Immigration after Brexit could increase homelessness, department warns

Dublin Regional Homeless Executive has set up a team to prepare for Brexit

There is a ‘considerable pent-up demand and shortage of accommodation’ especially in greater Dublin, where demand is strongest and prices are highest. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

There is a ‘considerable pent-up demand and shortage of accommodation’ especially in greater Dublin, where demand is strongest and prices are highest. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

 

Increased immigration after Brexit could increase homelessness by causing extra demand for homes in the Republic, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will warn the Oireachtas committee on housing today.

Damian Allen, the official leading the department’s Brexit preparations, will tell TDs and senators there is a “risk” that the additional houses planned by the Government may not be enough if immigration rises.

Brexit could prompt increased foreign direct investment, particularly from non-European Union companies seeking an English-language base inside the EU.

The UK may become less attractive to EU citizens from elsewhere after it quits the EU, Mr Tom Healy of the Nevin Economic Research Institute told a previous meeting of the Oireachtas housing committee.

Naturally, it is the department’s ambition that increased housing output will be sufficient to meet demand

In his opening address to the Oireachtas Housing committee, Mr Allen is expected to say that Brexit “clearly” has the potential to create further sharp swings in migration patterns.

“It is the strong view that significant increases in net migration would present a concern in relation to increased numbers of households having difficulty in accessing affordable accommodation,” he will say.

Construction

Plans to increase construction of social, affordable and private homes; strengthened rental rental regulations; and extra emergency homeless accommodation are of “critical importance”.

“Naturally, it is the department’s ambition that increased housing output will be sufficient to meet demand but we are also cognisant of the potential risk in this area and will be monitoring the situation very closely,” Mr Allen will say.

“HAP ultimately does little to provide security of tenure or remove the prospect of homelessness in the future”
“It is the strong view that significant increases in net migration would present a concern in relation to increased numbers of households having difficulty in accessing affordable accommodation.”

In September, 9,698 people were in homeless accommodation. The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, which co-ordinates services across the four Dublin local authorities, has set up a team to prepare for Brexit.

The team will, says Mr Allen, improve co-operation between the local authorities, State agencies and the Government: “Brexit is one of the chief issues under consideration by this group at present,” he is expected to say.

Tom Healy said that that there is a “considerable pent-up demand and shortage of accommodation” especially in greater Dublin, where demand is strongest and prices are highest.

“Brexit will, other things equal, boost foreign direct investment in the Republic and, with it, inflows of personnel generating greater demand for housing including rented accommodation.

“However, nobody has estimated how much, where and when this will happen,” he said, though it is “unlikely” that the transfer of financial-services jobs from London to Dublin would have an impact. Such staff will seek higher-end homes.

Many non-EU firms will want a post-Brexit “foothold in an English-speaking member state of the EU” he said, adding: “EU nationals who might have otherwise moved to the UK will arrive to live and work in the Republic of Ireland.”