Shared understanding of needs vital to Ireland’s housing future

State’s housing affordability, inclusion and sustainability can be helped by global experts

Policy initiatives require legislation, funding, land, infrastructure, provision of vital public services and institutional change. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Policy initiatives require legislation, funding, land, infrastructure, provision of vital public services and institutional change. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Alongside its preparation of a new housing strategy, Housing for All, the Government has made the important decision to establish a housing commission and has recently appointed its chair. Together these must drive a new vision for Ireland’s housing system.

Ireland’s approach to housing over the past half century had two broad elements. First, there was State promotion of home ownership via tax relief on mortgages, facilitated by urban sprawl on relatively cheap land, and helped by high inflation which reduced the burden of mortgage repayment. Second, there was residual provision of social housing for those on very low incomes, funded upfront by State grants, with generous tenant purchase provisions which eroded the stock of social housing.

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