News & Media

Co-living regulations should be rescinded during Covid-19

18 May 2020

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Labour Party Senator, Rebecca Moynihan, has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to suspend regulations for co-living spaces.

This comes as a planning application has been sent to Dublin City Council for a co-living space on Jervis Street.

Senator Moynihan said:

“We do not know how long we will be living with this virus and our housing standards should reflect the best public health advice available to us. For example following the 1918 flu pandemic, housing standards evolved to include indoor bathrooms and how we design high density living now needs to reflect the threats we face into the future.

“The type of communal living that is at the core of co-living absolutely does not allow for social-distancing. Clusters of viruses could develop in co-living spaces because of this.

"Higher density living is the future of housing in Ireland, and there will be those who will seek apartments over houses for more long term living, especially in cities but co-living and the sharing of kitchens, especially in a time when we don’t know how long Covid-19 will be with us is not the answer.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see applications for this type of completely inappropriate style of housing. It's irresponsible to apply for planning permission for a co-living space in the middle of this pandemic.

“The responsible thing for Minister Murphy to do now would be to rescind regulations that are in place around co-living spaces and not allow any planning permission to be granted for them until we can properly assess what changes need to be made to ensure we are building safe, quality high density housing for the future."