Much of the world, if not all, is addicted to housing, even to the point of declaring it a human right. It seems to be part the natural human condition — living in shelter — for nearly all citizens of nearly all nations.
One view of this natural human condition is that it is largely the responsibility of individuals, not governments, which must necessarily be preoccupied with more important issues, such as holding elections, defending borders, or fixing potholes in local county roads.
Another view is that, at this particular time at least, housing is being influenced by global economic conditions that operate on a far grander scale than can be influenced by individual citizens. This view deems it necessary for nations to wake up and take steps on behalf of those who, at an individual level, are facing growing and insurmountable housing crises without the ability or resources to do anything about them.
Many media outlets have decided that nations must take responsibility for housing crises. National governments tend to be less certain that there is even a crisis. Or they claim that they are managing their housing responsibilities quite admirably. And then there’s “the other dude does it” excuse — that it is a regional or local problem, not a national one.
A recent series of articles in the Irish Times have explored initiatives that the Irish government might take to fix a housing crisis which is “arguably” a national responsibility.
These articles have been rolled up in a summary of 12 steps to help fix a nation’s affordable housing crisis.
Can other nations benefit from this? Many of the factors discussed reflect the behaviour and idiosyncrasies of more or less free markets operating in most democratic societies. The solutions proposed may well resonate in many other countries.
Read more in The Media Times: Housing Is Ireland’s Biggest Economic And Social Emergency. Can We Fix It?