Cost Rental Housing – A Model for Ireland?

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Housing presents one of the largest issues facing the state. From record levels of homelessness, to rapidly increasing house prices to rents that now exceed pre-crash levels - the housing market in the republic of Ireland shows signs of disfunctionality. While there is common agreement that this crisis is linked to housing supply, more fundamental issues need to be addressed.

This inBrief presents a possible policy intervention that could mitigate many of these issues. Cost rental housing provision refers to a situation where charged rents are directly related to actually incurred costs, including current an capital costs. The inBrief briefly outlines the way cost rental housing functions within social housing systems elsewhere in europe. While each model operates slightly differently, the broad cost rental model financing is common (see my co-authored working paper for more detailed analysis)                               

The inBrief concludes with a brief discussion of possible lessons to be drawn from experience – primarily centred on the desirability of unitary markets where cost rental social provison competes with other tenure types. Moving to this system should improve stability within the housing system in the Republic of Ireland as a whole and dampen the negative macroeconomic effects of fluctuations within housing markets.

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Paul Goldrick-Kelly


Paul Goldrick-Kelly is an Economist at the Nevin Economic Research Institute and is based in the Dublin office. Paul’s work to date has examined a number of issues related to healthcare, housing, taxation and expenditure as well as productivity performance in the Republic of Ireland. 

His current research interests include elements of a Just Transition to more ecologically sustainable economy and associated development.

He is a graduate of University College Dublin with a HDIP and MA in Economic Science.

Contact: [email protected] or 00353 1 889 77 22.