Cornerstone for sustaining population on islands

Available, affordable housing is one cornerstone for sustaining population on Ireland’s offshore islands. Housing, employment and education form a holy triangle of the survival of island communities together with other critical infrastructure such as the island life line – ferry connection. There are a few reasons why housing is a challenge for the offshore islands, Inishbofin included.

One such reason is the rising property prices accelerated by the holiday home markets. Many properties are already way out of the average person’s budget, and it is more and more rare that properties on sale on the islands end up for year-round residential use. While we love our seasonal residents, the other side of the coin is that few locals can afford to buy their own house on their home island. Especially as properties and land is are not abundant. A dilemma not so easy to solve!

In order to gain deeper understanding and knowledge on the challenges and possible solutions Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann – the representative body of Ireland’s offshore islands – has commissioned a housing survey of Ireland’s Offshore Islands. The purpose of this study to ascertain the views and needs of island residents on their household’s present housing circumstances and future housing requirements. The research is being carried out in partnership between Comhar na nOileán and researchers from University College Cork (UCC), and will be published soon.