European Report Critical of Ireland’s Housing Standards

It is no secret that Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis. This is not a new realisation, arguably, there was no balanced recovery from the crash more than a decade ago. Also, many of the problems that contributed to the crash were never really tackled, leaving a legacy of affordability issues and out-dated processes for planning, procurement and homebuilding. The property market simply picked up where it left off and the dysfunction became even more entrenched. As providers of high-quality, light gauge steel-framed homes that are capable of being delivered efficiently (in a time frame that might be considered ‘rapid’ by comparison to more traditionally constructed homes), we are acutely aware of the issues, however, we are also aware of the massive efforts to modernise these processes and to move to more modern methods of construction (MMC), including offsite construction technologies. Despite these efforts, it is not enough…

Last week a report issued from the human rights committee of the Council of Europe stated that local authority tenants in Ireland, continue to live with inadequate housing standards and this includes Traveller accommodation. The report also found that Ireland remains in breach of Article 16 of the European Social Charter, concerning the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection. It must be noted that the Irish Government has undertaken certain measures to improve the situation and to enhance standards. The report also highlights various maintenance works, regeneration projects, and the commitment for an extra 50,000 social houses. Despite the progress made to date, there are still “substantial limitations in providing adequate accommodation to a large number of families who continue to live in substandard conditions”. 


Unfortunately, the number of new homes required under this report is far in excess of what the industry is currently delivering per year – and this is not including the massive drop in outputs expected for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic restriction on the construction industry. Right now, Ireland holds the unwelcome title of having the longest construction industry shutdown of any country across the world since the outbreak of the pandemic. This is not a title to be proud of and the Government is coming under increasing pressure to follow the science and the infection-rate data, which would lead to the reopening of all construction activities. While the Horizon Offsite team have been exceptionally busy with essential healthcare, education and  housing projects over the past 12 months, we appreciate that many across the industry are in a very different position. Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the industry right now – or perhaps because of these very challenges – now feels like the right time to make the changes that are so clearly needed, from procurement right through to housing delivery, leveraging the best technologies available. If you need help identifying and assessing what technologies are most appropriate to your particular project, or if you need help understanding what role offsite construction can play in your next project, content the team at Horizon Offsite.

About Horizon Offsite

Horizon Offsite Ltd is one of Europe’s leading players in Offsite Construction and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), providing a fully accredited structural light gauge steel system to the residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare and educational sectors. Contact the Horizon Offsite team at https://horizonoffsite.ie