With more than 600,000 people in Ireland living in poor housing conditions with leaks, damp or rot, Engineers Ireland has published 100 recommended actions to futureproof Ireland’s built environment and meet environmental, social and economic goals. The recommended actions across housing, energy, transport, communications, water/wastewater, waste and flood risk, were published as part of the membership body’s ‘The State of Ireland 2019: A review of housing and infrastructure in Ireland’ report.
The report found that 52% of professional engineers surveyed believe Ireland’s overall infrastructure is not in good condition and does not have capacity for future development. This year’s report, for the first time, focused on Ireland’s housing sector which was allocated a ‘D’ grade – highlighting the engineering expert view that the capacity, condition and connectivity of Irish housing is of serious concern and requires immediate action.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Director General of Engineers Ireland, Caroline Spillane said: “We, like many others, are seriously concerned about Ireland’s housing. Immediate actions are needed to overcome challenges in the capacity, condition and connectivity of our housing stock. Climate action and housing action must be intertwined if we are to meet our environmental, social and economic goals as a country.
“In this regard, it was extremely positive to see the Government’s strong focus on retrofitting Ireland’s existing housing stock and commitment to upgrade 500,000 homes by 2030 in its Climate Action Plan last week,” Ms. Spillane added, “however, to achieve this target, we need much more clarity and a roadmap, including financing and skills development. We must also acknowledge that in the longer term, almost 2 million housing units in Ireland need to be retrofitted to achieve the energy performance levels required.”