Opera Centre not the answer to Limerick’s housing crisis

| August 12, 2017
Opera Centre not the answer to Limerick's housing crisis limerick post news housing

Opera Centre not the answer to Limerick’s housing crisis.
Social Democrats Chairperson Sarah Jane Hennelly.

WE need to be vigilant to ensure that the growing number of jobs in our city corresponds with an increase of accommodation.

Otherwise, rent and house prices will continue to spiral, warns Social Democrats general election candidate for Limerick City, Sarah Jane Hennelly. She was responding to comments made by Solidarity councillor Cian Prendiville on the proposed Opera Centre plans, stating that more needs to be done to tackle spiralling costs of rent and housing in the city.

“Councillor Prendiville’s calls for units of accommodation to be added to the Opera Centre plans are a step in the right direction, but we will need to do far more. The Opera Centre and the hanging gardens are hugely positive moves by the Council. The jobs created by these projects will give an added incentive to property owners to renovate and develop buildings within the city as accommodation,” Sarah Jane told the Limerick Post.

However, she takes the view that we need to be vigilant to ensure that the growing number of jobs in our city corresponds with an increase of accommodation.

“Otherwise, rent and house prices will continue to spiral.

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“This is not a time to play politics. There is an urgent need to address the housing shortage within the city. We know from experience that if we leave city centre development or housing to councillors alone it will not get done well enough or quickly enough. We need a short-term and long-term multi-strategy approach, we need to implement from a local level and a national level effective policies which are sustainable and innovative,” she said.

The Limerick City Social Democrats are now proposing an immediate review of the city’s derelict buildings register. This proposal aims to ensure that vacant premises in the city are not left dormant when they could be renovated to provide accommodation for people, and space for businesses

“Construction of the Opera Centre is due to begin in 2018, with an expected five to six year build period. The housing crisis has reached the level of a national emergency, and it must be addressed immediately. There are currently have 278 homeless people in Limerick, and they do not have the luxury to wait until 2024 to be housed. I believe that this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“The Opera Centre is not going to be a panacea to the housing crisis in this city. The council must be more creative and use the tools that it already has at its disposal,” Ms Hennelly concluded.

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