Housing Crisis: Cost Rental - Green Party

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Housing Crisis: Cost Rental


Rent prices in Ireland are spiraling out of control. The Green Party has a viable solution to bring the cost of rent down – the cost rental model.

What is the “cost rental” model?

Cost rental is effectively affordable, high-quality rental accommodation, provided by the State or local authorities. It is called cost rental because the rent is used to cover the cost of constructing the accommodation over the life of a long-term building loan. This enables the government and local authorities to plan affordable housing in the long term, and to continue to build new housing even during a downturn. The accommodation would need to be mixed use, mixed tenure with divers communities to work. It has proven to be a very effective way of providing housing in many European countries.

Watch this video to find out why your rent is so high and how our ‘cost rental’ solution can bring it down:

Dublin renters are now spending over half their income on rent! Financial experts say that when rents go above 30% of income it really starts to impact on a household’s ability to save and cover other costs.


We believe the two publicly owned sites at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines and Broadstone Bus Depot in Phibsboro are ideal locations to build these cost rental spaces. With nearly 24 hectares of central land in use at these sites, they could be put to much better use as accommodation. This would create 3,000 centrally located homes for people to live in affordably! Let’s make it happen.

In March 2018 we put forward a motion in the Dáil to make this happen, which received widespread support. Unfortunately, the government opposed it. They have yet to realise that their strategy to deal with this crisis is not working.

The average asking rents for rental properties on the market rose by 81% between 2010 and 2017!

The homelessness crisis

The government has been determined to take a market-led approach to the housing crisis. The utter failure of this approach is reflected in the huge increases in the number of homeless people in Ireland.

9,872 people were in emergency accommodation in June 2018, the highest number ever recorded.

We know that the market will not solve this crisis. We need the government to build homes, and to build them in a sustainable manner that will prevent a crisis like this from reoccurring. The cost rental model must play a part in this approach.


The government have finally acted on the call we made in our motion to use State lands such as Cathal Brugha Barracks, Broadstone Bus Station and Dundrum Mental Hospital for housing. However, their ‘Land Development Agency’ must ensure that the State is involved in the final delivery of housing at scale to ensure we get the best outcomes for Irish people who need good homes – mixed use, mixed tenure developments with diverse communities are key to this. The sites we have identified must be used for cost-rental housing that meet these criteria for it to work. We need to ensure this happens.

What can I do?

Contact the Minster for Housing to ask him to take this positive action in tackling our housing crisis, and have these sites as state-run, mixed use, mixed tenure developments with diverse communities. A suitable amount of these must be used for cost-rental accommodation.

Read the full text of our cost rental motion:

Cost RentalCost Rental