European Institutions must help address Ireland’s Housing Crisis

26 April 2024

Labour’s European Candidate for Ireland South, Niamh Hourigan, has said that European institutions must take decisive action in tackling Ireland’s escalating housing crisis. 

Niamh Hourigan said:

“With the release of record homeless figures for March 2024, revealing a staggering 13,866 individuals, including 4,147 children, now experiencing homelessness, the need for urgent intervention has never been more apparent. It is unacceptable that thousands of individuals, including children, are left without stable shelter in one of the wealthiest regions of the world.

“One of the priorities of my campaign is housing and if elected, I’ll work hard with my colleagues in the S&D Group. They have been advocating hard for the regulation of the European Housing Market and the necessary changes to EU fiscal rules to enable an ambitious public investment agenda. By aligning efforts with the S&D group, I aim to prioritise housing as a fundamental human right and address the systemic issues contributing to the crisis. Together, we can push for meaningful change at the European level to ensure adequate housing for all.”

Furthermore, Hourigan underscored recent legislative progress made by the S&D Group in the European Parliament aimed at regulating short-term letting platforms, such as Airbnb, to protect guests and communities against fraudulent practices. With over 18,000 entire homes available for short-term rental on Airbnb, compared to only 2,000 on for long-term lets, the unregulated short-term rental market has exacerbated Ireland’s housing supply crisis.

Niamh Hourigan said 

“The passage of legislation to monitor short-term letting hosts is a step in the right direction, but more must be done to rein in the rampant growth of this market. EU institutions must take decisive action to regulate short-term lets and prioritise long-term housing solutions.

“The European institutions must act swiftly and decisively to address Ireland’s housing crisis. By prioritising housing as a fundamental human right and implementing regulatory measures, we can ensure that every individual has access to safe, affordable, and secure housing. The time for rhetoric has passed; concrete action is required to safeguard the well-being and dignity of those affected by homelessness and housing insecurity.”

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