Monday 5 December 2016

New housing plan fails to address the elephant in room

Policies and zoning are behind high cost of homes in the capital but fixing the issue is a political quagmire, writes Colm McCarthy

Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30

Master plan: Minister Simon Coveney’s blueprint to solve the housing crisis has received a cautious welcome, but he has a mammoth task on his hands to make it actually work. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Master plan: Minister Simon Coveney’s blueprint to solve the housing crisis has received a cautious welcome, but he has a mammoth task on his hands to make it actually work. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

The Government's new housing plan has received a cautious welcome at best. There are good reasons for caution.

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The dysfunctional housing market was at the heart of the 2008 banking crash which brought down the broader economy and destroyed the solvency of the Government. It took several decades of policy mistakes to create the disaster and there will be no quick transit back to a rational and well-functioning system.

The key problem with Irish housing, whether owned or rented, is affordability, as the Housing Agency has pointed out time and again. If prices were affordable there would be no sense of crisis.

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