Ireland's Housing Magazine 2021

Ireland’s Housing Magazine 2021 is published at a time of renewed focus on the housing crisis. While the Covid crisis had, until recently, served to divert public scrutiny, news that a global investment company had block purchased most of a new housing development in Maynooth refixed attentions exactly as Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD published his Affordable Housing Bill with Cabinet approval.

After a dramatic year in which residential construction has been delayed and emergency legislation necessitated, housing in Ireland continues to face three major challenges: delivering a sufficient supply of housing stock; increasing affordability; and ensuring the sustainability of individual units and communities.

In response, with a target of delivering 33,000 homes per annum, the Government will imminently publish its new Housing for All plan, alongside the Affordable Housing Bill and the Land Development Agency Bill.

As the tri-party coalition approaches its first full year in office, Ireland’s Housing Magazine analyses emerging housing policy and initiatives. It combines insightful written contributions with interviews from across the housing sector, government, and local government. Furthermore, the Housing Magazine includes an annually updated ‘who’s who’ guide to housing in Ireland, alongside listings for all relevant housing organisations and policymakers.

 

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1st June 2021

John O’Connor, The Housing Agency: Foreword

Prioritising affordability and sustainability Later this year will mark the completion of my term of office as Chief Executive of The Housing Agency. When I look back over the last 10 years, I can see some great progress resulting from unprecedented public investment in housing. Last year, about one-third of […]
1st June 2021

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien TD: “A matter of moral urgency”

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD published his Affordable Housing Bill with Cabinet approval on 4 May 2021, as news broke that a global investment company had block purchased most of a new housing development in Maynooth. The result was an instantaneous revival of intense media […]
1st June 2021

Ageing in place

Ciarán Galway speaks with Aoife Flynn Kennedy, Head of Clann, about collaborating in the era of Covid to deliver age-friendly housing. A component of Clúid Housing, Clann was established in January 2020 as an age-friendly housing body with a vision for “a society where everyone has a great place to […]
1st June 2021

Time to think beyond the house: A critical response to the climate and biodiversity crises

Covid-19 required radical action, but our climate and biodiversity emergencies need us to make long-term change to our lives to ensure sustainable futures for all, write Aoife Corcoran, Sustainability Advisor, and John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, The Housing Agency. Are the houses and communities we build now equipped for the […]
1st June 2021

Eoin Ó Broin TD: A paradigm shift

Following the formation of the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green Party coalition government in July 2020, Sinn Féin has operated as its chief opposition, quickly identifying housing as its opponents’ Achilles heel. Ciarán Galway sits down with Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin to discuss ‘generation rent’, homelessness and international investment. […]
1st June 2021

Now is the time to prepare your AHB for statutory regulation

The Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (AHBRA) was established on 1 February 2021 by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), Darragh O’Brien TD. AHBRA was established to oversee the effective governance, financial management and performance of all voluntary and co-operative housing bodies, in accordance with the legal […]
1st June 2021

Fingal produce successful solutions with innovative housing delivery model

The recent decision by members of Fingal County Council to approve the disposal of land at Ballymastone, Donabate is the latest milestone for an innovative model that is set to increase the mechanisms open to local authorities for housing delivery. Fingal have developed a local authority-driven delivery model in which […]
1st June 2021

IMF says more revenue needed to solve housing crisis

In a review of the Irish economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Ireland will need to raise more taxes if it is to invest in affordable housing to a sufficient degree once recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has begun to take hold. In its Staff Concluding Statement […]
1st June 2021

Respond: Growing from strength to strength

Respond, the approved housing body (AHB) and service provider, has a dual strategy of “building homes, improving lives”. As one of Ireland’s largest approved housing bodies, Respond is unique in providing a wide range of services alongside its housing construction and housing management. These include Daycare for Older People Services, […]
1st June 2021

Homelessness during and after Covid-19

Austin O’Carroll, HSE Clinical Lead for the Dublin Homeless Covid Response, discusses the challenges of coordinating homeless services during the Covid-19 pandemic, how cross-sectoral collaboration was key to lower-than-expected infection rates, and the future of homelessness services after the pandemic. “I live and work in the north east of Dublin’s […]
1st June 2021

Peter McVerry Trust plans significant growth in housing delivery

Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has said it intends to rapidly grow the number of homes it is providing directly to people impacted by homelessness. The charity, which is now active in 28 of the 31 local authorities across Ireland, worked with 7,800 people and helped […]
1st June 2021

Stormont Housing Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA: Housing system revitalisation

Stormont Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey MLA discusses her plans to tackle the significant challenges facing the northern housing system, including the revitalisation of the Housing Executive and the development of a housing supply strategy. Outlining that legislative and structural transformation is needed to address housing need in the North, […]
1st June 2021

Housing for All: Opportunities for social and affordable housing

Ensuring housing affordability, increased supply, access for key target groups and enhanced quality of all housing should be the overarching focus in the new proposed new government Housing for All policy document, writes Donal McManus, CEO at the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH). A national plan that has strategic […]
1st June 2021

Supply is key in post-pandemic housing

Despite initial predictions that the Covid-19 pandemic would lead to a softening of the harsh conditions of the housing market in Ireland, supply has thinned and prices have risen in the year since the virus reached Ireland’s shores. The housing sales market was sitting stable in early 2020, with prices […]
1st June 2021

Circle VHA: Seeing the opportunities

This year we have all lost quite a bit, some more than others and that is to be acknowledged, mourned and accepted, but what have we gained this past year, with the exception of a few kilos, is opportunity. More than ever before we have had to seek innovative solutions […]
1st June 2021

Housing first: Eradicating homelessness

The Y-Foundation’s Saija Turunen discusses how a housing first approach in Finland has seen the country close in on its ambitions to eradicate homelessness by 2027. Highlighting that Finland is currently the only EU country where the number of homelessness people is on the decline, Turunen points to a dedicated […]
1st June 2021

Supporting the post-Covid recovery: Building more homes for more people

The core objective of the Housing Alliance is to achieve a step change in the increased delivery of new social and affordable homes. The Alliance recently appointed Sean O’Connor as its new Chairman and John Hannigan as Vice Chairman. Sean is CEO of Tuath and a Chartered Surveyor, John is […]
1st June 2021

Affordable Housing Bill published

In May 2021, the Cabinet approved the Affordable Housing Bill brought forward by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien TD, which will see the coalition government attempt to put its own stamp on solving the issues in Irish housing. Speaking after the approval of the Bill by Cabinet members, O’Brien said […]
1st June 2021

Retrofitting Ireland’s homes

Declan Meally, Head of Transport and Communities at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) outlines the National Retrofit Programme that will see 500,000 homes, one-third of Ireland’s housing stock, retrofitted to a B2 BER by 2030.  Ireland has an ambitious Climate Action Plan that includes the deep retrofitting of […]
1st June 2021

Land Development Agency Bill 2021

The Land Development Agency Bill 2021 was published on 5 February 2021 and is intended to provide for the establishment of the Land Development Agency (LDA) under primary legislation. While established as an interim entity under secondary legislation in September 2018, the 2020 Programme for Government (PfG) commits to placing […]
1st June 2021

Is cost rental a feasible approach to increasing Ireland’s affordable housing supply?

Few would dispute that more homes must be built in Ireland, but perhaps the more pertinent question is how we build the right type of affordable homes, to meet the long-term diverse needs of Irish society. It is not an easy question to answer and naturally the varied stakeholders in […]
1st June 2021

Numbeo comparison: Irish property prices

Numbeo, “the world’s largest cost-of-living database”, crowd-sources global data relating to quality-of-life, cost-of-living and property price indices. In its cost-of-living by country index for 2021, the price comparison website lists Ireland as the 12th most expensive country in the world. Numbeo’s property price index utilises several indices to compare information […]
1st June 2021

Investment in long-term social leasing is part of the solution to Ireland’s housing problem

There has been much focus in recent months on the concept of local authorities and approved housing bodies (AHBs) leasing residential accommodation on a long-term basis in an effort to help to reduce housing lists throughout Ireland, writes Shane Cahir, Director, Residential Capital Markets, CBRE Ireland. It must be stressed […]
1st June 2021

Rent Pressure Zones to be replaced

The existing rent pressure zone (RPZ) system will remain in place until 31 December 2021. Beyond this point, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD has indicated that his department is devising a new replacement system set to be unveiled in late 2021. A Rent Pressure Zone […]
1st June 2021

Driving the retrofit wave

Following the publication of Ireland’s retrofit targets in the Climate Action Plan in 2019 and Programme for Government in 2020, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) was designated as the National Retrofit Delivery Body. Chief Executive Officer William Walsh outlines the rationale informing the National Retrofit Programme. Contextualising energy […]
1st June 2021

Delivering homes and creating communities

As the conversation about the delivery of social and affordable housing across the country dominates almost every news outlet, one could be forgiven for forgetting that for approved housing bodies (AHBs), the delivery of quality social homes is just one part of their mission. Director of Operational Performance Caroline Casserly  […]
1st June 2021

Affordable housing: Lessons from Europe

Secretary General for Housing Europe, Sorcha Edwards speaks to the Housing Magazine about the lessons Covid-19 has taught the affordable and social housing sector at European level. Housing Europe has been the main voice of approved housing bodies and their equivalents such as public housing providers, corporate housing providers, and […]
1st June 2021

Homes for today and tomorrow

Currently, the two biggest issues facing Ireland are housing and climate change. As such, green lending is helping to construct a more sustainable future. Fieldfisher Ireland real estate partner, Paddy Smyth, and real estate partner, Joanna Bannon, write. There is a growing demand across society to confront the threat of […]
1st June 2021

Housing affordability in Ireland

Published in December 2020, Housing Affordability in Ireland is a European Commission economic brief. Authored by Maria Jose Doval Tedin and Violaine Faubert, the economic brief analyses the main factors behind increasing house prices in Ireland, alongside policy options to improve affordability. Housing prices in Ireland reached a nadir in […]
1st June 2021

Approved Housing Bodies are key to growth of social housing sector in Ireland

Across Europe, social housing is being delivered and operated in a highly regulatory environment. Although smaller in tenure than homeownership, social housing is regarded as a professional risk-adjusted asset class that attracts private ESG investors, write Ad Hereijgers, Business Development Director and Austen Reid, United Kingdom Director of RITTERWALD Consulting. […]
1st June 2021

Irish local authority housing “inadequate” says Council of Europe

A report by the Council of Europe has found local authority housing standards in Ireland to be “inadequate” and stated that the State’s treatment of local authority tenants and Travellers is violation of their rights. The report, compiled by the Council of Europe’s European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), found […]
1st June 2021

Building and sustaining good partnerships is key to housing provision

Padraic Clancy, Head of New Business with Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI), explains how taking on larger projects has enabled the organisation to consolidate its workload by keeping delivery numbers high but reducing the number of sites. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on every sector in Ireland. Housing has […]
1st June 2021

International homelessness

The last time a global survey of homelessness was attempted, the UN estimated that there were over 100 million homeless people worldwide in 2005. The non-profit Habitat for Humanity stated in 2015 that as many as 1.6 billion people worldwide lack adequate housing. It can be extremely difficult to properly […]
1st June 2021

Energy efficient homes: Bringing customers on the journey to net zero

Bord Gáis Energy is developing and delivering solutions which enable customers to reduce carbon emissions through controlling and optimising the energy they use, improving energy efficiency, accessing cleaner energy and fuel switching. Our ambition is to empower our customers to be net zero by 2050. Colin Bebbington, Retail Director at […]
1st June 2021

Covid-19 and construction

With the return of all construction in early May 2021, the industry will be hoping that it has put the worst of work stoppages behind it as it looks to meet adjusted targets for the year. Tuesday 4 May 2021 marked the return of all construction amidst the gradual lifting […]
1st June 2021

Investing in social housing: Protecting yield and managing risk

An increasingly diverse range of large-scale investors have been moving into Irish social housing at an accelerating pace over the past 24–36 months. It’s perceived to be “a hot space” because of the potential to achieve what are deemed by the market to be attractive long-term State-backed yields/returns for investors […]
1st June 2021

Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage work programme

In April 2021, the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage agreed its work programme for 2021 and laid it before both houses of the Oireachtas.  Dictated by standing orders, following the establishment of the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage in 2020, the committee has published […]
1st June 2021

Stricter Airbnb regulation and vacant home tax amongst latest proposals

The Housing Minister has discussed fresh plans for enhanced regulation of short-term letting and vacant land and homes.  In May 2021, Minister Darragh O’Brien TD told a series of parliamentary party meetings that he plans to introduce further regulations on short-term letting in a bid to increase housing availability.  O’Brien […]
1st June 2021

The Labour Party‘s Housing Priorities

Labour’s priority in housing is ultimately to solve the housing crisis and to do so we believe that we must have an ambitious, State supported, housing system where incentives are put in place to achieve the goal of building affordable homes. Senator Rebecca Moynihan, Labour’s Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government […]
1st June 2021

A social democratic approach to housing policy

At the heart of the Social Democrats’ housing policy is a belief that good quality and affordable housing in sustainable communities is a fundamental requirement for a good life. Our vision is for an Ireland where everyone has a place to call home, writes Cian O’Callaghan TD. The issues in […]
1st June 2021

Avoiding ‘housing dystopia’

‘Generation rent’ has become a permanent feature — a new ‘housing precariat’ — living in expensive, insecure, high-rise ‘co-living’ apartment blocks with major issues of stress, family breakdown, and decline of community and social cohesion. Maynooth University’s Rory Hearne writes “The wave of financialisation with ‘cuckoo’ investor funds buying up […]