Could a 19th century economist unlock the Irish rental crisis? –

Opinion: Henry George’s ideas about the human right to a home continue to hold relevance for today’s property problems in Ireland

By Niall Whelehan, University of Strathclyde and Eoin McLaughlin, UCC

Ireland is in the midst of a rental crisis. Rents in Dublin have almost doubled in the last decade, and rents outside the capital are up by a fifth. Rents are so high that they are close to half or more of take home pay. The number of households renting has increased by 66% between 2006 and 2011 and almost 40% of households in urban areas are renters.

In the decades after the Great Famine, Ireland went through a similar problem. Unaffordable rents and long-term insecurity are problems with a long history here. The solutions then were rent controls, rent reductions, and ultimately the transfer of ownership from landlords to tenants. Part of the success in action was social

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