The Workers’ Party has criticised suggestions by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy that the return of bedsits may be part of the government’s revised housing strategy.

Dublin Workers’ Party Councillor and prominent housing activist, Éilis Ryan, described the comments as disturbing and said the government was giving in to pressure from the powerful landlord lobby.

Cllr. Ryan dismissed the minister’s comparison between the type of bedsit which is currently banned, and European-style studio apartments.

She said:  “Single room dwellings, be they bedsits or studios, have never been banned in this country. What is banned, is accommodation without hot water, without cooking facilities, without private toilet and washing facilities.

“This is type of tenement is a far cry from the “flat over the shops in Vienna” that Minister Murphy lived in, and is clearly unfit for human habitation. It is this that the Minister is suggesting we bring back.”

Councillor Ryan said:
“Minister Eoghan Murphy’s comments expose the government’s housing policy for what it is – short-term, grossly inadequate and retrograde. It is a policy based on rebuilding the property bubble, not providing long-term, viable or acceptable housing. It is a policy which plucks ideas from the air whilst deliberately ignoring at all costs any solution based on a comprehensive public housing construction scheme.”

She concluded:  “Reducing standards, tax breaks, grants for developers – how many hare brain plans will we have to listen to before the government finally cops on that the only thing that will solve the housing crisis is public housing? It seems it’ll take another few thousand homeless children before he gets the message.”