Paypal asks staff to rent room to new colleagues

Housing shortage hitting FDI, says payments company

Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation annual conference, Louise Phelan said the rental situation has reached a crisis point and could impact on foreign direct investment

Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation annual conference, Louise Phelan said the rental situation has reached a crisis point and could impact on foreign direct investment

 

Paypal has begun asking staff to make spare rooms available to new employees, because of the shortage of rental accommodation, according to the company’s head of Irish operations Louise Phelan.

Ms Phelan said rental property has become one of the greatest challenges for the online payments company which employs 2,400 people in Dublin and Dundalk.

“Property prices are a consistent problem for my teammates trying to find somewhere to live. In terms of housing, I’m asking all teammates in Ballycoolin in Dublin and Dundalk to see will they rent rooms for teammates that I am bringing in from 26 countries because they can’t get accommodation.”

Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation annual conference, Ms Phelan said the situation has reached a crisis point and could impact foreign direct investment.

“Today I am paying €2,000 upfront to people coming into Ireland to put them into hotels so I can get a chance to get them residential accommodation,” she said.

“It costs about €1,500 to hire an individual, but today it’s costing me about €3,500 upfront to find a hotel for at least two to three weeks. It’s crisis time for us and for bringing in foreign direct investment overall,” she added.

Ms Phelan, who is also the company’s vice-president of global operations, said the mindset is changing, and Ireland needs an after-care service for people if the country wants to keep attracting jobs and businesses.

“The reality is that the IDA do an amazing job, but if you don’t have the after-care service for people, FDI won’t invest in you.”

“It used to be about how many people I can hire. Now it’s about how many people I can hire and get schools for their families and get into a home.”

IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said there are localised pressure points in the residential property market across Ireland.

He said investors make their decision to locate based on a number of factors, most particularly, the availability of talent, adding that as a country we need to ensure our continued competitiveness across all factors that impact on investment and not take that flow of investment for granted.

“Winning business for Ireland is a contact sport, and it is vital that Ireland stays attractive to foreign investors across all areas,” he said.

“Investors continue to choose Ireland - and the IDA’s pipeline remains strong,” he added.

Earlier this week, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said Ireland may bring in legislation to link residential rents to the rate of inflation and temporarily control soaring rental costs.

He said the Government will publish its plan to impose certainty around residential rents and curb sharp increases within weeks.