Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1388. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if the co-living policy has been reviewed in view of the new Covid-19 public health guidelines on social distancing and self-isolation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6969/20]
In 2018, I published updated Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities, as Ministerial Guidance under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), following an extensive public consultation process.
The updated guidelines set out policy in relation to a range of apartment formats needed to meet the accommodation needs of different household types and sizes. This includes the potential for a ‘Shared Accommodation’ or ‘Co-Living’ format. This format comprises professionally managed rental accommodation, where living accommodation, that may comprise individual rooms, is rented within an overall development, that must also include access to shared or communal facilities and amenities, but not shared bathroom or toilet facilities. To end Q1 2020, 294 co-living bedspaces have been approved, by An Bord Pleanála under the strategic housing development application process, for development since the guidelines came in to force in 2018. In comparison, there were more than 60,000 homes permitted, none of which were co-living bedspaces, since the guidelines were published to the end of 2019 alone.
Shared accommodation is one of a number of residential settings that include hotels, hostels, residential institutions and student accommodation, where residential occupation comprises more than one household. Although such accommodation formats are not as prevalent as individual houses or apartments, they nonetheless play an important role in catering for the diverse needs of the overall population. There are currently no plans to review any of these formats in light of the COVID-19 pandemic but my Department will continue to monitor existing policy measures and activities, having regard to the most up to date Government public health advice and guidance, as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.