FG co-living proposals out of touch with reality

21 May 2019

Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan has criticised the ongoing promotion of co-living arrangements by the Fine Gael Housing Minister as out of touch reality, and at risk of creating 21st century tenements.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The most recent proposal from Minister Murphy really is scraping the bottom of the barrel with Fine Gael’s housing policy. I don’t know of any young worker who would be ‘excited’ to live in a box room. The lack of affordable housing and a strong state response is forcing people to pay more and more for housing.

“We should be building communities, not complexes of studio apartments with communal cooking facilities. This is not a long term housing policy. This is an attempt at a quick fix in the face of a spiralling crisis. It is also an attempt to normalise cramped living conditions and erode building standards for public housing.

“Minister Murphy’s brazen disregard for the construction of good quality public housing is astonishing.

“The Minister says young workers should be “excited” about these ‘single occupancy bed spaces’. What he actually means is low income earners should be grateful for anything that this government throws at them.

“Minister Murphy has been wrong before, but this signals a new departure. His lack of awareness of the needs of those desperate to find housing is staggering and frankly this level of ignorance of the real struggle people are facing is unacceptable.

“Labour would never support this kind of housing model. We believe that all housing should be quality housing, whether it be public or private in ownership. We acknowledge the need for higher density development but that does not have to mean people cannot have their own kitchen and living room.

“If Fine Gael think this housing crisis will be solved by cutting back on space for stoves and sofas, they truly have lost all perspective.”

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