Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has said that the new Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures, which show that nearly half a million adults are still living at home with their parents, highlights again the challenge of the ongoing  crisis in the housing and rental sector.

The figures from the CSO reveal that 270,000 men and 190,000 women aged between 18 years and over remain in the family home.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“New figures released from the CSO reveal that nearly a half million adults are still living at home. This is another stark reminder of the crisis in the housing and rental sector.

“A reality for most young adults is that the option of buying their own home in the near future or securing a suitable home to rent is a pipe dream. Living at your parents’ home is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the unusual.

“Young people starting off in employment in particular are finding it nearly impossible to rent a room and the possibility of being able to buy a house is way beyond their means.

“It is also becoming increasingly normal for young couples with children to move in with their parents when they are trying to save for a deposit for a house or to spend years in cramped and overcrowded conditions while waiting for accommodation on local authority lists.

“For the small minority who don’t have the option of moving back into the family home the waiting time is longer and magnified in view of astronomical rental prices.

“The CSO figures reveal that 270,000 men and 190,000 women aged 18 years and over remain in the family home.

“These figures confirm that successive Governments have all failed to address the crucial question of housing supply and to broaden housing options. Until we begin to address that issue and introduce legislation around the vital issue of rent certainty, the housing and rental shortage will continue long into the future.

“One thing that is certain is that the narrative from Government around the roll out of fast track housing is a myth and is not happening in any great numbers in local authority areas.”

Crowe continued:

“Clearly the new CSO data around vacant homes also needs to be shared with local authorities and difficulties resolved so that they can get an accurate picture of what might potentially be available to those seeking housing.

“New conditions also need to be created to encourage more of these vacant home owners to sell or rent and free up these empty homes. The Government is supposedly preparing to consider some type of vacant homes tax in the next Budget to try and free up more of these homes.

“Sinn Féin fully supports the introduction of a vacant homes tax for those people who are wilfully and speculatively sitting on empty homes. Such a tax should be accompanied by a range of incentives to assist vacant home owners to bring their units back into social and affordable use. However, strong incentives and punishments will not on their own reduce the level of vacancy. What is needed is a focused proactive approach from Local Authorities.

“The CSO data released this week is timely and reveals a broader picture of the crisis facing families and individuals. It is also a reminder for planners, legislators, and all those drafting the 2018 Budget, that there is nearly half a million adults still living at home primarily because of the current crisis in the housing and rental sector.”