The shortage of rental properties in our major towns and cities is costing Ireland jobs, according to the head of major multinational PayPal.
Louise Phelan revealed at the Construction Industry Federation conference yesterday that the lack of available housing means that staff at PayPal are being asked to offer rooms to new employees who cannot find accommodation.
The firm, which employs some 2,400 people in Dublin and Dundalk, warned that the situation was now “at crisis point” and at the stage where Ireland will lose foreign direct investment and the jobs that come with it.
PayPal revealed that the problem is so bad that they are forking out as much as €2,000 extra for new employees coming to Ireland in order to pay for a hotel when they arrive.
Ms Phelan’s comments came as estate agents Savills warned that the rapid increase in Dublin’s population was putting huge strain on the capital’s housing and infrastructure.
It is estimated that the population of Dublin has increased by around 35,000 in the last year alone.
The short supply of rental properties mean that many people are struggling to find accommodation at present, with prices rising at a steady pace – so much so that it is now financially cheaper to buy than rent in most of the country. Indeed, Ms Phelan called on the banks to “start lending again to people who can afford a mortgage and are being turned down and to developers who want to create the homes and commercial premises.”
She added: “But there is no point in the construction industry producing commercial property unless you’re going to match it with residential property to support it. We need to improve quality of life for people, for example to make more schools available.”
If workers cannot find a place to live then companies looking at Ireland as a possible destination may take their business elsewhere.
It’s a problem that needs to be sorted, baring in mind that for every 100 jobs created by foreign direct investment, an additional 71 are created.
Ireland cannot afford to be turning away business but to meet growing demand building needs to happen in key areas again.