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NIMBY protests created a crisis in housing that can only be solved by more building

Colm McCarthy


Politicians have created new forms of homelessness, including homelessness for the prosperous, writes Colm McCarthy

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Dublin is not the only city in the world to have inflicted unaffordable housing on its citizens, with the by-products of generational inequity and a new social stratification

Dublin is not the only city in the world to have inflicted unaffordable housing on its citizens, with the by-products of generational inequity and a new social stratification

Dublin is not the only city in the world to have inflicted unaffordable housing on its citizens, with the by-products of generational inequity and a new social stratification

Increased support for Sinn Fein and the smaller opposition parties must be due in large part to the failure of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to display urgency about unaffordable housing. There is little evidence that voters perceived much difference in party policies about health, since all chose to endorse the Slaintecare aspirations. But the voters have rewarded Sinn Fein for according housing affordability the priority it merits, rather than for the details of its policy proposals, some of which read like a transition-year project.

In fairness they did have the candour to mention the desirability of lower house prices, a prospect which appeals to Irish politicians like a clove of garlic to Count Dracula. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have offered nothing more coherent, just tortured iterations on the policies which have delivered the current crisis, including flippant demand-side subsidies which would make things worse.

In a thinly populated country with a small capital city, there is no excuse for unaffordable housing. China alone has 100 cities with population equal to, or greater than, the population of Dublin. A map of the city is adorned with an archipelago of derelict sites on which developers struggle to secure planning permission even for low-rise apartments.