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Employers Cite Affordable Accommodation As Hiring Barrier — U+I Sees 260 SF Apartments As Potential Solution

U+I is proposing to build 260 SF apartments as one answer to a shortage of affordable accommodation in Dublin city centre

Cost, availability and poor quality of accommodation are the three biggest barriers to working in Dublin, according to employers at Dublin-based SMEs and recruitment companies.

In a survey commissioned by developer U+I, 78% of recruiters said the high cost of accommodation impedes their ability to attract and retain talent in Dublin. More than a quarter (26%) cited limited availability of suitable accommodation and 16% mentioned quality of accommodation as barriers. Poor public transport was cited as an issue by 16% of those surveyed.

Some 63% of respondents said it is difficult to recruit people in Dublin and 42% described the impact of accommodation as having an “extremely serious” impact on their ability to do so.

One of the aims of the study was to look at attitudes around U+I's compact living concept — the developer is proposing to build and rent out purpose-built units of around 260 SF in the city centre. Similar in size to a large hotel room, these apartments would each pack in a kitchen, en suite, washing machine, dishwasher and storage space. Renters would also have access to shared facilities such as private dining rooms, laundromats, an on-site gym and workspaces.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they felt very positive about the apartments offering an affordable option for city centre living. Just over half (51%) said they would be likely to promote the concept to employees.

“Young people in particular are living increasingly compact, experientially driven lives, looking to live and work in city centres,” U+I Chief Executive Matthew Weiner said. “U+I has worked on a number of intelligently designed living solutions for housing and community focused mixed-use projects and its compact living model is one such example.

“These purpose-built, self-contained, rental-only homes have been designed to maximise available space and cater to the needs of single person households.”

Weiner said the compact living model is an example of a broader suite of solutions, alongside thoughtful mixed-use regeneration, that his company believes is required to tackle the housing supply challenges Dublin faces.

“Ideally, we would like to develop these types of innovative housing solutions on sites in association with public sector bodies, who have unused and underdeveloped land in Dublin city centre. Such partnerships could release significant value for the public purse and provide housing options that are so urgently needed.”

The survey was carried out by Behaviours & Attitudes and involved interviews with 102 HR, recruitment and business growth and strategy personnel in companies with over 50 employees, and recruitment agencies.