O’Brien defends use of the phrase 'there’s no silver bullet' to the housing crisis

O’brien Defends Use Of The Phrase 'There’s No Silver Bullet' To The Housing Crisis
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Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has defended his use of the phrase “there’s no silver bullet” to the housing crisis, despite previously describing the phrase as “weasel words” when used by Leo Varadkar in 2018.

“That was one very small comment out of a number of years of commenting on housing”, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.


“Everyone knows that it can’t be repaired overnight”, he added.

For the situation to turn around there needed to be “lots of different things” done. Two years of a pandemic had had an effect on output, building capacity would have to be built up again, he said.

The Minister added that he felt 2022 was going to be a good year, that supply would be increased so that affordable housing would “permeate the market” which would help more people to buy their own home.

The Housing For All plan was going to have a significant effect on the housing sector, Mr O’Brien said.


There needed to be a look at the capacity to repay a mortgage, the ability to pay rent, he said. People who were paying €2,000 per month in rent would be well able to pay a mortgage which could be half that amount.

However, the Minister pointed out that the Central Bank was independent to the Government. No one wanted to get back to the Celtic Tiger era of 100 per cent mortgages.

The focus would be on new builds for first time buyers, he said. Yes, house prices were too high, but they would not drop in the short term as evidenced by the bidding wars on second hand houses.

The intention of the Housing for All plan was for incremental improvements in delivery of new homes and greater housing stock should see a levelling off of prices.

“I hope - and our intention is, that we will see incrementally over the next couple of years, improvements to delivery, public housing, social housing, vacant units used.”

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