Would more high rise developments solve the housing crisis?
In its Housing for All policy, the Government said it wants an average of 33,000 housing units to be built on average every year until 2030.
With space at a premium in certain urban areas, would denser housing units help facilitate that target?
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, IBEC’s Head of Enterprise & Regulatory Affairs Aidan Sweeney said greater density is essential if the housing crisis is to be tackled effectively.
“For us, it’s quite simple - Dublin needs to go higher,” he said.
“There’s actually an appetite out there for people to actually go higher and, we believe, most people are in favour of buildings between six and 12 stories."
Mr Sweeney said it is not just a case of reducing the housing shortage; he believes people in cities with high density levels have a better quality of life.
“What we’re talking about is actually sensible planning and a consistent approach to how we use the space that’s available,” he said.
“We need more people living in urban centres - that’s actually about sustainability.
“It’s a good environmental practice to have people living close to where they work, consume the services.
“Dispersed development and urban sprawl doesn’t work, it leads to poorer quality of life.”
If the construction industry decides to build more on the periphery of urban areas, Mr Sweeney said it would ultimately lead to greater costs in the long-run.
“It’s more expensive for local authorities to service those houses,” he said.
“It’s actually more environmentally friendly… it leads to people getting in their cars and driving hours and hours a day to work.”
Out on the streets of Dublin, locals had a mixed reaction when asked about the prospect of more high-rise housing.
“What’s the advantage of the high-rise?,” one man told Newstalk reporter Josh Crosbie.
“I personally think we’re overcrowded as it is. We’re just like ants walking around, to be honest with you.”
While a woman recently back from a visit to Australia said she could see the advantages to building up.
“I think, at the moment, we need more housing,” she said.
“So, if that’s what has to happen, that’s what has to happen.
“I was in Melbourne over the summer and they adjust [to high-rise buildings].
“They get used to it and, to be honest with you, it’s going to be worth it for the housing.”
Last year, 29,851 new homes were completed in Ireland - just slightly below the Government’s target of 30,000.
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Main image: Construction cranes on a building site in Dublin, 10-10-2017. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews