Icelandic Housing Providers visit Tallaght – October 2015

_BBB7517 (2)A group of ten social housing providers and City Council members from Reykjavik visited Gleann na hEorna on 9th October.  The tour was facilitated by Padraic Brennan Respond Regional Manager of the Eastern Regions,  Dolores Grady Respond Resident Support Co-ordinator and Declan Corrigan St John of God Services

_BBB7526The Icelandic group’s interest was generally around seeing how Irish social housing providers have dealt with the challenges of development, delivery and management in the last few years, as many aspects of the housing situation in Iceland is similar to what is being faced in Ireland at the moment, and particularly in Dublin, such as:

_BBB7500Iceland had a financial crisis in fall of 2008 that greatly affected life in Iceland and the housing market.  Almost no construction took place in the years 2008-2013 so there is a huge lack of affordable apartments in Reykjavík today.  Reykjavik Social housing has plans to find 500 new apartments in the next 5 years, but they are very hard to find.   A new city plan is being executed which aims at making Reykjavik denser city by building new houses in the central/middle area of Reykjavik rather than at the edges of the city.  This makes the construction cost higher and slower so even though construction has been picking up in the last 2 years however new homes are lagging behind demand.   Price of apartments and rental price have risen around 50% in the last 4 years making it hard for Reykjavik Social Housing to buy and rent out apartments at a cost price that those on social benefits can pay.

In this context the Icelandic group were very interested in their tour of the collaborative housing scheme at Gleann na hEorna. The group of visiting professionals included:

Hjálmar Sveinsson Head of City Planning, Reykjavik City Council member
Ellý Alda Þorsteinsd. Manager at welfare
Jóna Guðný Eyjólfsd. Manager at welfare
Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir Head of Reykjavik welfare, Reykjavik City Council member
Áslaug Friðriksdóttir Reykjavik City council member
Auðun Freyr Ingvarsson CEO of Reykjavik Social Housing
Birgir Ottóson Manager at Reykjavik Social Housing
Haraldur Flosi Tryggvason Head for board for Reykjavik Social Housing
Guðrún Ögmundsdóttir Board member at Reykjavik Social housing, former member of parliament
Júlíus Vífill Ingvarssson Reykjavik City Council member

Posted: October 2015