Build-to-Rent 'could solve housing crisis', SCSI conference told
Build-to-Rent schemes could offer a potential solution to Ireland's housing supply shortage and help to steady spiralling rental costs in the process, delegates were told at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland's (SCSI) annual conference held in Dublin last Thursday.
"Build-to-Rent is a new model of sustainable living which has proven successful in international cities such as London, Glasgow and Manchester," said Alexandra Notay, an independent advisor and author of more than 30 books and reports on real estate, at the event in the Croke Park Conference Centre.
"It is a viable alternative to home ownership in Ireland in helping to solve a lack of housing supply which can only get worse if solutions aren't found.
"The fact that these schemes are largely institutionally-funded means that issues such as financial constraints do not arise. The financial backing is already in place which gives huge scope to deliver a high number of these units into a housing sector starved of supply in a relatively short period of time," said Notay, who was involved in the recent publication of the second edition of the renowned ULI UK Best Practice Guide on Build-to-Rent.
She added: "The mobility of employment and labour means people want and need to rent and live in properly designed, built and managed units in urban areas and Build-to-Rent offers this opportunity should Ireland wish to embrace the trend."
Annmarie Farrelly, Director of Planning at Fingal County Council and one of the conference's panel experts, highlighted the lack of interest in this model of supply to date.
"While we welcome discussions with potential providers of this residential model, we have yet to receive any approaches," she said.
"Build-to-Rent schemes offer huge opportunities and an exciting proposition to inject new impetus into the property market, generate jobs and deliver high-quality developments in appropriate locations where people want to live, work and build communities," said Claire Solon, president of the SCSI.
Separately, Solon welcomed Housing Minister Simon Coveney's announcement of the Government's intention to fast-track the delivery of 30,000 new homes in towns across the country.
"In particular, we [the SCSI] welcome the fast-tracking of residential housing schemes and the identification of significant land holdings for potential development," she said. "The intention to reform the planning process is a very practical way to ensure faster turnaround of projects. However, this intention must be backed up with the provision of increased manpower in local authorities and An Bord Pleanala to meet the potential increase in large scheme applications."