Sunday 22 April 2018

'Planning' in Ireland is a matter of crisis-guessing

It's depressing to watch the messing in the Dail when our big idea on housing is getting old people out of their homes

'No one likes to remember now that little more than five years ago the country was in convulsions about having too many houses' (Stock photo)
'No one likes to remember now that little more than five years ago the country was in convulsions about having too many houses' (Stock photo)
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

So the latest wheeze is that we should 'encourage' old people to leave their homes. Naturally, this is an idea floated by economists, those people who know the cost of everything and the humanity of nothing. We are all just numbers to economists.

When they look at older people, they do not see people who have worked hard all their lives and who are now hopefully enjoying their retirement in an area where they have friends, family, ties, communities where they feel safe, where they have memories, where they have routines, a hinterland. When the economists of the ESRI look at old people, they see mainly that 30pc of them live in houses of seven rooms or more.

Even that number - seven rooms. Just a number to an economist. But think of the world that exists, the worlds that existed in every one of those rooms.

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