Minister should not rely on developers to assess the public health implications of co-living developments

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
21 July 2020

The Housing Minister should not rely on developers to assess the public health implications of their own co-living developments according to Labour Housing Spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan.

Moynihan was speaking after the property group Bartra Capital, who have submitted several applications for co-living developments claimed that the risk of contracting Covid-19 in its shared co-living developments is lower than the risk of transmission in a shared house or apartment.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The Minister should instead suspend the co-living guidelines until they properly assess the public health implications of these co-living arrangements instead of relying on what developers submit in their planning applications.

“It’s also clear in the context of this application in Ballsbridge, that there were originally plans on this site for a development of apartment units that were then scrapped in favour of a co-living development. We have seen in a number of cases including Ballsbridge, land that should be developed for the building of housing units and multi-unit developments being scrapped in favour of co-living. What Bartra are essentially trying to do is replace the building of long-term sustainable apartments with adequate space for people with shoebox apartments with shared facilities.

 “We cannot allow a situation where we are looking at co-living as a solution for people who are single and while these people do not want to live in house shares into their 30’s and 40’s, they do want secure long term accommodation and co-living is not suitable.

Moynihan continued:

“The Minister needs to suspend the guidelines on co-living until the Department have independently looked at the health implications of these developments as part of the review into co-living. The developers applying for permission to build co- living units cannot be relied upon to provide objective public health advice.

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