Serving investors but not tenants


Sir, – Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is continuing his erstwhile predecessor’s practice of stretching words to the point where they no longer contain meaning. When in the same role, Eoghan Murphy redescribed social housing to include various forms of rent subsidisation and leasing within the private rental sector. Now Mr O’Brien is proposing a “cost-rental” scheme which generates investor profit (“Alternative funding for cost rental homes must be considered, Minister says”, April 29th).

Both rhetorical moves are straight out of Orwell. Their real-world effect is that the terms we use to describe housing confuse the conversation from the start.

Before Ireland has even attempted to replicate the model which functions with huge success in other European capitals, we are twisting it to serve investors, not tenants. One is inclined to twist Chesterton’s adage about Christianity: “The cost-rental model has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found unprofitable and left untried.” – Yours, etc,


Social Policy Advocate,

Jesuit Centre for Faith

and Justice,

Dublin 1.