6 housing solutions


Get private and voluntary sectors involved

To give thousands of people living in sub-standard public housing a better deal, cash-strapped Dublin City Council needs to consider involving the private and voluntary sectors. For example, St Joseph’s Mansions on Killarney Street, once a drugs black spot, was renovated by Reddy Architecture for the Cluid Housing Association. The number of apartments was reduced, lifts were installed and a community centre and offices built.

Boston option

Another public-housing option is the Harbour Point model in Boston, where a run-down estate with multiple social problems was renovated by property developers Corcoran-Jennison under a 99-year lease and has been managed by them since its completion in 1990.

District development

Developing the emerging district centres of Heuston and The Point as mixed use areas to attract middle-class families and high-quality employment should be a priority.

Tax incentives

Many of the “empty nesters” in family-sized homes with front and back gardens could live more comfortably in apartments. Tax incentives could facilitate passing these houses to a new generation.

Think small

In the city or inner suburbs, allow small-scale residential development of two-to-six units on in-fill sites, for individuals, families or even groups of friends.

High density guidelines

Dublin could learn from Vancouver’s high-density housing guidelines for families with children. These specify bedrooms with sufficient floor space for playing, hallways with room for toys and private or semi-private outdoor spaces, among other simple, sensible rules.

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