Dublin’s housing crisis, it’s not just one issue, it’s several issues
One solution to a lack of housing supply is the State building houses, but will this ever properly happen.
Problems keep arising but the solutions aren’t coming. How long before the ongoing rental crisis in the capital is properly addressed?
The latest concern to th housing and homeless crisis is over the request for even more money for deposits from tenants before they rent a property. Irish Residential Properties Reit (Ires Reit) is now asking potential tenants for two-months’ rent as a deposit. The average rent in Dublin apartments is approx. €1,500 per month, which means a tenant will have to pay €4,500 up front, a €3,000 as a deposit and €1,500 for the first month’s rent.
Who has that kind of money when they’re trying to rent a place?
The excuse landlords are giving for such leaps is that the traditional one-month deposit isn’t enough to cover potential damages, upkeeps and rent arrears. That’s an interesting revelation, because it means that, all along, landlords have kept quiet about the one-month deposit not being enough.
Dublin is a city that is eager to listen to the needs of visitors, not it’s residents.
Ires Reit recently finished the construction of 68 apartments in Sandyford, Dublin 18, for which they charged a record rent for the area, €2,570 a month for a two-bed apartment. All 68 apartments have been leased.
Landlords will say, that in other countries in Europe, asking for 2 or even 3 months’ rent as a deposit is very common practice. Even if it is, in other countries in Europe leases are longer, tenants have much more rights, the deposit is placed in an account that can’t be touched and it can’t be withheld without good reason, and rent is cheaper than the current high rents in Ireland, particularly Dublin, right now.
Eoghan Murphy, the new minister for Housing, has admitted that the vaguely estimated deadlines for Rebuilding Ireland won’t be met. The 25,000 social and private homes that are required annually just aren’t materialising out of thin air.
€39 million euro was spent last year on accommodating homeless Dublin families in hotels and B&Bs. Another €9.9 million euro was spent on other private emergency accommodation, meaning it’s now costing almost €50 million a year to house homeless families in the city.
How many homes could be built for social housing out of €50 million? Simon Coveney, during his time as minister for Housing, promised the use of hotels and B&Bs to house homeless families would end by July 1st of this year, a deadline that now seems quite laughable.
Building of Hotels
The one type of building that seems to fly up when it needs to, hotels are being built all across Dublin. City Centre sites are mainly for for tourists as a priority. There’s an extension to the Radisson Blu on Golden Lane, another extension to the Gresham on O’Connell Street, and at least two 200-bedroom hotels on the way in the Newmarket Square area. There’s a Clayton Hotel being built on Charlemont Street, a Maldron on Kevin Street, another hotel on Bow Lane, a boutique hotel in Ranelagh, and many more.
There will be an estimated 1,500 new hotel rooms by the end of 2018, and 2,000 new rooms by the end of 2019. Dublin has a shortage of hotels, for definite, but one can’t help but feel that this is a city that is eager to listen to the needs of visitors, not residents.
Housing Solutions & Proposals
Every intervention that has tried to address the crisis has failed.
The purpose-built student accommodation in the city centre was a welcome solution, however, the results mean that the only students who will be provided for are the very privileged ones. Aparto’s development on Dorset Street, with 447 beds, starts its rent at €940 a month. Another high-end student development is Uninest in Phibsboro, which has 101 beds, and there’s also aparto’s Binary Hub on Bonham Street, and New Mill in the Liberties with beds priced at €996 – €1,380 a month.
While building student accommodation is vital, most students will be priced out at that level.
- How many students do you know could hand over a grand a month in rent?
- How much money would they need to be earning in their part-time job?
- How wealthy would their parents need to be, to afford that?
Demanding a two-month deposit should not be allowed without a long lease being offered, we need proper rent control and regulations put in place.
Local authorities and the State need to be at the heart of providing social housing, not outsourcing every aspect of it to private construction industry, which clearly hasn’t been mobilised effectively to provide social housing. The solution to a lack of supply is the State building houses.
Every intervention that has been made has failed. From the Central Bank’s new mortgage-lending rules to the so-called two-year rent freeze – everything has resulted in house prices rising and rent rising.
This is because the crisis has effectively been poked with a stick instead of being properly taken in hand. Unless we tackle several things at once, it will continue. How many more homeless people need to die on the streets before our Government do something effective about it?
The day a homeless man is found dead on the streets of Dublin, Leo Varadkar tweeted this:
The people of Ireland responded: