Moving Beyond the Housing Crisis in Ireland? Policy challenges Post-Crisis

Declan Redmond, Richard Waldron

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The Irish housing system is broken, a stark assertion but, based on the evidence, incontrovertible. Of the countries which have suffered the most from the credit-fuelled boom and its dramatic denouement, Ireland stands out. The hubris of the boom years, when rising houses prices, abundant credit and a buoyant economy seemed set to last for decades, was brought crashing down. House prices fell by over 50%, unemployment rose rapidly and the economy shrank by over 20%, pushing almost one fifth of mortgage holders into arrears. This all happened in the immediate aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis but the ripple effects of the crisis are still playing out. Housing supply is stagnant, particularly in the social housing sector, which has led to a crisis of social housing need. Rising rents in the private rented sector, which accommodates many low income households, has led to economic evictions and rising levels of homelessness. This narrative of Ireland and the GFC is familiar enough. However, this paper seeks to move beyond this story and to evaluate the emergence of new housing policy developments which seek, on the surface at least, to move policy to a place where affordability and equity is central and the emphasis on pursuing homeownership is secondary. The critical question we pose is whether the proposed changes go far enough to radically alter the aims and outcomes of policy. We argue that, despite the dysfunctional nature of the housing system, the prospects of radically disrupting failed neo-liberal polices is limited.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventRoyal Geographical Society & Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference: Geographies of housing (2): policy and crisis - Royal Geographical Society, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Aug 201602 Sep 2016


ConferenceRoyal Geographical Society & Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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