Professor Niamh Hourigan is a Sociologist and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Niamh has worked with Cork Simon in recent years in the areas of research and advocacy.

”The interesting thing is that there are a number of things that could, in the short term, make a significant difference in terms of Irish housing policy.
So one of the things to do would be to improve tenant protections, in terms of rent control and in terms of eviction.
The second thing would be to close a number of the tax loopholes which is making the Irish housing market a target for vulture funds. So by closing those tax loopholes, you would make the market less attractive and you would loosen the market to create greater space for ordinary people to be able to buy homes for themselves.
The third area where the state could do some immediate work is around the area of vacant housing and vacant sites. There’s actually a lot of vacant accommodation in Ireland and owners have no incentive to put it into use and there’s lots of ways that that could be done.
And finally, the state is the largest owner of land in Ireland. Building social housing and having the state building social housing is by far the most effective, value for money solution to the Irish housing crisis. The state has to build houses itself, on the land that it owns and that is the fast track to solving the Irish housing crisis."

Niamh discusses how research and advocacy combined are really powerful...