First act of new Housing Minister should be to rescind co-living guidelines – Moynihan
The first act of the new Housing Minister should be to suspend the guidelines for co-living according to Labour Party Senator Rebecca Moynihan. Moynihan was speaking after the new Minister said on Today with Sarah McInerney that he ‘does not believe co living is a solution to the housing crisis’.
Senator Moynihan said:
“I welcome the acknowledgement by the new Minister that co-living does not work as a solution to the housing crisis and I would strongly urge him to suspend regulations for co-living spaces immediately and to not allow any planning permission to be granted for them as there are a number of live applications that are currently being processed by An Bord Pleanála.
“Under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, planning guidelines may be made, amended and revoked by the Minister at any time, meaning the Minister can do this with the stroke of a pen without having to go to the Oireachtas.
“The new Minister is on the record before he came into office calling for the Planning Act to be amended to ban co-living units and now, he is the Minister responsible, he should take his own advice.
“Co-living apartments are not a solution to the housing crisis in normal times and are even more unsuitable in the context of a global pandemic that has evolved into the worst health crisis in a generation. The type of communal living that is at the core of co-living does not allow for social -distancing and clusters of Covid-19 could develop in these co-living spaces because of this.
Senator Moynihan continued:
“Minister O’Brien needs to follow through on his previous statements on the unsuitability of co-living and rescind co-living guidelines now in case An Bord Pleanála grants permission for further such unsuitable developments.