McGrath Road social housing by Peter Barber. Ireland requires thousands of these.

On a war footing: How the biggest parties want to tackle the housing crisis

Based on interviews with the four major party spokespeople and independent policy experts, Sean Keyes unpacks the parties' housing strategies. He shows how the parties think about the problem, why that matters, and why Ireland has a thirty year job on its hands.

7th Feb, 2020 -15 min read

Sean Keyes

Finance Correspondent

Most of the time, markets are discreet. They work away in the background, allocating people and things so we have what we need. That’s why Adam Smith’s famous hand was invisible.

The housing market is not discreet. In most places, the housing market is noisy and problematic. Everyone’s keenly aware of it. Everyone knows about house prices, rental yields, road frontage, waiting lists, mortgage rates, homelessness, planning permissions and planning objections. 

Housing is noisy and problematic because it’s more complicated than other markets. The housing market is a thicket of competing interests, agencies, and rules. That’s why it...



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