Now showing 1 - 10 of 40
- PublicationBreaching the Limits of Owner Occupation? Supporting Low-Income Buyers in the Inflated Irish Housing MarketThe Republic of Ireland broadly has relatively high rates of home ownership compared to the rest of western Europe, which are related to the longstanding, broadly targeted state subsidization of home purchase provided as part of an implicit tradition of asset-based welfare. During the 1980s, however, several of these generalist subsidies were abolished and the remainder reoriented towards enabling low income households to purchase a home, while the last ten years have seen unprecedented house price inflation. This article, which examines the operation of these low income home buyers' supports in five case study areas, reaches largely negative conclusions about their efficacy in the current housing market context. Despite efforts to increase transactions by introducing new schemes of this type, levels of use have remained static since the early 1990s. These measures have failed to stem the recent fall in the proportion of Irish households that own their homes. More seriously, widespread arrears on mortgages held by scheme participants casts doubts on the sustainability of the home ownership they facilitate. Thus, the Irish case demonstrates that even when heavily subsidized home ownership does have structural limits and highlights the problems associated with attempting to breech these limits by lifting low-income households into this tenure.
679Scopus© Citations 28
- PublicationTwenty years of property-led urban regeneration in Ireland : outputs, impacts, implicationsFiscal incentives were introduced in the mid 1980s to encourage new private residential construction and refurbishment in the inner areas of Ireland¿s main cities. These were subsequently extended to include the city suburbs and large towns. At thesame time, the economic context for their implementation changed radically as an economic and population boom replaced prolonged recession and population decline. In their early years, the incentives were successful. However, the decision to extendtheir lifespan and geographical focus was problematic because, during Ireland¿s economic boom, they had less success in achieving their aims and were associated with deadweight, displacement and excess housing supply
1362Scopus© Citations 28
- PublicationSocial housing's role in the Irish property boom and bustThis paper argues, however, that the economic role of social housing has been fundamentally transformed over recent decades. The nature of this transformation plays an important part in understanding Ireland’s property boom and bust, and in understanding the nature of the current crisis in t he social housing sector. As elsewhere, the crisis commenced following the bursting of a pr operty bubble in 2007, but worsened considerably with the global financial cri sis the following year and resulted in the Irish government nationalising almost the entir e banking system in 2009 and negotiating an emergency loan from the European Uni on and the IMF to fund public spending and the bank bailout in 2010.
- PublicationHousing Policy Review, 1990-2002This review documents the principal changes to the system of housing provision and to housing policy in Ireland which have taken place since 1990, as well as recent social and economic developments pertaining to housing, and examines the range of market and nonmarket housing options currently available. It is envisaged that this information will be of interest to students of disciplines related to housing such as social policy, public administration, regional and urban planning and architecture, to those who work in the housing field and the members of the general public who have an interest in this area. The latest national partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, commits government to reviewing and reforming several aspects of housing policy and provision in this country, including programmes designed to assist low-income groups, and this document will provide useful background information for this review. By documenting the changes to housing policy and housing provision that have taken place since 1990, it will highlight anomalies or omissions in housing policy and provision, together with the most significant housing related challenges which will face the country in the coming years. It is envisaged that this information will enable policy makers to consider how these issues can be most effectively addressed. The opening chapter of the review highlights several aspects of the system of housing provision in Ireland that are distinctive in the wider European Union (EU) context. For instance the proportion of Irish people who own their own homes is much higher than the EU average, while the proportion who rent is relatively low. Furthermore, in contrast to many other EU member states, most social housing for rent to low-income households in this country is provided by local authorities, rather than non-governmental agencies. The number of dwellings per 1,000 inhabitants in this country is the lowest in the EU, although the Irish housing stock is comparatively young, and it is also distinguished by the high number of standard houses, in contrast to many other EU member states where a large proportion of the housing stock is made up of apartments. Chapter Two reveals that the last decade is distinguished by dramatic changes in the housing system. The years since 1995 have seen marked increases in private house prices (particularly in Dublin), in private sector rents and in social housing need. These trends are related to both economic factors including falling unemployment and rising disposable incomes and demographic factors such as population growth, together with a rise in the number of independent households and falling population size. In response to increased demand, house building rates have increased significantly in recent years, to the extent that housing output in Ireland was proportionately the highest in the EU during 1999, 2000 and 2001. However, private housing output is not concentrated in the parts of the country where demand is highest, while social housing output remains low in historic terms. The second part of the chapter assesses the impact that these changes have had for housing affordability and highlights affordability difficulties in the private rented sector and among lower income households seeking to gain access to the owner occupied sector. Chapter Three sketches the impact which this changing environment had in terms of the evolution of housing policy. The housing policy statements produced by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) in the early years of the decade are mainly concerned with ensuring an adequate supply of housing for the lower income sections of the population, principally by means of providing social rented accommodation. As a result of the high price inflation in the housing market in the late 1990s, the focus had necessarily broadened to the housing needs of the general population and a number of significant interventions in the owner occupied and private rented sectors were introduced. The broadening of the housing policy agenda over this period, together with the increased political priority which it was afforded, also 10 Housing Policy Review 1990-2002 had the effect of moving housing and accommodation issues to the core of the national policy agenda and of accelerating the pace of policy development in this area. Since 1996 eight major policy statements on housing have been issued by the DoEHLG. Furthermore, in contrast to the early 1990s when housing policy development was confined mainly to policy statements from this Department, by the late 1990s it had become a key consideration in most national social and economic policy statements including: the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2000 to 2006, the national agreement negotiated between government and the social partners in 2000 and 2003, and the revised National Anti-Poverty Strategy (NAPS) published in 2002. Chapters Four to Seven provide further details of the policy initiatives introduced since 1990 pertinent to the owner occupied, private rented and social rented housing tenures and to households with special housing and accommodation needs. In addition to describing the key features of these initiatives, these chapters also examine the available evidence on their impact on the ground. The key points raised in these chapters are as follows: Chapter Four reveals that the owner occupied sector has seen the greatest number of new initiatives introduced during the period under examination, as four new supports for low-income home buyers have been established since 1990, along with numerous reforms to the more longstanding schemes which target households of this type such as the local authority housing loans and the tenant purchase scheme. The number and variety of the supports now available for low-income home buyers should help to address the full spectrum of need created by the developments in the housing market examined in Chapter Two. However, these complex arrangements obviously raise administrative challenges and there is some variation in the level of take-up of the individual schemes and also over time and geographically. Chapter Five which examines private renting suggests that the longstanding decline of this tenure may have been reversed in recent years. In addition, this sector has recently been the subject of extensive intervention by government on the recommendation of the Commission on the Private Rented Residential Sector that reported in 2000.Many of these interventions are legislated for in the Residential Tenancies Bill which was being considered by the Oireachtas at the time of writing. It is premature to assess the impact of these developments at this stage.However, they have the potential to improve the rights of tenancy of tenants in this sector, address affordability issues and improve housing standards; their achievements in this regard should be kept under review. Chapter Six examines the policy developments in the social rented sector over the last decade. It highlights three principal categories of reform. Firstly, levels of social housing output have been increased significantly since the mid-1990s to meet growing social housing need. Secondly, efforts have been made to diversify the sources of provision, as in addition to increased building of social housing by local authorities, output by voluntary and co-operative bodies has also increased. Thirdly, the social housing policy agenda broadened beyond the traditional focus on matching the quantity of dwellings provided with housing need, and qualitative issues such as the design, planning, management and regeneration of the social rented stock were afforded more attention. These reforms raise a number of challenges for policy makers and practitioners in the housing field. These include: the financing of social housing output; the governance of more complex arrangements for social housing provision and the establishment of systems to assess the success of measures to promote improved social housing design and management. Chapter Seven examines the various supports that are available to the sections of the population with special housing and accommodation needs, e.g. members of the Traveller community, homeless people, older people, people with a disability and asylum seekers and refugees. It reveals that some of these provisions have had a mixed impact in practice and suggests that they merit further examination in order to identify appropriate reforms.
- PublicationHousing Market Volatility,Stability and Social Rented Housing: comparing Austria and Ireland during the global financial crisisSince the 1970s the prevalence and duration of housing market booms has increased in developed countries as has the busts which followed them. These developments and particularly their occurrence in a large number of countries simultaneously were key contributors to the global financial crisis of 2008. The literature on this crisis has focused primarily on the role of mortgage markets and home-ownership in driving housing booms and busts and also on the countries which have experienced the strongest busts, particularly in the English-speaking world. Despite the large number of social rented dwellings in Western Europe, the role of this sector has been largely neglected in the literature. This paper aims to address these omissions by the interaction of social housing and the housing market in Ireland, which experienced a specular housing market boom in the 1990s and strong bust in the 2000s and Austria which has a long tradition of housing market stability. It argues that social housing played a central but contrasting role shaping the housing market dynamics in these two countries. In Ireland social housing was pro-cyclical – it accelerated the housing market boom and intensified the bust - whereas Austrian social housing had a counter cyclical impact on the housing market and thereby helped to promote price stability. These outcomes were partially reflected in the different social housing policy regimes in use in these countries - Austria represents a 'unitary' and Ireland a 'dualist' housing regime in housing regime in Kemeny's (1995) typology. In addition, the sources of finance for social housing and the use of demand-side or supply-side subsidies were also important drivers of these contrasting outcomes.
- PublicationWhither Irish Citizens’ Social Rights in (post) Brexit Europe: An Analysis of East/West and North/South challengesOn the 23rd June 2016 the United Kingdom voted in the ‘Brexit’ referendum to leave the European Union. The nature of the final agreement between the UK and the EU regarding their relationship after Brexit is as yet uncertain. However, irrespective of the details of the agreement reached, there is no doubt that Brexit will have enormous implications for businesses, trade and the economy, governments and policy makers and also for citizens of Ireland. Geography and history have forged close economic and social ties between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, which have been strengthened and extended by the open borders, trade and travel enabled by these jurisdictions’ EU membership since 1973. The process of UK withdrawal from the EU will disrupt these ties and will require the introduction of alternative legal and policy arrangements and services to facilitate continued co-operation and economic and social links between Ireland and the UK. Policy and legal adjustments will also be needed to manage relations between the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.
- PublicationProperty-led Urban, Town and Rural Regeneration in Ireland: Positive and Perverse Outcomes in Different Spatial and Socio-economic ContextsIn the mid-1980s, fiscal incentives were introduced to encourage the construction and refurbishment of residential developments in declining inner-city districts in Ireland. These were abolished in 2006 but, during the intervening period, their focus was extended to include: large towns, small towns and a large rural region. Concurrently, the context for their implementation changed as an economic boom replaced prolonged economic stagnation. This article examines the changing design of these incentives, their outputs and their intended and unintended impacts. It argues that, initially they were successful in drawing development into declining neighbourhoods, but the extension of their lifespan and spatial focus created negative perverse impacts and deadweight costs for the exchequer. Thus it concludes that this regeneration strategy is useful for animating development in brownfield sites, where there is demand for housing but also barriers to its development. If applied to rural areas where housing demand is weaker, they can generate excess supply and limited benefits for public investment.
627Scopus© Citations 12
- PublicationHousing affordability in the Republic of Ireland: Is planning part part of the problem or part of the solution?The advent of strong economic growth and falling unemployment in Ireland in the mid-1990s, drove population growth and a rising demand for housing, which in turn affected rising house prices and rents. This paper reviews the evidence with regard to the affordability of house purchase in this country over the last decade, together with government assessments of and responses to this evidence. It subsequently examines the impact of Ireland's relatively laissez-faire land-use planning system on housing affordability and concludes that it has not constrained housing output nationally. Indeed, Ireland's house building rate, which is among the highest in the EU, has probably helped to curtail price inflation. However, failure to actively and strategically manage this new supply, coupled with the distorting effects of fiscal policy, means that it has not been delivered in the locations where affordability problems are greatest or to the households in greatest need. Finally, the paper assesses the potential of recent planning reforms intended to manage supply more effectively and to confer planning with a more direct role in addressing affordability problems by using planning gain to deliver housing for sale and rent to low-income households..
2907Scopus© Citations 33
- PublicationHow housing killed the Celtic tiger: anatomy and consequences of Ireland's housing boom and bustBetween 1996 and 2006, Ireland experienced unprecedented house price inflation, driven by a fourfold increase in the volume of outstanding private mortgage debt and accompanied by a radical growth in housing output. This article outlines the most significant features of the housing boom and explains how it generated and disguised crucial risks in the macro economy and public finances, among mortgage lenders and in the finances of individual households. This is followed by an outline of the key features of the unwinding of the boom since and of its implications for the Irish economy, mortgage lenders and households. The conclusions examine the lessons regarding appropriate regulatory and policy responses to a house price boom which arise from the Irish experience.
1192Scopus© Citations 32
- PublicationFrom asset based welfare to welfare housing? The changing function of social housing in IrelandThis article examines a distinctive and significant aspect of social housing in Ireland – its change in function from an asset-based role in welfare support to a more standard model of welfare housing. It outlines the nationalist and agrarian drivers which expanded the initial role of social housing beyond the goal of improving housing conditions for the poor towards the goal of extending home ownership and assesses whether this focus made it more similar to the ‘asset based welfare’ approach to housing found in south-east Asia than to social housing in western Europe. From the mid-1980s, the role of Irish social housing changed as the sector contracted and evolved towards the model of welfare housing now found in many other western countries. Policy makers have struggled to address the implications of this transition and vestiges of social housing’s traditional function are still evident, consequently the boundaries between social housing, private renting and home ownership in Ireland have grown increasingly nebulous.
20906Scopus© Citations 29