STATEMENT: Minister must heed advice on ground for St. Michael’s Estate cost-rental scheme to work


Green Party Spokesperson for Justice and TD for Dublin South-Central, Deputy Patrick Costello, has called on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, to listen to the advice of Dublin City Council officials on the ground who are trying to make the cost-rental housing scheme at St. Michael’s Estate in Inchicore work. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, will also be supporting her officials by writing to the Minister and talking to him about the matter when they next meet. 

Speaking on the matter, Deputy Costello said: “The affordable housing scheme at St. Michael’s Estate in Inchicore, Dublin’s first cost-rental scheme, could be a new and better way forward for social housing. It’s a highly important scheme to me as it’s vital that the flagship project works for the people of Dublin.

“Cost-rental housing has long been a priority issue for the Green Party. Dublin renters are spending over half of their income on rent and financial experts say that when rents go above 30% of income, it really starts to impact on a household’s ability to save and cover other costs, from food and electricity to school costs.

“A trope that young people are failing to save for their future and “prefer to rent” is often used as an excuse for reduced ownership levels. However, this ignores the growing difficulties that young people experience in saving for a deposit in a rip-off rental market. A March 2019 survey from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform showed homeownership is a tenure goal of a majority of respondents with 86.5% expressing a preference for homeownership.

“I have written to the Minister urging him to listen to the warnings and advice of officials on the ground who are trying to make the cost-rental scheme at St. Michael’s Estate work. There has been much talk of reducing bureaucracy and we need to accept that these officials know best on such a matter and to let them make the decisions. Asking what they require and giving them what they need will help to do this and to deliver affordable housing in Dublin as a matter of priority,” concluded Deputy Costello.