Hourigan says Europe can be part of the solution to our Housing crisis

07 March 2024

Labour’s European candidate for Ireland South, Niamh Hourigan, says that the recent passing of a new EU bill to better regulate short-term rentals shows that EU institutions can be part of the solution to Ireland’s housing crisis.

Hourigan was speaking after the European parliament last week passed a bill which will ensure that short-term letting hosts can be properly monitored to protect guests and communities against fraudulent use.

Hourigan says: “I have chosen to make housing a priority in my campaign as I believe Europe can have a transformative role in solving Ireland’s housing crisis. If elected, I will be seeking to introduce a European Plan for Affordable Housing along with colleagues in the Socialists and Democrats, the second largest group in the European parliament to which the Labour party belongs. I will also be pushing for stronger anti-speculation policies to target investment and vulture funds. If European institutions can manage food security through CAP, it’s time they showed they can do something about housing security- shelter is also a basic need ”

“Right now, European institutions are part of the problem in terms of our housing crisis. Spending rules limit how government spends money on social and affordable housing and EU institution’s have obstructed attempts to regulate short-term letting platforms.

“There are currently over 18,000 entire homes available to rent short-term on Airbnb, compared to 2,000 on Daft.ie for long-term lets. To-date this huge short-term rental market has been under-regulated exacerbating our housing supply crisis. The Labour party have repeatedly called for action at European level to limit or regulate short-term lets but until last week, we have seen very little movement on this issue”

“However, a bill passed by the Socialists and Democrats in the European parliament last week proves that EU institutions can be part of the solution to our housing crisis. It requires platforms to insist that  short-term letting hosts are given a registration number, that information provided by hosts is correct and that authorities will be able to take action in cases of fraudulent use of the platforms.

“This transparency is the starting point for better regulation for local authorities and shows that the EU could have a real transformative impact in our housing crisis if our representatives at EU level can push strongly enough for it.”

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