Sunday 22 January 2017

Fiasco: no beds for tech firms, but councils turn down homes

Peter Flanagan, Paul Melia and Shane Phelan

Published 02/10/2015 | 02:30

PayPal employees are unable to find accommodation here due to the shortage of homes and apartments to rent
PayPal employees are unable to find accommodation here due to the shortage of homes and apartments to rent

The head of a major multinational has warned that the rental crisis in Ireland has now become so bad that staff are being asked to offer rooms to new employees.

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PayPal Ireland boss Louise Phelan warned that new recruits cannot find rental accommodation here because of a dire shortage of home and apartments to rent.

The firm, which employs some 2,400 people in Dublin and Dundalk, warned that the situation was now "at crisis point" and at the stage where Ireland will lose foreign direct investment and the crucial jobs that come with it.

The problem has become so acute that PayPal is forking out as much as €2,000 extra for new employees coming to Ireland in order to pay for a hotel when they arrive.

Ms Phelan's comments came as property agents Savills warned that the rapid increase in Dublin's population was putting huge strain on the capital's housing and infrastructure.

In a bizarre twist, local authorities around the country have turned down offers of thousands of properties from Nama, despite the unprecedented housing shortage.

Nama says it offered 6,500 properties to councils for use as social housing, but only 2,500 of these were accepted.

The agency said in many cases councils said the units were "in the wrong location" or in areas where there was already a high density of social housing.

Separately, a row has broken out between residents of a Longboat Quay apartment block in Dublin and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) over who will foot the €4m repair bill to make urgent safety repairs. Dublin City Fire Brigade intends to serve a fire safety notice, ordering that works be completed.

Irish Independent

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