There have been calls for Eoghan Murphy to resign following controversial comments made by the Housing Minister regarding co-living spaces in Dublin.
Minister for Housing Murphy said that young people should be ‘excited’ about the prospect of co-living and paying ‘less rent for less space’.
The comments came just two days after another Raise the Roof protest saw thousands take to the capital’s streets in an effort to raise awareness of the on-going housing crisis.
Co-living developments usually involve a number of people paying for their own bedroom and bathroom but will share kitchen and living room facilities. Currently in Dublin, a room in a co-living space can cost upward of €1,000 per month.
He made the comments at the National Housing Conference at Dublin Castle on Monday and has since received widespread backlash online for the remarks.
Dublin mid-west TD Eoin O’Broin took to Twitter to slam the Minister, asking if Minister Murphy had ‘any conception’ of what young people in Dublin are facing.
He wrote: “I really think that [Eoghan Murphy] has lost it. Young people should be excited about renting crappy bed-sits with strangers for €1300 a month? Has the man any conception of what young people are facing in the rental market in Dublin[?]”
Writer Una Mullally also queried the comments made by the Housing Minister, citing the cost of a new co-living development in the city.
Mullally wrote: “What does “less rent” look like to Eoghan Murphy when it comes to this “co-living” we should be “excited” about? A bedroom in [a co-living space] in Dublin, for example, costs €1,200-€1,500 a month.”
Dublin City Councillor Ciaran Cuffe has called for Minister Murphy to resign in a statement, saying the comments are ‘inexcusable’ and ‘out of touch’.
Cllr Cuffe said: “Minister Murphy’s comments are inexcusable. He is out of touch with what is happening in Dublin, he must resign. There is a lost generation sleeping on couches and in homeless accommodation who will be outraged at these remarks.
“We are in a housing crisis; we need to build and we need capable leadership at home and in Europe to deliver housing in the numbers needed to tackle the crisis.”
Minister Murphy has responded to the criticism of his comments on Twitter, saying that co-living ‘works in other cities across [the] world’.
“We wouldn’t judge concept of houses on one planning app. & should not do that here. Politicians trying to restrict choice for younger generations is wrong.”
CoLiving is one option as part of bringing greater choice into the housing market. Works in other cities across world.— Eoghan Murphy (@MurphyEoghan) May 21, 2019
We wouldn’t judge concept of houses on one planning app. & should not do that here.
Politicians trying to restrict choice for younger generations is wrong.
However, many went on to further criticise Minister Murphy’s defence, calling on the Fine Gael member to resign from his post.
Politicians dressing up broom cupboards as suitable living arrangements is wrong— Darren Cleary (@RadioCleary) May 21, 2019
in what reality should "young workers" get excited for paying 1300 quid a month to live in a space smaller than a parking spot?— Charli Haughey XCX (@johnorthside) May 21, 2019
According to recent statistics, there are currently over 10,300 people homeless across Dublin – just over three thousand more than when Minister Murphy took office in June 2017.