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Insight into Changes Facing the Dublin Housing System

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Insight into Changes Facing the Dublin Housing System

Insight into Changes Facing the Dublin Housing System
April 09
14:36 2019

Early insights from a new study into the anticipated demographic  and migration changes facing Dublin’s housing system in the next 3 to 5 years were discussed during a recent seminar on ‘Demography, Migration, Integration and Housing’, as part of the events accompanying the Vienna Model of Housing, taking place across Dublin until 25th April.

The ongoing study, led by Future Analytics Consulting on behalf of Dublin City’s Housing Observatory, has investigated a range of scenarios to Dublin’s changing housing system as determined by the dynamic components of population such as national and international migration, fertility and mortality. The research into the resulting housing impacts of these changes will inform and update the Dublin City Council housing strategy, allowing the city to adapt and respond effectively.

Speaking on the ongoing study, Professor William Hynes, Director of Future Analytics Consulting, said: “Understanding population growth and the impact of change is important for planning in the residential sector. It generates dynamic needs and demands.”

He continued: “Dublin City Council is presently updating the City Development Plan Housing Strategy (2016-2022), and working alongside Future Analytics Consulting, are exploring the influence sudden shifts in migration can have on housing provision. The findings to date have really brought to light the importance of understanding migration as a key component of population change, particularly given Ireland, by its nature, is a small, open, but globally connected economy.”

Five distinct population growth scenarios have been assessed examining the influences of various economic activities and impacts. Initial findings from the ongoing research indicate that Dublin city’s trajectory of growth could accelerate rapidly, should certain Brexit outcomes come to pass. The resulting increases in population are estimated between 7.2% -11.5% by 2022.

Commenting on initial study findings, Professor Kenneth Gibb, Chair of the Independent Advisory Board to the Dublin Housing Observatory, stressed the importance of understanding housing as a system connected to the wider urban economy. Professor Gibb said: “It is vital that policymakers appreciate the factors driving housing, the component elements of the housing system and, above all, their interrelationships and connections. Housing is embedded in the metropolitan economy and both constrains the economy and is constrained by it.”

He added:  “Dublin’s housing system is currently imbalanced in important ways, which initially imposes financial challenges but will also result in the creation of further inequality and will erode social mobility. A sound empirical and rigorous basis for analysing what is going on in the Dublin housing system is an important first step to give policymakers and planners the tools to work with the grain of the housing system.”

Dr Dáithí Downey, Head of Housing Policy Research and Development with Dublin City Council, who leads the Dublin Housing Observatory, said: “It is crucial that we better understand population and demographic drivers of housing need and that we move to introduce more effective analytical tools to better steer Dublin’s housing strategy to meet our future needs. Building on this study, we hope to introduce a new Housing Need Demand Assessment (HNDA) for Dublin to improve our understanding of access to housing and of housing affordability. With these tools, decision makers working in housing delivery are better informed when implementing local and regional housing strategies under the National Planning Framework.”

Commenting on the need for updated housing strategies, Michaela Kauer, Head of Brussels Office of the City of Vienna, said: “The EU has more than 220 million households, and an alarming number of 82 million Europeans are overburdened by housing costs. The main challenges are to provide new and renew existing housing, find building ground for affordable housing, develop neighbourhoods in partnership with citizens and set up housing schemes where they are not implemented yet.”

The Dublin Housing Observatory is working with local authorities to prepare for the forth coming adoption of the anticipated Housing Need Demand Assessment (HNDA) that will inform housing policy. More findings arising from the study into Dublin’s demography, migration, integration and housing will be published in due course.

The Vienna Model of Housing Exhibition is open to the public and will be hosted in The Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun from 10th to 13th April and Richmond Barracks from 15th to 25th April. Free seminars and free children’s workshops will take place across all venues. Register for seminars and workshops online at


David Silke, Director of Research and Corporate of the Housing Agency; Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Excutive of Dublin City Council; and Helene Schauer, MVD Austria; at the launch of the Vienna Model of Housing exhibition in Dublin.

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