Belfast Telegraph

Ireland’s housing policy ‘not robust enough’ to cope with Brexit

The authors of a report have urged housing minister Eoghan Murphy to “Brexit-proof” the department’s current housing polices.

Ireland’s current housing policy is not “robust enough” to deal with the potential impact of Brexit, it has been claimed.

Concerns over whether the housing department’s Rebuilding Ireland policy can remain as the current blueprint for tackling the housing and homelessness crisis have also been raised in a report.

The report from the Dail’s Housing Committee was critical of a number of Irish Government polices after it examined possible social and economic changes that could arise as a result of Brexit, and the potential effects they could have on the housing market.

However, it stated that many of the issues the housing sector could face post-Brexit are existing issues that would be worsened, rather than specific Brexit-induced problems.

The authors of the report have urged housing minister Eoghan Murphy to “Brexit-proof” the department’s current housing polices.

“With Ireland currently experiencing a substantial housing shortage it is necessary to examine if Brexit could impact the housing market”, committee chairwoman Maria Bailey said.

It also warned of the problems of attracting new workers to Ireland to help boost the construction industry.

The report states: “The committee is also of the opinion that more should be done to attract back Irish emigrants who left the country previously as this is likely, the committee believes, to achieve results in the short-term.

Ireland currently does not have the housing infrastructure to meet current demand The Housing Committee report

“However, while the committee is of the opinion that Ireland needs more skilled workers in the construction industry to meet housing demand, enticing new workers to the country could prove difficult.

“Ireland currently does not have the housing infrastructure to meet current demand. Attracting additional workers to Ireland to build houses would paradoxically increase the demand for housing.”

According to the report, potential modifications to the EU’s Common Travel Area could also impact on completion times, due to a resulting skills shortage.

Ms Bailey added: “The report deals with potential population changes, added pressure to our housing stock, barriers to trade and potential tariffs on goods, potential disruption to materials needed for construction and potential increased costs and delays on construction times.”

The report recommended that current housing protections, such as Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), are strengthened to protect tenants.

It has also called for the targets set out in Rebuilding Ireland to be continuously re-examined and updated to reflect the current housing demand, including the anticipated effects of Brexit.

The report said that significant investment is needed in the construction tech sector to help Ireland become more self sufficient and less reliant on overseas for construction products and technology.

It said that more dynamic ways are needed to promote apprenticeships and third-level construction courses to encourage people to enter the sector. It added that the department should develop contingency plans for the short to medium-term impacts on housing in the years following Brexit.

“Priority should be given to ensuring the minimum level of disruption to construction material supply chains and cross border labour,” the report added.

Press Association

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