Tuesday 27 September 2016

Facing a perfect storm with no roof overhead

Published 30/10/2015 | 02:30

While the shortage of units is most acute in Dublin, the scarcity is being felt in all of our major cities
While the shortage of units is most acute in Dublin, the scarcity is being felt in all of our major cities

Stop-gap measures can have long-term impacts so they must be weighed up accordingly. For this reason one has to question the latest measures to tackle the housing crisis in the capital.

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While the shortage of units is most acute in Dublin, the scarcity is being felt in all of our major cities.

Some 700 families, and nearly 1,500 children, are currently in emergency accommodation.

All the same, the selection of the five sites for homeless families identified by Dublin City Council has raised questions. It has been noted that all are in areas of the city that would be regarded as predominantly disadvantaged.

The council claims to be pursuing an "ultra-accelerated procurement" process to deliver sites.

Given that this is the case, might it not have been possible to fast-track planning at alternative sites in less congested locations?

A perfect storm is developing. People find themselves paying more in rent than they possibly would be in mortgages. Mortgages themselves are beyond many given that a 20pc deposit is required.

Apart from the obvious social cost, the economic fallout is also making itself felt.

Yesterday, Voxpro, one of the fastest growing firms here, warned the lack of affordable housing now threatens to derail the recovery. Overseas workers were having to resort to living in hostels and B&Bs. Ireland needs 60,000 to 100,000 new housing units by 2020 to meet demand.

Time is running out fast. It matters little whether it is the Environment Minister Alan Kelly, or the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who comes up with a plan. What matters is that there actually is a plan. On this Government's watch, a housing crisis has rapidly become a housing emergency.

Irish Independent

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