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29th Dec 2022

Housing crisis “holding us back as a country”, says Leo Varadkar

Dave Hanratty

Housing crisis

The Taoiseach has pledged to adopt a Covid-style approach in a bid to solve the Irish housing emergency.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed his lament towards Ireland’s housing crisis, stating that it is holding the country back, while pledging to tackle the issue in a manner similar to how his Government approached Covid-19.

Acknowledging the situation as an “emergency”, the Taoiseach admitted that he needs to find “more permanent” methods as opposed to ongoing temporary solutions such as humanitarian aid.

“Sometimes in Government we’re too willing to say that things can’t be done, because of public finances, because of state aid rules, or because of the Constitution, or because of something else – I’m not willing to accept that,” said Varadkar.

“We need to turn the corner on housing,” Varadkar told the Irish Times. “It is an emergency, it’s affecting people in so many different ways.

“It’s holding us back as a country, and it’s causing intergenerational division that I don’t like to see. It’s really going to be a case of let’s do everything, unless there’s a really good reason as to why we can’t.”

Elaborating on possible solutions, the Taoiseach said he will potentially use a “carrot and stick” approach with developers to guarantee that developers who have residential planning permission use it to construct new homes.

Referring to Ireland’s collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Varadkar said that kind of “can-do” attitude needs to be applied to the housing issue in 2023.

Earlier this month, the Taoiseach launched the Climate Action Plan for 2023, describing climate emergency as “the most pressing long term global challenge of our time”.

Varadkar also referred to “warmer homes” and “home working” in his related address, so you’d expect the whole ‘supply and demand’ element to factor in there, too.

Featured Image of Leo Varadkar Sam Boal /

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