At a recent conference in Dublin, the developer Richard Barrett of Bartra Capital Property cast doubts on whether the Government’s estimates of a requirement for 91,600 new houses to meet the existing crisis. He estimates that the figure is, in fact, 175,000, which is families needing a home which they will eventually own.
Barrett’s case is that the Government cannot tackle the crisis in housing supply, and that it is only by enlisting the help of the Institutional investors that the crisis can be addressed. Architects and Construction professionals have been stating the same message for some time past, without any obvious response from the Government, or their Agencies. It is clear that only a considerable investment in Architects, Engineers, and Planners, together with a massive parallel investment in Construction personnel, both in the short term and for at least another decade, will eventually meet the housing demand, both in terms of backlog and future demand.
The first priority is for the Government to realise the actual demand for Social Housing and to enact legislation which will fast track the provision of housing by buying into the concept of ‘build to let ‘ and leasing to Council’s on long term leases. It is not a mysterious, innovative concept which we should be nervous of, it is a formula that has been tried and tested extensively throughout the developed world for many years, and is a ready made solution to the Government’s biggest, and most underestimated problem.
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