Save the date: Threshold and ESRI ENHR Conference 2021

Topic: The Private Rental Sector in Ireland: The Impact of COVID-19 and beyond


The private rental sector in Ireland has experienced high rental price growth and affordability challenges for a number of years coupled with a shortages of supply. Layered on top of these structural difficulties has been the impact of COVID-19 on households with workers in hospitality, accommodation, tourism and food services particularly hard hit. Households working in these sectors are often living in the private rental sector thus any labour market impacts are likely to compound affordability challenges.

This one-day conference aims will consider recent research on the private rental sector in Ireland and Northern Ireland in the context of both COVID-19, but also the options ahead for those living in the sector. The conference will discuss affordability, security, emerging housing options such as cost-rental, the role of institutional investment and barriers to provision.

The day will commence with an international keynote speaker, followed by presentations around the key issues. In the afternoon, a panel of experts will look at the options for those living in the private rented sector today and in the future. There will be opportunity for questions and discussion.


The Private Rental Sector in Ireland: Through the Pandemic and Beyond

ESRI Threshold Conference — 1st July 2021


Opening Address

Alan Barrett, Director, Economic and Social Research Institute  

11:15- 11:30



Presentations - “COVID19 and Renting”




Tom Dunne, Head of the School of Surveying & Construction Management, Technological University, Dublin

The Impact of COVID19 on the Irish Rental Market

Conor O’Toole, Associate Research Professor, ESRI

The impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland

Martina McAuley, Research and Evaluation Officer at Housing Rights, Northern Ireland

Threshold’s 2021 Annual Tenant Sentiment Survey

Ann-Marie O’Reilly, Threshold


Experience of Renters during the COVID19  pandemic

Michael Byrne, Lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, UCD




Panel Discussion – “Where to next for Renting and the Irish Housing system?”

Chair – Aideen Hayden, Chair of Threshold

Pat Farrell, Chief Executive, Irish Institutional Property

Michelle Norris, Professor of Social Policy in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice UCD

Hugh Brennan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at O Cualann Cohousing Alliance

Joe Frey, Knowledge Exchange Broker for the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)

Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics, London School of Economics


Closing Address

John-Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive, Threshold