Leadership isn’t there’ on housing, says Frank Ryan

Priority issue leadership is needed at Department of Finance and Taoiseach level to sort Ireland’s housing crisis, according to seasoned property market expert and housing analyst Frank Ryan of Cushman & Wakefield.

Frank Ryan called for ongoing State involvement in the the housing market.

Only an intervention and continuing, ongoing involvement at the highest political and administrative level will address log-jams in supply in social housing, multi-family units and homes for the private market, Mr Ryan warned at a property and CIF construction sector briefing in Cork.

He gave as an example Eamon De Valera’s housing drive in the 1930s, which delivered c 12,000 social housing units a year, for a decade, but said that that level of engagement, and buy-in from the Department of Finance, was absent today: “The leadership isn’t there.”

Mr Ryan told of an experience after moving to Cork in the 1970s, when a parish priest asked him to sell parish land, to fund a new, second church for a growing suburb. He was asked to present the details on the land offers to the parish committee: “I was bushwhacked. They told me stop, it wasn’t enough at all to fund the new church.”

Later that day, the priest rang and told him to proceed with the sale. Mr Ryan asked what, then, was the purpose of the presentation to the committee? “That was democracy,” replied the priest.

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