Eoghan Murphy suggests that co-living spaces are like 'trendy boutique hotels' 1 month ago

Eoghan Murphy suggests that co-living spaces are like 'trendy boutique hotels'

The Minister for Housing made the remarks today.

During an interview on Newstalk Breakfast, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has described co-living as "more like a very trendy, kind of boutique hotel type place."

The introduction of co-living spaces - which would combine private rooms and shared communal spaces - has drawn severe criticism. In the last few weeks, An Bórd Pleanála have rejected plans for builds of this nature.

Speaking to Kieran Cuddihy, Minister Murphy was asked about his feelings towards co-living and he said that the scheme is geared towards recent graduates that are entering the workforce for the first time. He also feels that anyone who can't sign a 12 month lease because they're not going to be in Ireland for 12 months will be interested in availing of a co-living situation.

"I introduced this concept about a year, a year and a half ago. It's something that I'd seen abroad in other cities, where you have your own private room, en suite but you also have shared community spaces: a gym, a movie room, a games room potentially, a kitchen, a living room," said Minister Murphy.

At this point, Cuddihy compared co-living to a prison environment and Minister Murphy replied by saying: "No, not at all. It's more like a very trendy, kind of boutique hotel type place."

He later discussed the negative attitude that people have towards co-living and said: "The problem is that perhaps when co-living was presented by some people, they were trying to present it that this is what we (Fine Gael) wanted the new rental market to look like. It is not. Of the 20- 25,0o0 places that we've made available for people  to live in this year, less than 1% will be co-living. It's an option for some, but only very few people."

Three weeks ago, Bartra Capital's proposal for a major co-living development in Cookstown, Tallaght was rejected by An Bórd Pleanála.

The plan was similar to another outstanding proposal by Bartra Capital in Dun Laoghaire. In that case, the developers are also proposing a situation in which one kitchen will be shared by 40 tenants - at a cost of €1,300 per month.

According to RTÉ, the decision by An Bórd Pleanála argued that the proposal would "fail to provide an acceptable living environment," pointing in particular to a "notable shortfall in the provision of sufficient communal facilities".

Ministerial guidelines from the Department of Housing allow for single bedrooms to be as small as 12m squared, which is roughly the same size as a disabled parking spot. The guidelines propose as many as 12 people per kitchen in a co-living unit, but do not limit the number of people per kitchen/living area.

You can listen to the full interview with Minister Murphy here.

Clip via Newstalk