Sunday 17 December 2017

Paul Melia: A new housing minister will need vision - and real power

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Paul Melia

Paul Melia

If the new government, whatever its political hue, is serious about appointing a housing minister, the least of their worries should be whether they sit in the Department of the Taoiseach or of the Environment.

In Scotland, planning and housing rests with the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights, while in Western Australia it's a Minister for Housing, Racing and Gaming.

The first priority should be to give the minister the powers necessary to secure delivery of homes. The location of their office is irrelevant. The most crucial decision will be appointing someone with real vision and a willingness to step on toes, who also has an in-depth knowledge of the housing and rental markets.

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