Tuesday 25 April 2017

Lack of investment in housing, water and broadband will cost us for generations

'Infrastructure investment is shaping society – by omission'
'Infrastructure investment is shaping society – by omission'

Tom Parlon

All parties involved in trying to form a government agree that solving the housing shortage will be a priority, it appears. However, the housing crisis cannot be solved without addressing Ireland's infrastructure gap. Without addressing both, Ireland risks creating miserable and unsustainable communities cramped into the Greater Dublin region while our rural economy stagnates.

A quick review of the parties' manifestos and subsequent proposed programmes for government show a variety of proposed solutions. All promise to increase housing output rapidly - in some cases, increasing annual output up to 25,000 per annum by around 2020.

Even now, it's fairly safe to predict that these electoral promises will be broken. We began building 8,000 houses only in 2015 and we have begun only 2,000 so far in 2016. House building, large estates in particular, require huge investment in roads, rail, broadband, water and the other vital infrastructure to transform them into sustainable, vibrant communities.

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