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Proposal to restore Bedsits regressive and wrong

13 September 2017

Statement by Joe Costello
Spokesperson for Urban Regeneration

Labour spokesperson on Urban Regeneration Joe Costello has said that Government proposals to restore bedsits are regresive and wrong.

Mr Costello said:

"The new proposals from the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, to restore the bedsit as a unit of accommodation is regressive and wrong.  The bedsit is not a healthy option for accommodation and thousands of people were condemned to cramped, unsanitary conditions before their abolition in 2013. 

"Reintroduction of the bedsit will not resolve the housing crisis or even contribute to resolving it.  But it will ensure that another generation of single and mainly elderly men and women will be condemned to a lifetime of poor quality, cramped accommodation.

"Landlords who created an average of nine units of bedsit accommodation in the old Victorian houses along the North Circular Road and who have had to restructure that accommodation into 1 bedroom units by 2013 would quickly tear the dividing walls down and revert to type. 

"Already, some 10,000 units of student accommodation are being constructed in the North Inner City.  This is mainly studio or bedsit accommodation and while this is suitable for short-term living, it is not sustainable for long-term adult accommodation.

"The quantity of student accommodation being constructed in the North Inner City alone is more than double the bedsit accommodation that existed in the City of Dublin before its abolition in 2013.

"Thus, the bedsits have been replaced in a more acceptable format already and student pressure for other accommodation in the City is being lifted rapidly. 

"We should now ensure that our single adults and couples have a level of long-term accommodation that is habitable and sustainable and which enables them to live in reasonable comfort.

"That means that the State must build social and afforable housing that also caters for single people and their specific needs."