, R., O’Callaghan, C., Boyle, M., Gleeson J. and Keaveney, K.(2012) Placing neoliberalism: The rise and fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger.Environment and Planning A 44: 1302 – 1326• Kitchin, R., Gleeson, J. Keaveney, K. And O’Callaghan, C. (2010) AKitchin, R., Gleeson, J. Keaveney, K. And O Callaghan, C. (2010) AHaunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic TigerIreland. NIRSA Working Paper 59.