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Policy solutions to Irish housing and homelessness crisis (Essay Sample)

Analyse and evaluate possible policy solutions to the Irish housing and homelessness crisis, referring to economic data, theory and diagrammatic models in your answer. Essays should be approximately 1,500 words in length. Essays should: Be well-structured (this includes the use of appropriately-themed paragraphs; subheadings can also be used if student wishes) Introduce the topic and define relevant key terms Argue a particular position (either for or against the use of a policy or combination of policies) Make use of relevant economic data to contextualise the problem(s) being discussed Make use of relevant economic theory to support the approach(es) being advocated Identify and qualitatively analyse the potential impact of different policies on the Irish economy/economic agents (firms, consumers, government) Make use of appropriate diagrammatic analysis (e.g. market demand and supply diagrams, market failure diagrams, AD/AS diagrams, PPF diagrams) Evaluate the policy options being discussed, including their particular advantages and disadvantages or limitations (these can be general issues with the policies, or more specific to Ireland's current economic circumstances) Conclude by making a judgement and recommendation(s) based on what you have discussed Use appropriate referencing system (e.g. Harvard or APA). Acceptable style guides can be found here: Use 1.5 line spacing and 12pt font source..
Policy Solutions to Irish Housing Crisis Student’s Name Institution Policy Solutions to Irish Housing Crisis            From May 2015 to June 2018, the number of Irish citizens residing in emergency forms of accommodation rose from 4,350 to 9,900 (Hearne and Murphy, 2018). This is only a fraction of the number of homeless people in the country. For instance, Ireland’s young adults who are ready to own houses are faced with inflations of house prices and unaffordable rents. Similarly, job insecurity is a major problem for young citizens in the country. Most of these young adults have been forced to reside at their parents’ residence for longer periods. Besides, in the private rented sector, tenants, including those entitled to rent supplements, are facing a rampant increase in rent prices. Unfortunately, tenants in this sector have ended up dislodged from their residents. Sofa-surfing at friends’ houses remains the only option for such people. Therefore, there lies a need to establish suitable policy solutions to solve this crisis in the country. The right to affordable housing             To begin with, the Irish government should establish a new housing policy that aims to ensure that every citizen in the country has the right to a home. This includes access to quality, secure, and affordable housing. The government can only achieve this level of housing by embracing the responsibility of ensuring and supervising the mass construction of public housing. Markedly, the building of these public houses requires an exemplary structural approach in the essence that, public housing is made available to approximately all Irish citizens’ income levels. The state, through the local authorities, non-profit housing agencies, and a new governmental housing agency would be key partakers in this process. Available public land is suitable for building different housing types of high quality and environmental sustainability (Kitchin, Hearne, and O’Callaghon, 2015). This would serve a range of households which includes the elderly, students, workers of all income levels, and people with disabilities.            However, this approach to solving the housing crisis in Ireland raises uncertainties such as the exact amount of public housing that the state is required to provide, how the process can be funded and how the current budget can address the situation. Source: Hearne (2017) According to Hearne, the number of households in Ireland that need housing is tremendously increasing every 5 years. This signposts that a large number of households in Ireland have been affected by the housing and homelessness crisis, particularly, due to unaffordable housing. Therefore, for a successful implementation of this policy, a grasp of the real scale of housing needs in the country is crucial. For instance, according to local authority lists, the current estimated number of households that are eligible for public housing is 85,779 (Hearne and Murphy, 2018). This number does not comprise tenants in private rentals in receipt of housing support such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and Housing Assistance Payment. Similarly, homeless households, refugees, and those in direct provision are also not included though they need housing. This is clear evidence that the real scale of housing needs is underestimated. Therefore, to curb this crisis, Ireland’s housing stock needs to comprise at least 30% of public housing as per countries such as Australia and Sweden that have effective housing systems (Memory, 2001) Lowering building costs            Another possible policy solution to the Irish housing crisis is lowering building costs. The Irish government needs to establish task forces to evaluate the reason behind high building costs in the country. Certainly, high building cost implies that the price of the resulting houses is high and probably unaffordable. According to economic research on the trend of demand for housing in Ireland, there is a demand for over 35,000 new houses per year in the country (Byrne and Norris, 2018). However, most of the people in this category can not afford these houses. These high prices of houses result from the high cost of building that building agencies are faced within Ireland. Arguably, high building costs in the country can be attributed to the number of regulations the Irish government has set for the construction of a standard home. Within the last decade, the government has made three changes in regulations that have increased the level of standards building agencies must meet to construct a home. Consequentially, this has added significant costs for builders in delivering a home. Although some of the regulations the government has set are practical, others cannot justify the imposed building costs resulting from their minimum efficiency. Therefore, the elimination of such regulations can reduce building costs and similarly, housing prices. Redirecting the purpose of NAMA              To alleviate the housing crisis in Ireland, the government needs to implement a policy that redirects the purpose of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), which is the country’s largest property developer and housing agency (Byrne, 2016). Out of the promised 4,000 public housing units, NAMA has only managed to deliver 600. This is because the government has encouraged the agency to sell its land assets and residential to international and capital investors in the country. Selling its assets to investors such as Real Estate Investment Trusts, at very high prices, NAMA is contributing to the rigorous Irish housing crisis in terms of the rent increase.             Besides, NAMA’s intention to deliver 22,000 houses, which is half of the demand for housing, has a significant influence on the residential property market. This project has received over $ 3 billion from the government. However, the ultimate goal to collect maximum profits will force the agency to quote high prices for these units leading to further inflation in house prices. The government, therefore, needs to redirect NAMA’s role of ensuring maximum returns on assets, to providing affordable housing while remaining commercial. This implies that the $ 3 billion should be redirected to building social and low-cost rent housing. Correspondingly, the Irish housing crisis will alleviate the cost of the agency. Low commercial returns imply that NAMA will lose its position in the Irish residential property market. To the country’s advantage, however, is the fact that the rigorous housing and homelessness crisis will ease. Advantages of the policy options            Arguably, the implementation of these policies as possible solutions to the Irish housing crisis is an advantage to the relevant economic agents, the Irish population, and the holistic economy. First, the implementation of the right to own a home policy will satisfy the rising housing need in the country through public housing. Swift delivery of social housing can be done through local authorities. Thus, the advantage of this policy is the ability to solve the housing crisis in the quickest way possible. Second, lowering building costs is an advantage to the building agencies as well as residential property customers. Through the reduction of the government regulations on delivering a home, building costs incurred by building agencies will reduce, resulting in the effective delivery of homes to customers and more profits for the agencies. Similarly, low building costs imply a red...
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