The Delivery of Affordable Housing Needs to be Accelerated
Ireland is facing an affordable housing crisis. The economic restart after COVID-19 means that there is a chance to improve and speed up the panning process for urban development.
The housing crisis cannot be ignored, the possibility for different types of living away from urban centers for people working from home is an attractive one but key workers and front-line workers still need to access the city center.
Ireland has always had issues with ownership of land. After it was owned by the British, it was sold at extraordinary low rates to anyone who had enough money to buy it. In stepped the Catholic Church. with a wealth of money from donations and government funding, the Catholic Church managed to buy and control land all throughout Ireland. Hospitals, schools, green space and housing developments all owned by the church. This is only being put to light now with questions being asked as to why the Pope of the Catholic Church would have to give his blessing over the construction of a children's hospital in Crumlin.
The people of Ireland have been hoarding land ever since they have gained independence. Property flipping, abandoned homes and derelict buildings are rife throughout the country. 3 bedroom houses are filled with 6 people with one bed being thrown into a hot press room with no natural ventilation.
Prices are now at an all time high with the cheapest newly built apartments in Dublin costing approximately half a million euro.
The young people of Ireland are forced to either throw away their money renting a house with a significant commute time to the city centre or set-up shop for the long term and buy a mortgage.This leads to a generation of Irish people that either live pay-check to pay-check or become landlords and landladies themselves, further exacerbating the problem.
The planning process system in Ireland is inherently slow, with mass amounts of time given to land ownership and public consultation. A country which was better connected 100 years ago struggles to keep its rural population sustainable as well as compete which global corporation conglomerates within its central business district.
The young people of Ireland need hope, they need affordable housing to ease the crush of rent and property prices that force them to leave the country. Like rats leaving a sinking ship, Ireland's birth rate remains high but it's population stays relatively stagnant.
The corporation tax is low so businesses stay and young people have jobs but the housing is not there, it needs to catch up and fast.