The housing crisis


Sir, – A browse through The Irish Times using the online search facility yielded the following impressive, but almost certainly incomplete, list of proposed solutions, part or whole, to the housing crisis: build more social housing; borrow massively to build more social housing; build more affordable homes; develop a cost-rental scheme; build more local authority housing; create new funding models; change the building regulations; ease the Central Bank borrowing rules; reduce the tax burden on building of new houses; have larger grants for first-time buyers; simplify planning regulations; put a price cap on development land; increase supply; speed up the planning process; convert unused office blocks to residential; tax second homes; tax undeveloped land; tax holiday homes; convert spaces above retail properties; stop cuckoo funds (aka real-estate investment trusts); buy houses in bulk; build higher; build with higher densities; build more shared-living accommodation; change the inheritance tax rules; make it easier for people to trade down; pay grants to convert non-residential space to residential; and last, but not least, put a right to housing in the Constitution.

If we could build houses as well as we can come up with solutions to the housing crisis, the problem would soon be solved. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.