'People shouldn't live in shoe boxes' - Ó Broin looking to end co-living


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.28 11 Aug 2020


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Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin says he is looking to end co-living accommodation as "people shouldn’t live in shoe boxes".

He is set to publish legislation seeking to end the controversial form of living arrangement.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Ó Broin said he's looking to undo two changes to planning law that were introduced by former housing minister Eoghan Murphy.

'People shouldn't live in shoe boxes' - Ó Broin looking to end co-living

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The Sinn Féin housing spokesperson explained: “[Co-living] is where people can spend up to €1,300 a month for 12 square metres of living space - that’s what the regulations stipulate. Some providers provide a little bit more, but that’s the standard.

“He also introduced new regulations on build to rent accommodations - instead of apartments where people buy, apartments where people rent with lower standards in terms of less storage, less car-parking, more studio apartments etc.."

Deputy Ó Broin said his bill will aim to outlaw both practices.

In terms of co-living, he said: “Essentially what [the bill] is is saying people shouldn’t live in shoe boxes - 12 square metres, for people who don’t know, is a car-parking space.

"The idea that it’s acceptable in our city for young people - or even not so young people - to be paying €1,200-1,300 for a car parking space shouldn’t be permissible."

'We need to scrap this'

Deputy Ó Broin suggested co-living developments have a negative impact on the housing market overall.

He pointed to the example of one developer in Dublin 8, saying they were able to 'double the price of the land' as they could fit accommodation for up to six times as many people as the original planning application allowed for.

He explained: “What that means is a ripple effect right across Dublin 8 - anybody that has land, isn’t going to be putting that land into affordable apartments: they’re going to go for much more high-end option of co-living or apartment hotels.

“Eoghan Murphy used very, very controversial mandatory planning guidelines powers that he had [to introduce this]… no vote of the council, no vote for the Oireachtas.

“We need to scrap this from the statute book."

Deputy Ó Broin warned that many young people in particular can't find affordable housing in Irish cities, and co-living is one of the reasons for that.

He said: "It is a bad form of housing - it is not a solution to anybody's housing needs.

“Look at what our artistic community, young professionals and students are saying: if all we’re allowing for is the high-end, developer-led options of luxury student accommodation, apart-hotels or co-living… there will be no space left in the city centre for affordable homes."

He said his party is proposing far more affordable accommodation be introduced instead of allowing co-living - saying they'd like people to be able to access a good quality studio apartment of 45 square metres for €900 a month.

Main image: File photo of Eoin Ó Broin. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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