EU can supercharge Irish progress on housing

Published on: 15 May 2024

Ireland is now bucking the trend on housing construction in Europe and the EU must play a role in super charging this progress, according to Dublin MEP Barry Andrews.

MEP Andrews has held a series of meetings with the Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien on how the EU can support Ireland’s ambitious housing targets.  It comes as new figures show a record 18,000 housing commencements last month alone.  In addition, 32,695 new homes were delivered in 2023 – the highest number since 2008.

“Opposition parties are very quick to point to point to housing as the biggest issue facing Ireland and the EU at present.  While they focus on the problem, offering no solutions, Fianna Fáil has been busy getting Ireland back building.  And now, Fianna Fáil is focussed on ensuring that the EU works for us to allow us supercharge the delivery of new homes across Ireland,” said MEP Andrews.

“I am working in partnership with the Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien on a range of updates required at EU level to clear our path to further boost construction and investment in housing.  This means addressing outdated EU state aid rules to create flexibility for public investment in times of crisis, tackling sectoral issues such as labour shortages in the construction sector, tackling harmful practices by short term rental platforms and addressing student housing through the Erasmus programme.

“All the recent figures from Government, from Deloitte’s Crane Report, from EY’s Eurconstruct, from PNB Paribas Real Estate Survey shows Ireland’s dramatic acceleration of housing delivery and that we are bucking the trend in Europe, while construction is forecast to decline elsewhere.  What we need now is a partnership of continued leadership at home and at EU-level to ensure that everyone, in every community across Ireland, feels the benefit.

“I challenge other parties to outline a concrete plan on delivering new homes.  Sinn Féin is too busy cynically ignoring all the evidence of record progress - as this is what suits their political agenda. Sinn Féin are serial objectors housing developments in Dublin. They want to scrap the First Homes Scheme, scrap the Help to Buy grant, scrap the Vacancy grant. Housing is just another area where Sinn Féin words are not backed up by action”