Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Economics, Sociology, Family studies, public administration, Social sciences

Publication Details

Report internally prepared in Dublin Institute of Technology by Tom Dunne, June 2015.


A review of the history of housing in Ireland shows that owner occupancy and social housing were policy choices by successive governments. Owner occupancy was heavily supported through a system of grants and tax breaks and social housing was directly provided through local authorities at subsidised rents. In recent years policy has changed and tenure neutrality is now guiding the government’s attitude to housing. This is a significant change which has not been sufficiently discussed and has consequences which are not appreciated. Relying on the market to provide rental housing for people on low incomes and who may be in in precarious employment is very unlikely to be successful and housing will become a significant issue for future governments. If the government is not going to subsidise owner occupancy nor directly provide sufficient houses for the growing numbers on low incomes investment in rental housing has to come from somewhere other than non-professional landlords who dominate the current rental housing offering in Ireland. A greater understanding of underlying historical trends in housing is needed.