Waterford needs 570+ additional houses per year to keep up with demand – McGuinness

Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that Waterford needs an additional 570 homes per year just to keep up with growing demand for housing across the city and county. McGuinness made the comments as the ESRI launched a major new research paper examining housing demand over the coming two-decades, entitled Regional Demographics and Structural Housing Demand at County Level.

“This research paper provides the statistical evidence to back up what we already know, that demand is currently outstripping delivery when it comes to housing. It is clear that demand for housing will continue to increase year on year up to 2040 and this is backed up by the detailed demographic projections in this report. 

“Waterford will need upwards of 570 houses coming on stream each year just to stand still and meet additional demand. This doesn’t take into account the pent up demand for housing that already exists across the City and County. 

“In a ‘business as usual’ scenario 28,000 homes will need to be delivered annually across the state in order to meet demand, however the research paper outlines another scenario of faster population growth, where that figure rises to 33,000 homes per annum. The report acknowledges that this figure will me significantly higher in the short-term due to a build-up in demand as a result of the housing crisis. 

“Waterford needs a a dynamic and long-term, strategic approach to delivering sufficient housing for our growing population. We need a strong housing mix that includes both social and privately-owned homes, as well as a focus on building affordable homes. The approach cannot neglect development in smaller towns and rural areas, and self-builders must also be facilitated. 

“The Government must empower and fund local authorities to lead on housing delivery. The Council is currently working on its Development Plan but we need to know funding is available for the Council to take decisive action to address Waterford’s current and projected demand for housing. ”

Notes: ESRI Research Series 111: Regional Demographics and Structural Housing Demand at County Level.Adele Bergin and Abían García-Rodríguez