Minister of Housing, Eoghan Murphy, has been receiving heavy criticism since publicly supporting the co-living plan in Ireland. In co-living private spaces such as a bedroom or bathroom is owned privately, while, public spaces like kitchens and living rooms are shared among different tenants. Eoghan Murphy calls these new co-living buildings being built as, “very trendy boutique hotels.” This statement has triggered many heated responses from people who believe this type of living is horrible. Some of the critics that he has received includes being called, “out of touch” and a person asked, “what planet is this Minister living on”.
In support of Eoghan Murphy, there has been success in these types of living spaces all throughout Europe and North America. If the developer puts enough money into the space it can become a great option for younger adults seeking more affordable housing options. These spaces do hinder one’s privacy, but it also encourages a sense of community and meeting new people. This could also be an attractive scheme for young adults moving to Ireland for work who do not know many people here.
A question that Eoghan Murphy is being asked is if co-living spaces will be a solution to the housing crisis. The public has a negative perception of co-living and it is hard to determine where the root of that started. Comparisons to prisons have been made and Murphy is continually denying those claims and trying to prove the positive attributes. Mr. Murphy responded to the jail remark by saying, “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.” Murphy later added additional clarification to this statement by explaining that co-living is not supposed to be a response to building homes for families in crisis. He further states that their response to the housing crisis is to build 20,000 new homes, none of which constitute the co-living scheme.
Fianna Fáil. Darragh O’Brien, is usually critiquing Leo Varadkar and Eoghan Murphy in the news. This time is no special exception, he stated, “They should scrap co-living. If Leo and Murphy want this bonkers policy so much, they should co-live together.”
Despite the An Bord Pleanála rejected the first application for co-living back in June, the government is still supporting this housing scheme.