Articles tagged with: Housing System in Ireland

Working Notes • Issue 80 Editorial

on Monday, 16 October 2017. Posted in Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy, 2017

PdfIconEditorial

cover issue 80

When Ireland became an independent State it inherited some appallingly bad housing conditions. This was most notoriously the case in the severely deprived areas of inner-city Dublin, but inadequate and overcrowded housing which lacked basic facilities was also prevalent in towns and villages and rural areas around the country. Over the following seven decades, significant improvements in Irish housing took place, not just because the country (eventually) became more prosperous but because public policy sought to bring this about. Grants and other subsidies provided by the State enabled an increasing number of households to become home-owners; in addition, as a result of large-scale provision by local authorities, tens of thousands of low-income households were enabled to access affordable and secure social housing. This is not to suggest that the policies pursued were always adequate – mistakes were made, most notably the failure to bring about greater social integration through housing and the frequent failure to provide essential social and community facilities in new housing developments.

Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy - Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

on Monday, 16 October 2017. Posted in Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy, 2017

PdfIconRebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy – Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness– Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

Margaret Burns, P.J. Drudy, Rory Hearne and Peter McVerry SJ

Introduction
Providing affordable, quality and accessible housing for our people is a priority ... The actions of the New Partnership Government will work to end the housing shortage and homelessness. (Programme for Government, May 2016)

Against a background of deepening public concern about the increasing number of households in Ireland experiencing some form of housing distress, and in particular the marked rise in homelessness, the Programme for a Partnership Government agreed in May 2016 set out a number of specific commitments to address the country’s housing crisis, and promised that the Minister for Housing would issue an ‘Action Plan for Housing’ within 100 days of the formation of the Government.1

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Homelessness and Social Housing Policy

on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Posted in Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy, 2017

Homelessness and Social Housing Policy

Peter McVerry SJ, Eoin Carroll and Margaret Burns

Homelessness

The Continuing Rise in Homelessness
The most disturbing aspect of the current housing crisis is, of course, the extent to which individuals and families are experiencing homelessness.

While homelessness has been rising since at least 2013 there has been a particularly marked increase since 2015. As indicated by Table 1 below, the total number of people living in emergency accommodation more than doubled in the period January 2015 to August 2017 (rising from 3,845 to 8,270). The number of families in such accommodation more than tripled (rising from 401 in January 2015 to 1,442 in August 2017), as did the number of children (increasing from 865 to 3,048). One person in three now living in emergency accommodation in Ireland is a child. There has also been a 32 per cent increase in the number of adults on their own in emergency accommodation (up from 2,441 in January 2015 to 3,235 in August 2017).1

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A Constitutional Right to Housing - A Tale of Political Sidestepping

on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Posted in Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy, 2017

 

A Constitutional Right to Housing: A Tale of Political Sidestepping

Jerome Connolly

Introduction
There is in the Sherlock Holmes canon a particular and often-quoted phrase which comes to mind when scrutinising the housing policies of successive Irish governments over the last two decades. The phrase refers to an incident concerning a dog guarding stables from which a racehorse had been stolen during the night. The curious aspect of this, Holmes remarked, was not that the dog barked but that it did not bark.

The repeated failure of Irish governments to actively address the question of a constitutional right to housing in this country is surely an instance of a dog that did not bark – but should have, loudly and insistently, in the face of the serious and multi-faceted housing crisis which this country has faced over many years and will continue to face for the foreseeable future.

It is not as if the question of inserting a right to housing into the Irish Constitution has been completely ignored in official reports or neglected in the work of academics and of a broad range of NGOs, including church groups; it has not.

 

Editorial

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconEditorial 

In little more than a decade, the housing system in Ireland has gone from the peak phase of a property boom to a collapse of the market and dramatic falls in both housing output and prices, and now to a situation where house prices are rising, particularly in urban areas, but where we continue to see the unfolding of the consequences of the ‘boom and bust’ in Irish housing – and the failure of public policy evident in both phases.  

This issue of Working Notes draws attention to the significant problems now facing tens of thousands of households in Ireland in terms of housing access, affordability and security.

The most serious indicator of the housing crisis is the increase in homelessness, reflected in the rise in the number of people sleeping rough, and in the number of individuals, and of families with children, having to live in emergency accommodation. Peter McVerry writes: ‘Homelessness is now worse than at any time in recent memory .... Many of the ‘new homeless’ have never been homeless before, and until this current crisis would never for a moment have thought they could become homeless’. 

Homelessness

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconHomelessness

Peter McVerry SJ

The Housing Crisis

Homelessness is the most visible, and extreme, consequence of a dysfunctional housing system. And the housing system in Ireland today is certainly dysfunctional; indeed, it could be said to be an example of the perfect storm, with all three of the main housing sectors in crisis at the same time.

In the private housing market, demand greatly exceeds supply leading to an increase in house prices, particularly in the Dublin area, with a consequent increased demand on the private rented sector and increased pressure on the social housing sector.

The Private Rented Sector in Ireland: Time for a National Strategy

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconThe Private Rented Sector in Ireland: Time for a National Strategy

Bob Jordan

Introduction 

In December 2014, in a ‘Chairperson’s Statement’ introducing the 2013 Annual Report of Threshold,1 Senator Aideen Hayden, stated: ‘Threshold is calling on the Government to introduce a national strategy on private rented housing as a matter of urgency. This strategy must provide real security for individuals and families who are making their home in the rented sector – a security which is lacking today’.2 

Threshold believes that the key principle governing such a strategy is that everyone has a right to adequate housing regardless of the tenure in which they make their home.3 Such a strategy should complement and reinforce the Government’s Construction 2020 Strategy and the Social Housing Strategy 2020, both announced in 2014.4

Recent Trends and Developments in the Owner-Occupier Sector in Ireland

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconRecent Trends and Developments in the Owner-Occupier Sector in Ireland

Cathal O’Connell and Joe Finnerty

Introduction

This article examines the recent experiences of the owner-occupier sector in Ireland, with reference to historic trends in home-ownership, the impact of the economic crash on the housing system and the consequences that followed, and the current and pending challenges faced by the sector. Given the links between the different sectors which comprise the Irish housing system, there will be some cross-referencing to the social housing and the private rental sectors in the course of the discussion. 

Tenure Trends in Irish Housing 

A feature of the Irish housing system has been the historically high level of owner-occupation and the consequent overshadowing of other tenures (see graph below). The rate of owner-occupation rose consistently throughout most of the twentieth century, peaking in the 1980s when the sector accounted for almost 80 per cent of the total housing stock, before a gradual reduction from the 1990s onwards.  

The Private Rented Sector: the Case for Regulation

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconThe Private Rented Sector: the Case for Regulation

P. J. Drudy

Introduction 

In the past, those with good jobs and reasonable incomes in Ireland might have aspired to purchase a home. However, after a short few years of house price falls subsequent to the economic crash in 2008, the purchase price of houses has been escalating again, meaning that owning a home may now be impossible even for households that are relatively well-off. Therefore, they have no option but to rely on accommodation provided by private landlords. 

At the same time, the dramatic increase in the numbers on social housing waiting lists (89,872 households in 20131 ), and the significant decline in local authority and voluntary housing association provision, mean that many poorer households are now entirely dependent on the private rented sector for accommodation. To support these households, the State paid out €372.9 million in Rent Supplement to private landlords in 2013 and €339.3 million in 2014.2

Catholic Social Teaching and Housing

on Friday, 22 May 2015. Posted in Issue 76 A Dysfunctional Housing System?

PdfIconCatholic Social Teaching and Housing

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ

Introduction

‘Have youse (yis) no homes to go to?’ – the traditional, plaintive cry of long-suffering publicans, trying to clear their premises after closing time, can sound somewhat hollow and ironic to many in today’s Ireland. We live at a time when housing supply does not meet demand; when, in the wake of the collapse of the property bubble, home-owners may struggle to meet mortgage repayments and many fear re-possession; where those in negative equity may find themselves unable to move from their current home even when there are pressing family or financial reasons for them to do so; where waiting lists for social housing are at an alarmingly high level, and where many are unable to access or remain in private rented accommodation because of unaffordable increases in rents in many areas.

Social Vulnerability in a Divided Housing System

on Wednesday, 14 December 2011. Posted in Issue 68 After the Housing Bubble, Poverty & Inequality, Housing Policy

Introduction
Ireland’s economic crisis and the central problems in the housing system that played a large part in precipitating that crisis should make it clear that there is an urgent need for new ways of thinking about housing. The model that became dominant during the economic boom was one of market idolatry and the relentless commodification of housing, such that it became primarily an investment vehicle for realising exchange values, often from no productive activity whatsoever.