‘What we saw happening around us was essentially death by a thousand cuts to Dublin’ The results of Irish housing policy have created a crisis that reaches into every community and region in the country. It increasingly blights the lives of multiple generations. It undermines and conflicts with many other national priorities and strategies. How has it got to this point and what will it take to ameliorate? On today’s episode, Living Room, we ask how our housing system became so broken, and what we can do to fix it. In front of a live audience at Ireland’s Edge in Dingle, we were joined by: Orla Hegarty, Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin; Rory Hearne, Assistant Professor of Social Policy at Maynooth University; and the architect Rob Curley.
They spoke with Ireland’s Edge curator, Muireann Kelliher.
Dr Rory Hearne Leading academic and policy expert in housing policy, inequality and the Right to Housing. Rory completed his PhD on economic and social geography in Trinity College in 2009, he subsequently worked in social housing community regeneration in Dublin's inner city from 2007 to 2013, had roles as researcher and policy analyst in economic inequality and housing before becoming Assistant Professor in Social Policy, Maynooth University in 2018. He has been researching the area of housing, social housing and the right to housing for almost 20 years, authoring two books and contributing chapters to nine other books. His most recent book, 'Housing Shock: The Irish Housing Crisis and How to Solve It' (Policy Press, 2020) has been widely commended as a key work that provides solutions to the crisis. The President of Ireland invited Rory and his family to Aras An Uachtaran to present and discuss the book in recognition of its contribution to Irish society and public debate. Rory has also been writing regularly for the Irish Examiner on issues analysing housing from homelessness to Generation Rent and investor funds. He also coordinated the Uplift petition which gathered 40,000 signatures that were submitted to the Dail in October this year calling on the Government to restrict investor funds buying up homes, to build public homes, protect tenants and hold a referendum to insert the right to housing in the Constitution. Rory is also host of the Reboot Republic podcast which provides analysis and solutions to issues of inequality and housing. He is also author of the most viewed comment piece on Journal.ie and has appeared twice in one year on the Blindboy Podcast!
Rob Curley is a Director of Maremoto Architects founded in Dublin in 2021. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from University College Dublin and also studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Rob has previously worked for award winning practices including ODOS Architects & RKD Architects, and has experience on a variety of residential and commercial projects during design & construction including full-time site supervision on the 100,000sqm Dublin Landings mixed-use development in the Dublin Docklands. He has first-hand experience of how changes in housing policy at national level have impacted on the delivery, liveability & affordability of large-scale housing projects. Rob became acquainted with housing activism earlier this year as one of the organisers of a campaign against a large scale, build-to-rent neighbourhood, planned by an investment fund for Drumcondra, Dublin. The campaign utilised a mix of direct messaging, media outreach and social media activism to raise awareness about housing, and to inform the public about how housing policy has shaped the delivery of housing over the last number of years.
Orla Hegarty is Course Director for the Professional Diploma (Architecture). This post-graduate programme is the final professional examination for architectural graduates leading to entry to the 'Register for Architects' in Ireland. Orla was previously in architectural practice in Ireland, UK and France and began contributing to the UCD Professional Practice programme in 1998, before becoming Course Director in 2004. . Orla contributes regularly to national broadcast and print media on the subjects of the built environment, the construction industry and housing. She has appeared as an expert witness to the Oireachtas (Irish parliamentary) committee on housing on subjects including: regulation in the construction industry, vacancy, housing standards and defects, and building control.