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Borrow billions to build homes or the housing crisis will spiral

The State can afford to borrow €4bn to €7bn a year to build homes without creating undue economic risks, the ESRI has said.

Failing to act to close the worsening gap between housing demand and supply runs the risk of rents and house prices spiralling higher.

The result could be social and economic damage, according to the report by Prof Kieran McQuinn of ESRI.

The State’s actively funding builders with €4bn of borrowed funds could contribute 18,000 new homes a year towards the 35,000 most experts agree are needed, relieving the pressure building on rents and house prices.

Private construction alone will not solve the housing crisis even though demand is high, Prof McQuinn said.

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