The Workers’ Party have stated that apartment build estimates released today (Tuesday) by the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland (SCSI) are more than double the cost of the state building apartments on its own land.

Reacting to the figures released by the SCSI, Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party), said:

“It is astounding that, in the midst of a housing crisis, we continue to rely on what is clearly the single most expensive method of delivering housing.

“If, as the SCSI claim, it is not profitable to build housing, then those who are interested in making profits should just move on. It’s not our job to prop up a failing business model with public money. We have done that plenty times in the past, and it has never solved anything.”

Cllr. Ryan said that, even using the SCSI’s own figures, its clear that it would be a full 100% cheaper for the state to build housing directly, saying:

“The state can immediately knock almost half the costs off the SCSI’s estimates, if it builds housing itself. We immediately make savings on developer contributions, profit margins, risk and contingency funds, selling costs and, crucially, the cost of land – since local authorities own their own land already. Given the state receives back the VAT it pays, VAT costs associated with building are also effectively neutralised.

“Already, removing these costs halves the build costs. So why, at any time let alone during a housing emergency, are we not simply building housing ourselves? The answer is that this government, like every government before it, is committed to propping up developers and builders at all costs.”

Cllr. Ryan concluded by calling for Dublin City Council to retain public land for use exclusively for public housing, saying:
“What this teaches above all else is that the single most useful thing Dublin City Council can do to tackle the housing crisis, is simply for the state to build public housing on public land.”