Today Dr Rory Hearne, Assistant Professor in Social Policy in the Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University, member of the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, and author of Gaffs, Why No One Can Get a House and What We Can Do About it (2022), and Housing Shock (2020) and Phil Murphy, M.Sc, social science researcher who specialises in housing and homelessness, launched their policy paper that sets out the case for establishing a new public home building agency that would build, refurbish and retrofit homes in Ireland.
This paper proposes the Government immediately establishes a publicly owned national home-building agency to build new homes, refurbish vacant and derelict ones, and retrofit homes across the country. It would guarantee the provision of a core supply of social and affordable housing on the scale required to seriously tackle, and ultimately solve, the housing crisis. They propose naming this national home building agency, ‘Homes for Ireland’: the National Sustainable Home Building Agency. The agency would be a state developer, construction and retrofit enterprise, and centre of expertise that would build, refurbish, and retrofit social and affordable homes in Ireland.
In this paper they set out ten key arguments in favour of setting up a national sustainable home building agency, which explain why it is needed, and provide some ideas for how it might work in practice. This further develops the proposal that Dr Hearne made in his two books on the housing crisis, Housing Shock (Hearne, 2020) and Gaffs (Hearne, 2022), and also builds on work done by NERI (2017) and NESC (2014).