Adopting a policy of cooperative housing, as an alternative to developer lead housing, could be a move to combat not only the housing crisis, but rising rents and house prices.
This is the view of Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan, who is calling on the Galway city and county councils to encourage the development of cooperative housing, which will “allows citizens to effectively build their own houses”.
Cooperative housing typically consists of small developments of 20 to 30 houses. Sites are sourced by local authorities and made available to those on low and medium incomes to build houses. Modern cooperative developments can consist of mixed tenures, from privately owned to social and voluntary housing. Dep Nolan said such housing developments have “a strong track record of integration and quality of life” as residents are involved in the building, management and maintenance of houses, and the local area.
The identifying sites could be facilitated by local authorities working with Cooperative Housing Ireland, but Dep Nolan acknowledges that local authorities will need support for such a move, and as a result he has been in contact with the Minister for the Environment about “how best the Government can support such a model”.