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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Government examining why commencements for new homes and apartments have dropped amid concern from international investors

The Government is examining why commencements for new homes and apartments have dropped amid concern from international investors about a lack of housing in Ireland.

Speaking at an IDA announcement on Monday morning, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that both people moving to Ireland for work and citizens already here need suitable housing.

His comments came on the eve of a confidence motion in Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

The IDA announced on Monday that 2022 saw the highest-ever increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) employment in Ireland.

Some 301,475 people in Ireland are now employed by multinational companies. In 2022, some 32,426 jobs were created, while 8,407 were lost.

At the announcement, the Tánaiste acknowledged that companies often raise concerns with him about the lack of suitable accommodation.

It means the annual total for housing commencements to October is 26,608. This represents a 31% decline year-on-year.

Mr Varadkar said that while the Government will build over 28,000 homes this year, it will have to take measures to ensure building can pick up next year.

“There is evidence that the commencement of new houses and apartments in particular is slowing down. That is a cause for concern,” he said.

“It's something that Government is examining at the moment. We'll have to consider what we can do to speed that up again.

“There's no doubt that with a growing population and a growing economy we need many, many new homes in the years ahead.

“Of course, housing is an issue when it comes to investment. It is something that CEOs and leaders in business raise with me that if they're going to employ people, if they're going to hire more people, there has to be somewhere for them to live.

“It's something that we're very conscious of and very aware of.

“But of course, what is much more important when it comes to the housing crisis is not what the big companies want. It's what our citizens need. That is to be able to buy their first home to be able to afford their rents.

“We need to focus very strongly over the next few months on bringing down homelessness again, where unfortunately we're not going in the right direction.”

Mr Varadkar’s comments came just a day before the Dáil debates a confidence motion in the Housing Minister.

It comes following a decision from People Before Profit to table a motion of no confidence in Minister O’Brien.

The Government has tabled a countermotion which will be debated in the Dáíl after 4:30pm on Tuesday.

Minister O’Brien said that the no confidence motion was a “bit of a stunt”.

"I think people see what People Before Profit are doing as a bit of a stunt,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“I welcome the debate on Government performance. That is fine. I am very clear on the work I have done.”


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