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Housing Crisis

Ireland has the second highest rate of mortgage and rent arrears in Europe

We come in second only to Greece.

A NEW MAJOR European report into housing exclusion across Europe has found Ireland has the second highest rate of rent and mortgage arrears.

Coming in second only to Greece, 20.2% of the Irish population are currently affected.

This is one of a number of statistics that show Ireland to be one of the toughest places in the EU to find affordable accommodation.

The new report from European housing organisation Feantsa makes for harrowing reading for the Irish renter or buyer – showing us to suffer in a number of areas when compared to our EU counterparts.

It comes from a collation of a range of the most recent information from Eurostat, the statistical branch of the European Commission.

housing europe - 1

Where else does Ireland fall down?

Across a number of areas poor households are more likely to take the brunt of housing policies and market changes than those in better off positions.

A poor household is defined as one that earns less than the 60% of the national median income – a standard that is defined at EU level as being the poverty threshold.

Ireland ranks seventh from bottom out of 28 EU member states when it comes to poor households being hit by fluctuations in the housing market.  

The report also looks at the changes in the type of accommodation poor households live in between 2008 and 2013.

Surprisingly, the Irish market saw a 6.1% drop in the number of poor tenants in the private sector – although this is attributed to the “pauperisation of the entire society”, as opposed to more people buying their own homes.

Of the 28 EU nations, 16 see poor tenants pay out more for accommodation than those taking home above the average income.

Ireland is the second worst in this area with 49.2% of poor households paying out more.

We also have one of the highest rates of people thinking they’ll have to move in the next six months, with 9.6% of the population seeing this as a possibility – putting Ireland at a similar level to Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus, countries which also experienced the brunt of the financial crash.

Another area where Ireland came out unfavourably was the risk of women being overburdened with cost when compared to men.

In this area Ireland came off third worst, only behind Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Click here for a larger version of the above image. 

What should be done? 

In its conclusion, the report notes that there has been a rise in homelessness across the bulk of countries over the past few years.

Excessive recommendations are not made about what needs to be done to fix the housing crisis – and it is acknowledged that large number of problems may be local.

Some issues are European-wide though, and areas of success are noted, such as: 

How Austria has succeeded in abolishing rental evictions, how Scotland manages to guarantee housing, and how Finland has reformed its emergency accommodation services for much greater effectiveness.

Read: ‘Get your f**king passports and go back to your country’

Also: Will Ireland have to provide military assistance to France?

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