Housing Minister's 'bizarre' and 'ludicrous' co-living proposal branded as '21st-century bedsits'

The Government has been accused of having a "mind-numbing lack of ambition" when it comes to housing.

It comes after Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy commented on the development of co-living apartment blocks where up to 42 people may share a kitchen.

One developer has applied for permission to develop one such space in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin.

In remarks quoted by The Irish Times, Minister Murphy yesterday described the prospect of co-living as an "exciting" choice to young workers.

He argued that workers have always made sacrifices and, in this case, they would have the option to sacrifice space for lower rents.

Opposition groups and housing organisations, however, have sharply criticised the minister for backing the proposals.

Housing group Threshold has described co-living as "21st-century bedsits with a glossy makeover".

Labour leader Brendan Howlin claimed it is a shocking approach to the housing crisis by the Government.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said: "We've seen this in this ludicrous co-living proposal.

"It attempts to normalise cramped living conditions and erode public housing standards that we have spent most of our lives trying to improve."

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD, meanwhile, called on Minster Murphy to stop promoting co-living as a solution to the housing crisis.

He said: "The Minister’s comments about young people having to make sacrifices in terms of rental accommodation are quite frankly bizarre.

"Young people are facing rising costs for rents, insurance and education and the Minister's patronising comments were not helpful.

"The Minister must also stop promoting this as a cheaper alternative to the traditional house share. It is not.

"Some of the co-living developments will command rents of up to €1,300 per month."

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