Fianna Fáil’s Dublin candidate for the European Parliament, Barry Andrews has said proposals to develop hundreds of ‘co-living units’ across the city is a pathetic attempt to address a worsening crisis in the capital’s rental market.
Barry commented, “The notion that any young professional ‘should be excited about paying less rent for less space’ strikes even the most moderate as utterly offensive.

“Proposing that people should hand over upwards of €1,300 of their well-earned wages to rent a 178 square foot box, with a foldaway bed and kitchenette, or to share a kitchen and a common room with 40 odd other people is bad enough. Suggesting that they should feel privileged to do so is downright insulting.

“This is denying the dignity of hard-working people, young people once hopeful of their future in Dublin. What ever happened to the message we once all championed–work hard, live well.

“The Dubliners’ I have met while campaigning this afternoon, are furious. They are extremely worried that this is being supported by Fine Gael politician’s in very powerful and influential positions. Developers can see the scale of this emergency, the Government’s failure to tackle it and their complacency in facilitating it. They’re now moving to take maximum advantage of the crisis.

“We have to ask how it is that we have reached such an extreme that battery cage living is the only solution being offered. How is it that in the three years we’ve been repeatedly told that housing initiatives are working, the cost of rent continues to rise?

“People on decent salaries but unable to afford extortionate rents in Dublin are having to contemplate quitting their jobs, jobs that they’ve likely studied incredibly hard for, to move out of Dublin. Renting in satellite towns is now just as expensive.

“Those in a position to move abroad to see more of their own wages or save for a mortgage are being forced to leave. They’ve no choice, such is the level of pressure renting here has on their income.

“If we care at all about the reputation of Dublin as a major European capital city we cannot allow these units to proceed, even with Ministerial approval. This scheme must have no place whatsoever in Ireland.”