The Workers’ Party is calling on An Bord Pleanála to overturn a change-of-use permission to facilitate co-living recently granted to corporate landlord Uninest, following the decision taken by the Housing Minister to restrict future co-living applications. Operating under the brand Uninest, the five facilities were recently granted a change-of-use application by DCC to let 1,600 student accommodation beds until May 31st 2021, in continuous short-term leases to tourists and private sector renters. The decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Speaking on the matter, Workers’ Party representative for Dublin Central, Éilis Ryan, said: “Allowing a corporate landlord to turn these units into short-term lets is effectively permitting co-living arrangements through the backdoor”

She continued: “This has been permitted despite no attempt on the part of the company to lower its rents to attract more students. Furthermore, it follows yesterday’s news that the Housing Minister, Darragh O’Brien, is to issue new regulations which effectively makes co-living applications illegal”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the serious public health risks posed by overcrowded and inadequate housing conditions. It is utterly hypocritical to issue people with public health advice to avoid overcrowding, while continuing to allow co-living applications such as this to be permitted”

Ryan concluded: “If the Minister’s commitment to ban co-living is to be made meaningful in practice, landlords and developers who seek to squeeze people into tiny spaces for massive profits must be confronted. This disgraceful change-of-use permission must be stopped”