Action on Housing needed for Ireland to compete as post-Brexit European hub

31 July 2017

Labour Housing and Enterprise spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said Ireland must move to alleviate the housing crisis if it is to successfully compete with other EU cities as a post-Brexit hub.

It comes as the deadline for applications to host the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority expires at midnight tonight, with Ireland expected to make a formal bid for both.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“If Dublin is to stand a real chance against the likes of Frankfurt, Luxembourg or Paris, it is essential that we get our house in order- quite literally- when it comes to the housing situation in our capital city and regional hubs.

“Both the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority currently employ around 1,000 people between them in London, and while we hope there would be many employment opportunities for local workers at any new Dublin base, there must also be suitable accommodation available for workers that relocate here.

“There will likely be many criteria taken into account when a decision is being made on where the new host cities will be, and the availability of housing will surely be one of them. Right now I am concerned that Ireland would fall behind our European counterparts in that regard.

“There are many unknowns with Brexit but Ireland should position itself to compete for any opportunities that come our way, and sorting out our housing situation should be a key priority for Government.

“For example, we heard the IDA say just this weekend that they expect a ‘flow of announcements’ from London-based firms planning to move or expand to Ireland because of Brexit.

“The Government’s Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness was published a year ago this month but has missed many of its deadlines, and there is little evidence that the number of homes needed are being delivered with any kind of speed.

“They need to urgently get a handle on why developments that already have planning permission are not being built; if there is land-hoarding in anticipation of larger profits and developing a prototype for mixed tenure affordable and social homes on publicly owned sites.

“The market will not solve the housing problem; specific actions by Government are required urgently.”

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