New ideas needed in housing debate, architect says

New ideas needed in housing debate, architect says
File photo

A conference in Dublin is hearing from speakers from all over Europe on how people could have more of a say in how our cities are built.

Co-Housing Here is holding a public session at the Technological University of Ireland at Bolton Street today.

Architect Colin McDonnell, one of the organisers of the conference, says they're hoping to bring some new ideas to the debate on housing.

"We've got an exhibition on here which is really interesting," he said.

"It shows examples of a lot of different projects from different places around Europe.

"There has been a perception around Ireland that if someone hears the word 'co-housing' they think 'hippie' still. The exhibition and the projects that are shown here sort of dispel that notion," he added.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy came under fire last month for suggesting that co-living is "another choice for people" that would allow them to "pay a little less" for accommodation.

Housing charity Threshold described the developments as "21st-century bedsits with a glossy makeover".

Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald also hit out at the Housing Minister.

"Minister Murphy is so out of touch that he can't seem to grasp that this co-living isn't an answer to the housing crisis or the rental crisis, it is in fact and insult to those seeking a safe and secure roof over their head," she said.

However, Minister Murphy's comments were defended by the Taoiseach.

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