Ireland’s housing crisis has become personal


Irish writer and filmmaker Manchan Magan once built a house out of a straw sack. Newcomer from Mexico in the serious housing crisis in Dublin, I am starting to think about following his example.

I knew the situation was bad before I arrived – the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), which advises the government, called for “bold action” last November. .. .. To fix our dysfunctional housing system. ”

In fact, at the beginning of August, Ireland had 2,455 rental units. This is “a record and very low number for a country of Irish size,” according to a recent report from Daft.ie, a real estate site that I visited 20. Once a day.

So, of course, there are few important questions here. housing .. The new large-scale private real estate development plan can therefore be expected to be welcomed.

Take the district of Drumcondra. Close to Dublin city center, home to Ireland’s largest sports arena for Gaelic football and hurling, Cloak Park, and a candidate for a major housing project by US property developer Hines.

Funded by the Dutch pension fund APG, Hines is seeking permission to build most of the 1,614 small apartments on its former site. Seminar .. The development will provide high quality (read, expensive) housing targeting 70% of the rental market demand for one and two bedroom apartments, reducing local rents.

“The more we don’t overcome and build, the worse the crisis will get,” says Brian Moran, Managing Director of Hines, Ireland.

But with the project Others Love It As they “build to rent”, they infuriated locals who were trying to climb the property ladder. The developers build and own all the apartments and rent them out to cover the cost of their investment. Individuals cannot buy these properties.

Buying a house in Ireland is a challenge in itself. Construction costs are huge, according to Ronan Lyons, economist and housing expert at Trinity College. The break-even point for a builder of two-bedroom apartments is € 450,000. Recent reports. Repayments are high and house prices are often stubbornly higher than what banks are willing to lend.

For a tenant, a quarter of Irish households, things are not easy. Dublin’s rent has more than doubled in the past decade, with Lions calling it “an abnormal supply shortage”.

Housing conditions are particularly dire for those with low incomes, and the government plans to announce a long-awaited large-scale state building program called Housing for All in the coming days.

On the other hand, in Dublin, it seems that there are offices where workers can never return and private constructions of houses that cannot afford them.

Alfonso Bonilla, architect and major opponent of the Hines project, criticized the rental construction criteria and called them “insufficient for a long-term lifespan”. He believes the development of drumcondra for up to 4,000 people is “based on the market value of design, not social cohesion.”

Hailing from Mexico City, Bonilla has twice the population of Ireland as a whole, so he knows a thing or two about trying to make the city suitable for city living.

After spending eight years in the bustling and chaotic city sprawl phenomenon of the Mexican capital, my difficult rental search in Dublin is: aduantas, Irish for anxiety caused by unfamiliar surroundings (a term I learned from Magan’s last book, 32 words from the field).. And although I lived in Dublin for a short time in 1993-1994, after spending 21 years in Latin America, Europe certainly doesn’t sound familiar to me.

Northern Ireland has been struggling ever since, along with the Republic of abortion and the arrival of an international tech giant lured by a strong corporate tax. The early construction and development of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom was beginning to transform Dublin. Now it’s richer, more international and much more multicultural, with trendy cafes lined up on the sidewalks and flashy cars lined up than I remember on the road.

It may still seem a little strange, but like the recent Dublin sun, the welcome has become wonderfully warm. I know I immediately feel at home. But first – and maybe a few good real estate agents are reading this – I need to find a house.

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