The housing crisis is the reason I, a privileged young man, will not remain in this country

Looking for accommodation in Dublin means Sisyphean persistence and constant anxiety

Letter of the Day

Sir, – I’m a 28-year-old working professional who has been living in Dublin since September of 2022. I attended graduate school at Trinity College Dublin and have since earned a work permit, working as a marketing manager at a tech firm.

I enjoy reading The Irish Times, particularly the work of David McWilliams and Fintan O’Toole, so please excuse me if I’m treading over worn ground.

As a white-collar, very privileged young man, I can say with full confidence that the Irish housing crisis is the single reason I will not remain in this country.

I cannot imagine what it’s like for people on the margins of society, so I won’t try to speak on their behalf.


All I can do is speak through the prism of my own experience.

To shed light on what a day in life is like searching for rental accommodation, I thought I would walk you through a typical day.

I begin my morning by opening up Daft straight away. I then respond to everything that fits the email criteria I have laid out.

To have a chance at getting a response, the best move is to answer the advertisement as quickly as possible, ideally within two minutes of it being pushed live on the site. That means I am constantly vigilant on my phone throughout the day. After that, if I’m lucky enough to get a response, going to a viewing requires me to be in my best form. It’s you versus four to five other prospects, all of whom have five to 10 minutes to charm the prospective roommate, landlord, or letting agent.

The minute you begin to look for new accommodation in Dublin, it takes over your entire world. It’s an exercise in Sisyphean persistence and a constant state of anxiety. Even as I offer rent months in advance or write the email of a lifetime, I must continue my search.

And eventually, it will end. This nagging, clawing, desperate search for a place to lay my head will end. I will find a place because I have the resources and because I won’t quit.

But even when my search is over, it won’t be forgotten.

Dublin is the San Francisco of Europe. A place where unprecedented wealth and prosperity meet a crushing rental market and rampant despair for folks just barely hanging on. It’s a place where white-collar workers crawl over each other to secure a home and those with no options are forced into homelessness.

For every planning permission that is blocked in Milltown or denied in Drumcondra, this city will continue to resemble San Francisco just a little bit more.

This may be Europe, but Dublin reminds me a great deal of home.

I won’t stay here. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6.