Housing Commission Report 2024 | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content

Housing Commission Report 2024

Conor Dunne



The Housing Commission's 2024 report was published last week, providing a comprehensive analysis of the current challenges within the housing sector. Some of the key findings of the report related to the deficit in housing supply and the lack of affordability of private rentals and of home purchase for first-time buyers:

Ireland's Housing Deficit: The report estimated a housing deficit of between 212,500 and 256,000 homes as of the 2022 Census. The report identified several factors which have contributed to this, including reduced levels of housing construction in the ten years after 2008 and the low levels of availability of rental and owner-occupied housing.

Affordability: Affordability was recognised as critical issue in both the private rental sector and in the purchase of first-time buyers.

Private Rental Sector

The report identified the private rental sector as being an essential element of an effective housing system. The private rental sector makes up a large percentage of the housing sector in Ireland with census data showing that including social housing tenancies, almost 30% of all households rented their accommodation in 2022. Based on the census data, more than 330,000 households rent from a private landlord.

One cause for concern was the view of the Commission that the current state pension is insufficient to cover housing costs in Ireland, particularly in the private rental sector.

The report cited RTB data which showed that the average rents for new tenancies in Dublin increased by more than double from 2012 to 2022, which have led to an increase in the critical government-rented housing supports such as social housing or housing allowances including the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and Rent Supplement.

First-time Buyers

The Commission acknowledged the benefits of home ownership and the government supports available, whilst identifying several issues faced by purchasers in the market. The report identified an increase in the age at which people are buying homes for the first time, from 26 years old in 1991 to 36 years old in 2022, primarily due to high housing development costs and purchase prices, low availability of housing and tighter lending restrictions.

The Commission also raised a concern that the requirement of a deposit could result in an unfair advantage to mortgage applicants who have access to intergenerational or other familial support, noting that this could result in greater socio-economic inequality.

Key recommendations

The Commission makes many recommendations in the report which primarily focus on increasing the supply of housing, reducing costs and increasing affordability and working towards an improved quality of housing:-

Private Rental Sector: The Commission advises that it is essential the problem of affordability be tackled within the private rental sector. The report identifies a need for legislative and regulatory reforms to aid in this objective, which balance the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants with a view to making the sector more attractive to both parties.

Affordability of the Market: The Commission proposes revising planning regulations, incentivising sustainable construction and expanding financial support for housing projects which will result in affordable housing.

The Housing Deficit: The report suggests that exceptional and radical measures are required to address the current housing deficit and that supply must be increased through emergency action.  

A Constitutional Right to Housing: The Commission proposed a referendum be held to establish a constitutional right to housing. This proposal aims to achieve a fundamental right for Irish citizens to access housing and place increased responsibility on the Government to address these housing challenges.

Quality of Housing: The Commission calls for improved housing quality and standards, including improved construction practices, sustainable building methods and ensuring that homes are built to meet modern living standards.

Written by: Conor Dunne and Ellen McGrath

Areas of Expertise

Real Estate