Housing policy should not be based on assumption that people aspire to couple up, senator says

Reports based on CSO data found houses are affordable in just seven counties for a single worker on a typical salary.
Housing policy should not be based on assumption that people aspire to couple up, senator says

Senator Rebecca Moynihan, Labour's housing spokesperson, says single people are being priced out of the market.

The Labour party says the Government's decision to develop a housing policy for dual income households is dangerous.

Reports yesterday based on CSO data found houses are affordable in just seven counties for a single worker on a typical salary.

The analysis shows a person on a median income and a 20% deposit can only buy a home in Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.

Senator Rebecca Moynihan, Labour's housing spokesperson, says single people are being priced out of the market.

She said the Governnment needs to also look at providing affordable housing for those living alone.

"More than 400,000 people in Ireland live alone, yet every time the Government talk about housing it’s based on joint incomes," said Ms Moynihan.

"Government continues to set housing policy that is based on the assumption that people should aspire to couple up."

This is further evidenced by the Government's response this week to investment funds buying up properties, said Ms Moynihan.

"The Government's statement on regulating investors from buying whole estates of family homes in the surburbs as opposed to also also applying it for apartments developments in cities.

The boom in Build To Rent developments are also ignoring the need of single people who want to buy in inner city neighbourhoods.

She said the housing system should not be trapping people into viewing marriage or a relationship as economic leverage to buy a home adding that this has a damaging impact on women in particular.

Women experiencing domestic abuse may feel pressure to remain in an abusive home in order to avoid homelessness, the Dublin senator said.

According to Ms Moynihan, 441 women were admitted to a domestic abuse refuge, Safe Home, or Supported Housing, between March and August last year. An additional 1,351 unmet requests for refuge due to a lack of space.

Women earning less than men is another difficulty that many encounter when navigating the housing market.

Single are not transient and they are not exclusively young people, said Ms Moynihan.

"Being single isn’t just a stage of life that people should want to get out of.

"Home ownership is a legitimate aspiration for all people – single or married, young or old – and we need to put in place supports for collective approaches to home ownership for low and middle income earners."

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