Sinn Féin seeks to ban co-living and build-to-rent developments in new bill
“The idea that someone would spend €1,300 a month to live in a shoebox beggars belief.”
Sinn Féin is looking to ban co-living and substandard design of build-to-rent properties for renters in a new bill due to be discussed in the Dáil on Tuesday (20 October).
In a statement, the party said it will be using its Private Members' time to move the Ministerial Power (Repeal) (Ban Co-Living and Build to Rent) Bill 2020 in the Dáil on Tuesday night.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing, Eoin Ó Broin, said the bill seeks to do three things:
- Scrap the controversial power for Ministers to make dramatic changes to planning law without a vote of the Oireachtas
- Ban co-living
- Ban substandard design of build-to-rent properties for renters
Co-living developments have been the subject of much public scrutiny in Ireland in recent years, particularly after being endorsed by former Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, who described them as "more like a very trendy, kind of boutique hotel-type place".
Sinn Féin says that the fact that there are almost 4,000 proposed co-living beds planned or in the planning process in Dublin and other urban centres is in stark contrast to the number of planning applications for “genuinely affordable homes for working people”.
O’Broin’s comments come on the same day it was revealed that house prices throughout Ireland have risen in recent months despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, largely down to an issue of supply, which is the lowest it has been in over 14 years.
O’Broin also pointed to opposition to co-living developments within the current government, even though Fianna Fáil Housing Minister Darragh O’ Brien is conducting a review of co-living.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, for example, once referred to co-living as “battery cage-type accommodation”, while the Green Party describing it as an “inhumane and profit-driven model” of accommodation.
“Every week, we hear of another co-living planning application, particularly in our large cities,” O’Broin said.
“Our cities do not need glorified tenements for people. The idea that someone would spend €1,300 a month to live in a shoebox beggars belief.
“By not immediately banning co-living, Darragh O'Brien is once again continuing with the failed Fine Gael Housing policy that he was so vehemently against a few short months ago.
“And while Fine Gael may be happy to refer to co-living as 'boutique hotel living', the Green Party are on the record as referring to co-living as an 'inhumane and profit-driven model' of accommodation.”
“I hope the Bill will be supported by all parties and that we can finally ban this ridiculous type of accommodation,” O’Broin added.
The Sinn Féin bill can be seen in full here.