Saturday 17 March 2018

How many homes are needed to address our housing crisis?

The inability of housing supply to meet demand should dominate Minister Eoghan Murphy's thoughts

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Steve Humphreys
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Steve Humphreys

Ronan Lyons

By dint of the timing of the seasons, the new Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, has perhaps avoided a baptism of fire. Appointed just as the summer recess started, he has had time to find his feet in the new brief without the day-to-day pressures bearing down on him when the news cycle is back up to an hour a day.

That honeymoon is definitely over, though. Since late August, a slew of new reports has shown that the related housing and homelessness crises continue to worsen. Rents continue to rise - and indeed inflation rates are close to record levels, despite Rent Pressure Zones. With a new academic year, many students are struggling to find somewhere to live.

Sadly, a number of homeless people have died in recent weeks, leading to worries about how our country's homeless will cope with winter. And this week, Davy released a report outlining how underlying housing demand is close to 50,000 a year nationwide. This number is consistent with my own estimates.

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