Greens: Latest drop in apartment standards will make housing crisis worse

13th March 2018

The Green Party said today that revised building standards for apartments, published yesterday by the Department of Housing, will do nothing to reduce house prices, will stall the building of new homes, and may engineer future slums.
Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson on Housing, Councillor Ossian Smyth said: “Reducing apartment sizes and removing windows will leave people living in darker smaller homes, but there is no reason to believe that developers will pass on the cost savings to buyers or tenants. Cutting costs for developers and lowering building standards didn't work the last time, and it won’t work now. This Government is following the exact same policy under the advice of developers.
“Perhaps the worst aspect of the new rules is that developers will be allowed to build towers with no mix of dwelling size. So they can build an entire block of one beds or studios. This type of development cannot cater for families with children and prevents any chance of building communities. This is a short term fix that will create lifeless blocks instead of living districts.
“I fear that the unexpected side effect of these new rules will be that developers with existing planning permissions will now stop building and will re-apply for permission to build to the new reduced standards. This will choke off the supply of new apartments in the short term and have the effect of raising prices still higher.
“Instead of cutting building standards and leaving people in smaller darker apartments, the Minister should force developers to complete half-finished schemes such as the Sentinel building in Sandyford and should introduce a use-it or lose-it scheme for sites that already have planning permissions.”
Further info:

Revised standards can be found