Sunday 16 June 2019

Proposed co-living scheme is just a 'glamourised form of tenement living' - McDonald

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)
John Downing

John Downing

A proposed “co-living scheme,” comprising a room the size of a parking space and kitchen area shared by 42 people, has been condemned during a Dáil debate.

Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, said the scheme which has been praised by Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, with a proposed monthly rent of €1,300 was utterly unacceptable.

“It’s €1,300 per month for what amounts to glamourised tenement living,” Ms McDonald said.

Ms McDonald pointed to a scheme proposed for Dún Laoghaire by Bartra Capital and she criticised the Housing Minister for enthusiastic endorsements of co-living schemes.

“Co-living has no place in our dysfunctional rental market. It is no solution,” the Sinn Féin leader said.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, hit back and said he believed that An Bórd Pleanála were unlikely to approve plans, including elements like 42 people sharing a kitchen, which breached Government guidelines. He said there were about five co-living schemes being developed constituting 1pc of housing developments.

“It’s not going to replace traditional housing. But it’s another option for some people, maybe young people,” the Taoiseach said.

Mr Varadkar accused the Sinn Féin leader of confusing a number of issues.  He said the Government was slowly making  progress in tackling the housing crisis and house prices have stabilised.

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