Social housing and public investment


Sir, – The Housing Agency was delighted to have Willem Adema of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Sorcha Edwards of Housing Europe present at our annual conference on Monday, comparing Ireland’s social housing sector with those of other developed countries. However, the report in Tuesday’s Irish Times (“OECD countries ill-equipped to meet Covid-19 housing crisis”, News, December 1st) appears to have misinterpreted the content of Mr Adema’s presentation.

Noting the halving, on average, of public investment in social housing across OECD countries over the last 20 years, the article stated that Ireland was “at the bottom of the group”. This is incorrect. The OECD Affordable Housing Database provides details of central government spending on social housing as a percentage of GDP for 17 OECD countries; Ireland ranked as the sixth highest spender on that list. With social housing accounting for 12.7 per cent of the housing stock, Ireland also had the sixth largest social housing sector as a percentage of all homes among 33 OECD countries. – Yours, etc,


Director of Policy

and Communications,

The Housing Agency,

Dublin 2.