Empty Houses/ Housing crisis.

Here’s a topic that has been discused of late. Its a burning issue for many youngsters who can’t afford to buy themselves a home.Many are still living with their parents or paying expensive rents for one or two bed apartments.

According to the Limerick post newspaper there is some 20,000 adults in the Limerick area living with their parents. They are approximately 60% male (home to roost basically) and only 5% were looking after a elderly realtive.

You can read then story here –

Cenus shows over 20,000 Adults living with their parents

What’s to be done ? Build more houses is the 0bvious answer but it’s not solving the problem with only 30.000 homes being built and demand for at least 50,000 or possibly 80,000 homes required. Thats a lot of houses to be built. Why so many ?

Booming economy  they say.

A lot of inward migration to fill the jobs and an increasing population and a fact that few houses were built after the economic depression that followed the “Bertie bubble”. Particularly council houses or is now called social or affordable  homes for those on low or medium incomes. There is no control on house prices much to many peoples horror. Once I attended a meeting some years ago where it was stated that the average house price in Dublin  in 1996 was €82,000 and in 2006m it was €384,000.

Inflation these days !

Average house price in Dublin (2024) is €435,000 for a 3 bed semi detached- 2 bedrooms and a box room, down the country it is am average price of €335,000.

People need salaries of upward €80,000 – €100,000 plus to buy a house with some taking out 35 year mortgages, paying it till you drop basically.

For this sum of money they get badly landscaped housing with few amenities. No parks or. playgrounds, little or no green space and no trees either. Concrete jungle more or less. Some purchase agricultural land to develop it as a building site but there are no services especially sewerage.

There is little landscaping and most houses stick out like a sore thumb in the countryside. We really don’t need more one off homes in the country. Turning every country road into a street is not good for planning or good for anything really.. One asks Why is the planning is so bad in this country ?

Everything  to make a fast buck for the wealthy few.

What are the odds of all these houses being worth less than what people paid for them – in a depression or a glut of houses is built. People will sell at a loss them or possibly not at all. This situation should never been allowed to happen. Bad management by various governments has allowed this to happen, they are all landlords anyway.

Changing the subject well not exactly lets discuss empty homes.

According to Uplift (people powered change) there is about 155,000 empty homes in the country. Thats quite a amount, better management of this would do much to alleviate the housing crisis. Stick a tax on empty houses, development or zoned land , more grants for run down properties so as to be fit for human habitation. Encourage old people/ transient populations  to sell or at least rent out their houses. Compulsory purchase if need be. Rathkeale is full of empty houses for 10/11 months of the year, reclaiming some houses would  be a bold step.


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