O’Sullivan concern at shared accommodation proposal

06 October 2017

Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has welcomed a proposal to remove the need for a mandatory parking space at apartment buildings as a means of encouraging the use of public transport, but has raised concerns at mooted plans to introduce shared accommodation for young professionals.

Deputy O’Sullivan commented:

“I am encouraged by some of the proposals put forward by Minister Murphy at the IPI conference this morning, particularly regarding the removal of mandatory parking spaces, which would encourage a reduction in the dependence on cars where there is also the option of public transport.

“However, I am concerned that a plan to roll out a shared living type situation for young professionals would lead to lowered standards of accommodation.

“We need more detail on what exactly this type of arrangement would consist of. Are we talking about a shared bedsit type of situation or would it be more akin to student digs?

“The reality is that sharing living and kitchen spaces with total strangers would likely only suit a small number of people.

“The London example cited by the Minister, on which it seems this plan is based, is also not cheap, with the average en suite room costing around €280 per week, or just over €1,000 a month.

“The majority of those in the target age-group are likely to be in entry-level jobs on relatively low pay, and would struggle to afford such prices.

“I am also concerned by the Minister’s comments that the number of people living in this house share would be up to the designer or builder of the accommodation, as we don’t want to see a situation where ten young people are sharing living and kitchen space.

“I welcome the recognition that a one-size fits all approach to housing is not a solution, but we also can’t see a situation where there’s a race to the bottom in living standards.

“The Minister should also get on with properly regulating short-term holiday lettings or new rental accommodation, particularly in Dublin where the need is greatest, will simply get used up for this more lucrative market.”

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