Dublin On Social Housing: Let’s Do It Better, Like The Europeans Do

Fine old red brick 5 story building with gabled rooftops line a Dublin street.
Iveagh Trust Building, Dublin, Éire photo by Warren LeMay is licensed under CC ZERO 1.0
Iveagh Trust housing in Dublin was built at the turn of the 20th century.

For any city, town or rural area re-thinking the benefits of social housing, it’s important to acknowledge that what went wrong in the past can be a useful foundation for new and more effective social housing solutions in the future. While federal governments often control the scope and financing of affordable housing that needs to be be built, local councils have played a principal role in the development, construction and management of local housing projects. Councils are the “boots on the ground” with a close up view of local requirements, as well as a long history of how to manage (and not manage) projects either directly, or through agencies such as housing associations.

Dublin city is a city that saw the construction of workers housing — a forerunner of modern social housing — in the late 1800’s, thanks to philanthropy of Sir Edward Guinness, Lord Iveagh, the prominent industrialist and brewer.1

With a social housing history that goes way back, as well as a neglected and declining stock of social housing, Dublin City Council is looking to a better, more effective social housing future. What might that look like? Read more in the Dublin InQuirer: Councillors on Public Housing Working Group Present Findings


  1. Lord Iveagh founded the Guinness Trust in London and the Iveagh Trust in Dublin. The photographer’s note describing the picture above is a concise and interesting description of the buildings still standing today in Dublin. Read it here

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