Home: Why Public Housing is the Answer (Eoin O Broin)

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Thousands are homeless, tens of thousands are languishing on social housing waiting lists, even more are unable to afford to rent or buy. Why is our housing system so dysfunctional? Why can it not meet social and affordable housing needs?

Home: Why Public Housing is the Answer examines the structural causes of our housing emergency, provides a detailed critique of government housing policy from the 1980s to the present and outlines a comprehensive, practical and radical alternative that would meet the housing needs of the many, not just the few.

For three decades Government policy has been marked by an undersupply of social housing and an over-reliance on the private market to meet housing needs. Housing has become a commodity, not a public good. The result is a dysfunctional housing system that is leaving more and more people unable to access appropriate, secure and affordable homes.

The answer, as argued in this transformative new book, lies in establishing a Constitutional right to housing, large scale investment in a new model of public housing to meet social and affordable housing need, real reform of the private rental sector and regulation of private finance, development and land.

 

Review

In this hard-hitting and timely book Ó Broin exposes the failures in politics and economics that plunged Ireland into a housing crisis. He also argues that change lies in the hands of a new generation of politicians and activists and the question they face is this: are we to see homes as places to generate rent and interest from, or as places to live? --Paul Mason, journalist and author of PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future

It is hard to imagine that there is another politician in Ireland who has grappled with the minutiae of housing policy in such painstaking detail as Ó Broin --Tony Fahey, Irish Times

Ó Broin argues that the Irish housing system is dysfunctional because of successive governments' over reliance on the private market to meet housing demand. He argues for a new form of State involvement in housing - public housing - as the only way of ensuring that everyone will have an opportunity to live in a good quality affordable home. This book is accessible to anyone who is interested in solutions to the current housing crisis. --Simon Brooke, adjunct assistant professor at Trinity College

About the Author

Eoin Ó Broin is a TD for Dublin Mid-West and Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government. He is author of Matxinada, Basque Nationalism and Radical Basque Youth Movements (LRB 2003) and Sinn Féin and the Political of Left Republicanism (Pluto 2009). He is a regular contributor to the Sunday Business Post and An Phoblacht.