Government action on social housing is pathetic

By Seoirse Mulgrew

Affordable housing in Ireland is frankly anything but. The suggestion that ‘affordable housing’ would cost €400,000 in Galway City and €350,000 in Galway county is enough to make your stomach churn. After a year of heartache, loss of employment, and ‘holding firm’, this is simply unacceptable. 

It is no secret that the number of young adults in Ireland still living at home is one of the highest in Europe, the Eurofound report published in 2019 found the number of Irish people aged 25-29 living with their parents in Ireland increased from 36 per cent in 2007 to 47.2 per cent in 2017. And the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. 

Covid-19 has also further complicated the mortgage market. As if it needed complicating. Applications from prospective first-time buyers who are receiving the pandemic unemployment payment or the employment wage subside scheme will not be favoured. Being told to ‘sit tight’ while desperately wanting to purchase your forever home is just not good enough.

And with rent prices in Galway City up by nearly five per cent in the last year, it has never appeared so difficult to leave home or get started on the property ladder. 

Another eyebrow raising aspect of Ireland’s housing market is that it’s mainly directed towards couples. While it’s not black and white, couples have a higher chance of being welcomed with open arms. 

This leaves the singletons among us scratching their heads and wondering why they’ve been left behind. It’s sad that your relationship status is brought into play when determining your ability to own a home. 

So many new builds are being snatched up by investment companies while other ghost estates lie idle. Homes are being taken away from buyers who desperately need them.  

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