When it comes to the bad politics of boom and bust greater damage has been done in housing than anywhere else
In Sligo there are currently over 1200 people on the housing list. Over the next 3 years the Sligo County council are tasked to provide 301 social housing units of which current funding only provides for 28 new builds. The rest will be provided by refits of existing stock and attempting to lease units on the ever shrinking private market
At this rate of supply we will never come near to providing a home to all on the list. As it stands we are going backwards instead of forward. With the best will in the world our County council are fighting a battle they can never win under the current model.
As a society, we have yet to fully embrace cradle-to-grave, holistic thinking to provide homes for our people.
Instead we applied the principles of the casino to our housing policy.
The impact of this failure can be seen in a legacy of environmental degradation, from unoccupied one-off houses to developments that are not fit for purpose.
Reorientating politics to focus on the progressive, long-term improvement of our society requires integrated thinking.
Ireland’s current housing crisis has been caused by an absence of supply and of the capital needed to build homes for workers.
The centre point of our housing policy must therefore be to secure major capital investment of two billion Euros per year to build homes for working people.
It is not enough though just to build homes. There must also be a plan.
Our plan is informed by the principle of intergenerational needs; namely;
Studio flats and apartments for single people and family housing for families
Options for the elderly to move into accommodation that is suited to their needs later in life.
In terms of the two billion Euros and more per annum that is needed in investment RENUA Ireland notes that pension funds are looking for sustainable, long-term returns on their assets.
We believe that the state should work with local authorities to identify sites that are close to existing services and amenities and develop high- density, mixed-tenure housing.
These developments will be funded by Public Private Partnerships whose performance will be monitored by the state.
Local authorities will continue to manage these developments while pension funds and investors receive stable, long-term income flows.
After a period of time agreed on a commercial basis with the property funds, the ownership of the development and its associated income flows will revert to the state.
The housing crisis is one of ‘supply stupid’. Let’s be practical and deal with it.