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Dublin "must double homes built as population explodes"


Dublin needs at least 14,000 new homes annually - double the current rate of construction - to help house an expected extra 400,000 residents in the coming decade, according to Dublin Chamber.



The Chamber - which represents 1,300 firms employing 300,000 people - says the housing scarcity and cost is driving wage inflation and pricing workers out of the capital.


Its election manifesto published yesterday says new housing inside the M50 must be higher-density and have stronger transport links.

"Businesses tell us that the availability and affordability of housing is the biggest issue facing them," said Aebhric McGibney, the Chamber's director of public and international affairs. "Not only is this leading to demand for wage increases, it's hurting Dublin's competitiveness generally as a place to live and work."

He said Chamber polls and focus groups had produced a consensus view that the next Government must "act decisively and ambitiously" to deliver new housing and transport links on deadline.

"There is a history of going back to the drawing board when governments change. But strong economic and population growth and increasing pressure on infrastructure means Dublin cannot afford further delays in key projects," he said. "Dublin's public transport offering is way behind where it should be."

The Chamber says the Dart Underground project should be "shovel-ready by 2025 to allow for construction to start immediately after the completion of MetroLink in 2027".

Its election manifesto says 858,000 people work in the capital, including 140,000 who commute from eight surrounding counties. It forecasts a 30pc rise in Dublin's population by 2030 to 1.7 million.

Co-ordinated development will require, it says, "a directly elected mayor, or an equivalent figure, with the necessary powers and responsibility to implement the Dublin Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan".

It highlights a need for smarter policies for two-wage families in the commuter belt, where greater adoption of flexible hours and remote working would cut childcare bills and traffic congestion.

It wants subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme to double to €100 weekly by 2023, leading to free childcare for most families by 2030; a €5,000 'return to work' credit and reduced income tax for second earners; and formal employer guidelines on their legal and insurance obligations to remote workers.

Dublin needs more women in the workforce, it says, but female participation "lags behind international benchmarks due to the high cost of childcare and the high marginal effective tax rate on second earners in a family".

Jan 24 2020
Irish Independent


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