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Better housing: improving affordability and supply

This joint report by Ibec and Property Industry Ireland (PII) entitled, ‘Better Housing: improving affordability and supply’ outlines detailed recommendations that the business community believes addresses the root causes of the housing crisis.

Report Findings
· A dysfunctional housing market is damaging the quality of life of many people and undermining Ireland’s economic prospects.
· Future housing demand to average 36,000 new households a year. Pent-up demand means we could see a requirement for 50,000 households in the short-term.
· Household size will fall over coming decades creating a need for greater numbers of smaller housing units as part of the overall accommodation mix.
· The high cost of development land is the most important factor driving the unaffordability of new housing.
· Over 80,000 additional workers are needed in the construction sector as the economy faces huge skills shortages.
· Ireland has some of the lowest density cities in the world.

Policy Actions
· Introduce government interventions to drive down the cost of development land.
· Introduce a new site value tax to replace commercial rates and vacant sites levy by overhauling property related incentives and taxes.
· Boost supply and provide greater value for money by building more social housing and reducing government spend on housing assistances.
· Ease height and density restrictions by reforming Ireland’s planning system to speed up development.
· Create a sustainable long-term rental market, including an increased focus on developing the new build to rent sector.
· Convene the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs to review and prioritise an upgrade to the construction sector’s skills base and capabilities.
· Improve the implementation of housing policy and use the existing Labour Employer Economic Forum as a coordination forum.
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