It looks like Dublin landlords are going to be allowed to rent out bedsits again to try and ease the homeless crisis. They were outlawed four years ago because of poor standards, but the Housing Minister is expected to lift the ban.
It comes as a housing expert has queries claims that builders can’t make a profit off apartments that sell for less than €320,000.
A report from the Department of Housing finds that the profit margins on apartments worth 240 to 320 thousand euro are too slim, and that it’s not viable to build so-called affordable apartments, due to the cost of construction.
Doctor Lorcan Sirr, a housing lecturer at DIT, has questioned the figures, saying they appear to have risen astronomically in 2 years. He suspects the Department got its information from builders, rather than from independent sources. "I'm really curious to see how the cost of building an apartment has gone up by almost €90,000 in less than two years when construction costs have only risen by about 7%", he said.
The Construction Industry Federation says land costs, levies and tax, as well as a lack of finance mean it’s impossible to turn a profit in affordable apartments.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett says the State has to step in and provide "council houses, affordable houses... because private developers are interested in making money and they don't make money from providing low-cost affordable housing for people who need it".