Fianna Fáil’s Dublin candidate for the European Parliament Barry Andrews has criticised proposals to introduce more than 200 ‘co-living units’ in Dublin. They would be the first wave of a development of 750 such units in the city.

Barry commented, “Today’s reports of an application to build more than 200 ‘co-living units’ in the city should be a cause of alarm for anyone with an interest in our housing emergency and the long-term future of our city.

“The proposal to house people in 178 square feet boxes, with foldaway beds and kitchenettes, charging them from 1300 Euro per month for the privilege, is grotesque and should be stopped at all costs.

“Representatives of the developer described the proposed format as ‘experience-led living’ and talked about a ‘real focus on social interaction’ on the basis that residents in such developments have no private space and must instead use shared common rooms if they want to escape their bedrooms.

“A better description of this approach would be ‘battery cage living’ and in my view it should have no role whatsoever in our response to the Housing Emergency in our city.

“No one should make any mistake about what is happening here – developers can see the scale of the emergency and the absolute failure of the Government to tackle it. They recognise an opportunity to further boost profits by abandoning planning consent for regular homes and seeking to multiply their returns with this new model. Developers are free to try their hand if they wish, but the Government cannot and must not facilitate it. To put it into context, a standard two-bedroom apartment would accommodate five of these things.

“People deserve and have the right to aspire to the dignity of a home. This new model being proposed removes all dignity and has the potential to trap people in a hugely expensive rental trap. It cannot be allowed to proceed.”