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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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Trapped in the nest

Opposition decries 'failure' in housing over vast number of young adults living at home

68% of 25 to 29-year-olds are still living with their parents, well above the EU average.

THE OPPOSITION HAS hit out at the government for “monumental failure” in housing policy over European data that shows a significant proportion of young adults in Ireland are still living at home.

68% of young adults aged 25 to 29 are living with their parents, according to Eurostat, a figure well above the EU average of 42.1% for the age range.

The lowest level was recorded in Denmark, where only 4.4% of 25 to 29-year-olds live with their parents, while Croatia reported the highest figure of 80.7%.

Among 20 to 24-year-olds, the proportion of young people living independently in Ireland is even lower, with  88.9% still living at home. 

The EU average for the 20 to 24 group is 74.2%. Denmark, Sweden and Finland had the lowest number of young people living with parents (18.2%, 18.6% and 23.7% respectively). The highest levels were recorded in Spain, Croatia and Italy at 93.9%, 94.3% and 94.8%.

Opposition parties have criticised the government over the figures, blaming a lack of affordable housing.

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said that “unaffordable rents and skyrocketing house prices have meant that young people are living at home with parents for longer, putting off big life moments like living independently or moving in with friends or a partner”.

In a statement, Bacik said young people are “putting off making big life decisions” because they “lack the lack the social structures that the State should be providing, like access to a secure and affordable home, as well as access to other social supports like childcare and affordable healthcare”.

It is impossible to live a fully empowered life as a young person from a childhood bedroom.

“In order to address this crisis, we need to see a structural revolution in housing,” she said.

Similarly, Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan said that the data “paints a very bleak picture of what it’s like to be a young adult in Ireland today”.

“Young people are forced to choose between sacrificing their independence or paying astronomical amounts to live in an insecure rental sector. This is a result of a monumental failure to provide people with access to affordable housing,” O’Callaghan said.

“There are good examples of solutions in other European countries. In Denmark, for instance, young people have access to a wide range of high-quality social, affordable and student accommodation options. It is hardly a coincidence that 25 to 29-year-olds in Ireland are now 15 times more likely to be still living with their parents than those in Denmark.

“The Minister for Housing must stop acting as if he is a mere bystander to this crisis. If high-quality, affordable housing is not provided, emigration will increasingly become the only option for young adults who want to set up a life of their own.”

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