Housing strategy for Dublin city to be reviewed amid affordability concerns

‘Inadequate and imbalanced’ housing supply to continue in the capital

The  Dublin City Council report says  the development of affordable housing is essential to “reduce the worst aspects of our dysfunctional housing market”

The Dublin City Council report says the development of affordable housing is essential to “reduce the worst aspects of our dysfunctional housing market”

 

Dublin is facing continuing “inadequate and imbalanced” housing supply, particularly in the provision of affordable homes to rent or buy, according to a Dublin City Council report.

The council is bringing forward a review of its strategy for the development of both social and private homes , published just two years ago, in light of the rapid changes in the market and in Government policy.

Since the publication of the 2016-2022 strategy some progress had been made in the provision of social housing, the council said, with 4,373 homes provided for social housing tenants last year up from 1,689 in 2015. However, the internal council report said a large proportion of these were rented from private landlords.

“This represents 42 per cent of all lettings over the period, and demonstrates the extent of continued reliance on Dublin’s private rental sector to deliver a social housing option for households in need.”

Just one in four tenancies were for a newly-built social house.

While there was some increase in private housing supply in the capital, this was also too slow to meet demand, said the report, which was drawn up by the council’s housing department.

Revamped strategy

“Dublin’s near future housing supply therefore remains inadequate and imbalanced. There is not yet sufficient affordable housing provision for rental or for owner occupation.”

The development of affordable housing schemes for renters and for buyers needed to form a central part of the revamped strategy, the report said.

“Dublin also needs to deliver greater access to affordable housing across all housing tenures. These issues will be to the fore as we undertake the review of the city’s housing strategy.”

It said the development of affordable housing was essential to “reduce the worst aspects of our dysfunctional housing market”.

“Dublin City Council is placing an emphasis on options for the public housing finance model required to produce new affordable housing for purchase and rental, and to renew and renovate its existing public housing stock.”

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy early this year announced the introduction of an affordable purchase scheme, but said an affordable rental scheme would take time to deliver.

There was, the council said, an increasing demand for affordable rental housing, particularly for households that do not qualify for social housing but are not in a position to become owner occupiers.

Challenges

“The number of households in this ‘intermediate’ or ‘mid-market’ rental segment is expanding in Dublin as more working households rent for longer periods. It is also where some of the more acute affordability and tenure security challenges are to be found in Dublin.”

To address this need the council wanted to develop “cost-rental” housing, where the rent is set at a level which covers the costs of providing the accommodationrather than a level which would generate profits.

The council had intended to review its strategy at the end of this year, but it said “as significant changes in Dublin’s housing market and in spatial planning policy have occurred, Dublin City Council is prioritising the review of its housing strategy and is initiating the process of review from July 2018”.