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Officials warn that housing crisis poses major threat for Ireland

Words: Roger Milne

The Irish Republic’s housing crisis looks likely to continue for the ‘foreseeable future’ and will have a major impact on economic growth and Irish society, say civil servants.

This stark assessment of the threats facing the country was highlighted in the latest review of strategic risks confronting the nation compiled by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s own officials.

They maintain that the housing shortage is “one of the most prominent risks and challenges facing the country”.

Their report also warns of infrastructure constraints, including the threat of rising levels of litigation leading to delays in infrastructure delivery.

Social media was also held out as a potential problem. “There is a risk that the growing influence of social media may become a relevant factor in the context of opposition of citizens and communities to the implementation of infrastructure projects.”

The Taoiseach is warned: “Ireland’s development consent systems need to be robust and efficient to maximise certainty and minimise delay in converting capital to projects that deliver.”

In a separate but related move, the Parliamentary Budget Office has concluded that the housing crisis, if left unresolved, will have severe macroeconomic consequences. It warned that persistently high housing costs would eventually erode the republic’s competitiveness and attractiveness.

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