Ireland: Housing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandHousing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces

21:20  19 july  2019
21:20  19 july  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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Housing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted his analogy comparing co-living to staying in a "very trendy" boutique hotel was "not a good one".

Mr Murphy has this afternoon sought to clarify remarks he made on Newstalk this morning in which he suggested that controversial co-living spaces were like a 'very trendy boutique hotel'.

Mr Murphy said in a statement: "I was asked this morning were CoLiving spaces like prisons & based on what I have seen in other cities they are not. My analogy in response wasn’t a good one. But Coliving elicits outrage in some because they wrongly assume it’s what we propose as a response to families in crisis. It is not.

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Housing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces © Catalyst Images Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Left) chats with Eoghan Murphy (Right) Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, at the end of the funeral service of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. On Saturday, 7 October 2017, in Rathfarnham , Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"Our response to the housing crisis is to build over 20,000 new homes - houses and apartments - this year. None of them co-living spaces. Our response next year is to build even more new homes. Homes are the answer for the vast vast majority. CoLiving is targeted at approximately 1% of renters."

Earlier on air, the Housing Minister suggested that controversial co-living spaces are like a 'very trendy boutique hotel'.

"It’s something that I’d seen abroad in other cities where you have your own private room, ensuite, but you also then have shared community spaces, a gym, a movie room, a games room, potentially, a kitchen, a living room," he said.

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Housing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces © Catalyst Images Eoghan Murphy, current Fine Gael Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, arrives ahead of the centenary commemoration taking place in the Mansion House, to mark the inaugural public meeting of the First Dail Eireann in 1919. On Monday, January 21, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

When Newstalk presenter Kieran Cuddihy put it to the Fine Gael minister that he was describing the conditions of a prison, Mr Murphy insisted: "No, not at all like a prison, I mean if you’ve been in one of these places it’s not at all, it’s more like a very trendy, kind of, boutique hotel-type place, right."

Mr Murphy said that when he left student accommodation and moved into his first flat he shared with two girls who he didn’t know.

He had a small room of his own, while the three of them shared a bathroom and a small kitchen but had no living room.

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"I would have much preferred my own ensuite bedroom and to have the chance to meet other people to get to know them because I was new to that country," he said.

Housing Minister backtracks on controversial on-air comments about co-living spaces © Catalyst Images Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, seen at the count centre, as counting of votes continues in the European Elections, at the RDS in Dublin. On Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Murphy insisted that co-living would account for fewer than one per cent of new accommodation this year. "It’s an option for some, but only a very few people," he said.

An Bord Pleanála last month rejected an application for Dublin’s first major co-living development. Bartra Capital proposed a development with 222 co-living units and 150 apartments in Tallaght. But the planning board said the scheme would  "fail to provide an acceptable living environment for future residents of the development".

Mr Murphy’s latest comments were the subject of criticism from within his own party today.

One Fine Gael told Independent.ie: "You’ll be able to fit our parliamentary party in one of these 'trendy boutique hotel rooms' if Murphy keeps this up."

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