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My advice to new housing minister is this - borrow, demolish, build

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Paul McNeive

Paul McNeive

Paul McNeive

Phew! At last, we have a new Government and congratulations to Darragh O'Brien on his appointment as Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The brief appears simple enough: build 50,000 "social houses", ignite an "affordable housing" sector that makes sense but isn't happening, and unlock the "private sector" to ramp up supply and reduce prices and rents.

Mr O'Brien must shun the illusions of action, like rent controls and banning bedsits. To avoid joining the ranks of well-meaning failures, he is going to have to ruffle feathers and simplify matters.