'Short-term emergency measures' needed to build affordable housing 

He says prices will continue to rise in the coming year
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.11 30 Dec 2021

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'Short-term emergency measures...

'Short-term emergency measures' needed to build affordable housing 

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.11 30 Dec 2021

Share this article

The Government should consider short-term emergency measures to build more affordable homes.

That's according to Dr Rory Hearne, assistant professor in social policy at Maynooth University.

He told Late Breakfast prices are likely to continue to climb, and more action will be needed.


He says whether it is people looking to buy their own home, or those facing homelessness, everyone is affected.

"It's a real, real human crisis going on out there.

"The housing crisis really emerged again when COVID kind of went off the headlines in May.

"And what also happened in the second half of this year was house prices went through the roof.

"[Prices] literally jumped from 2% increasing per month up to 13% towards the end of the year.

"And rents, similarly, after stabilising somewhat in 2020".

He says while the Housing for All plan commits to more affordable homes, this has yet to happen.

"My concern and worry is that we saw this year very few affordable homes were actually built by the Government.

"So the question really is, for me anyway, is is the Government going to take some really short-term emergency measures that could provide homes quickly".

Looking forward to 2022, he believes not much will change.

"I can't see anything but prices continuing to rise in terms of the housing market.

"They're probably likely to rise continuing in the first half of [next] year definitely... possibly stabilising in the second half."

But he says stabilisation depends on people not pushing up prices.

"The problem is we have investor funds in the market who can outbid people in buying homes, who are buying most apartments.

"That adds an extra pressure in".

'Real broken system'

He says there is a similar issue facing renters.

"There's a real question - have we reached the height, people cannot afford to pay for the new build-to-rent units at 2,000 a month for a one-bedroom unit.

"But people are stuck and they've no choice; so we have this real broken housing system".

And he believes housing needs to take more of a policy priority.

"Generation Rent, Generation Stuck at Home, millennials, people in their 20s, 30s and even 40s do really need to speak out on this.

"In a way I feel like we need - when we look back at marriage equality and we look back at the repeal movement - and how those movements, social movements, changed Ireland.

"And they changed the course of the way people are treated and they put love and they put heart at the centre.

"And I think in a way we need to do the same with housing - we need to see home as our heart".

Main image: Housing expert Rory Hearne pictured in Marino, Dublin in June 2021. Picture by: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo/Niall Carson

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