We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Darragh O'Brien Jane Matthews
Darragh O'Brien

Housing Minister says core recommendation from Housing Commission report 'problematic'

Darragh O’Brien said the full report will be published by Government this afternoon.

HOUSING MINISTER DARRAGH O’Brien has today said one of the core recommendations from the Housing Commission report is “problematic”. 

Yesterday, a major report on the Irish housing system from the Housing Commission was leaked ahead of its publication by Government.

Among its 83 recommendations, seen by The Journal, is for a new ‘Housing Delivery Oversight Executive’ to be established by Government with power to address functional failures and implement reforms.

It said it believes this is “essential” to address the systemic reset needed. 

It recommended that this body be legislatively empowered to remove obstacles to housing delivery and would drive coordination across legislation, regulation, and administrative practices. 

Speaking to reporters in Dublin this morning, the Housing Minister said establishing such a body would be “problematic” and that it was not a recommendation that he agrees with “on first examination”. 

“What I don’t want to do is add additional layers on housing delivery,” the Minister said.

“That in itself would be problematic. It would be another layer, it’s not one that on first examination that it would agree with but there’s a lot of other good things in there.”

Full report

The Minister said the full report will be published this afternoon. 

When asked when he planned to publish it, he said he wanted to have time to fully consider the recommendations. 

He said he hasn’t done that yet but feels that after it was leaked the public should see the full thing. 

“I’ve read through the report, I’ve read through the recommendations, but in fairness, it requires more than two weeks to go through the implications [of it],” the Minister said.

O’Brien said “many of those recommendations are either done or are being done. Some of them from first glance we probably won’t do as well, but I want to give it due consideration.”

Rent Pressure Zones

Elsewhere, O’Brien has defended the impact of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) following a recommendation from the Housing Commission to scrap the system.

Among the Commission’s recommendations is a call to remove the existing RPZ system and replace it with that pegs rent increases to a reference rent for similar properties in the area. 

The report, which was commissioned by the Government, found that the available evidence indicates that the impact of RPZs has been “mixed”.

The Commission recommended that the reference rent under the proposed new system should be reviewed at regular intervals with rent not rising more than a certain percentage point above the reference rent over a specific period.

When asked by The Journal if this recommendation to replace the RPZ system will be acted on, the Minister said the RPZ system has “been an important protection for renters”.

The sunset clause for RPZs was the end of this year, but last week the Minister extended them to the end of 2025. 

“The reason for that is we’re actually concluding our rental market review at the moment…and that work is advancing so I just wanted to give some certainty into next year that we wouldn’t have a cliff edge on them,” O’Brien said today.

He said he read the recommendation on replacing the RPZ system and said it is “something amongst many other things as part of the rental market review that requires consideration.”

“We will certainly consider that as part of the review. But to be fair, I think we need time to to assess the recommendations in more detail.”

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel