Irish Times poll: Majority would be happy to see new housing nearby

Respondents also believe it should be harder to block housing developments

Most voters would be happy to see new housing built in their areas and believe it should be made more difficult to block developments, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.

The findings come amid rising concern in Government circles that objections and court challenges are delaying the provision of new housing – an issue seen by Ministers as key to the Coalition’s success.

While proposed new developments often attract objections from nearby residents, often supported by local politicians, two-thirds of respondents to the poll (66 per cent) agreed with the statement, “I would be happy to see a significant amount of new private housing built in my area”. Twenty five per cent disagreed.

A slightly lower proportion of respondents (60 per cent) said they would be happy to see “a significant amount of new social housing built in my area”, while 29 per cent disagreed.

There is some disparity between the views of homeowners and non-homeowners, with homeowners noticeably less supportive of new housing in their area. However, a majority – albeit a smaller one – of homeowners still favour construction near them of both social and private housing.

In the case of social housing, homeowners say they would be happy to see new projects in their area by a margin of 51 per cent in favour to 37 per cent against, with 12 per cent expressing no opinion.

There is also a clear majority among voters who expressed a view that it should be harder to block housing developments.

Asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “It should be made more difficult for people to block housing developments in their area”, 51 per cent said they agreed, with 36 per cent disagreeing and 13 per cent offering no opinion.

The views of homeowners and non-homeowners on this question were identical.

The poll was conducted among 1, 200 adults at 120 sampling points across all constituencies on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Respondents were interviewed at their own homes, a change from February’s poll which was conducted via telephone because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times