Labour would put super tax on co-living units

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Labour Party TD Jan O'Sullivan.

Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan has warned developers of planned co-living units that the Labour Party would seek the implementation of a super tax on co-living developments that have already been built and would change the law to stop future developments.

Deputy O’Sullivan said: “A 208 unit co-living scheme has now been granted permission in Dún Laoghaire. That site could have accommodated dozens of homes instead. The rent of €1,300 a month for one person is also totally unrealistic. In the middle of a housing crisis developers are chasing profits and building modern day bedsits.

“The profit driven motives of developers mean that they are exploiting planning law to ensure they get the maximum return on development sites. That is why so many co-living schemes are now seeking permission. The housing policy expert Mel Reynolds has shown that these developments are making apartment building less likely as more profit is made per square meter from co-living over apartments. The same pattern is also evident in the glut of unaffordable student accommodation that has been built in Dublin city centre.

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“Firstly, the Labour Party if in a position to do so after the next election, would amend the development acts to restrict any further planned co-living schemes.”

The Limerick politician takes the view that while there is little that can be done once the developments are built, the economic viability of developments can be impacted by putting a super tax on the individual properties.

“Such a levy could be placed through the local property tax system. For example, a super tax of €10,000 per unit would quickly make these schemes unviable.

“This is a warning to developers seeking planning permission for co-living developments and undertaking building now, that the Labour Party would seek to put a super tax on each co-living unit. We want to see affordable homes and sustainable communities built. Co-living units are developer led, profit driven, and an effort to exploit restricted supply.

“Fine Gael have refused to halt these developments, and the Minister has likened them to ‘very trendy boutique hotels’. People are looking for homes to live in, not boxes. The Labour Party would ensure these co-living developments are ended.”