The private rental sector in Ireland: through the pandemic and beyond (Threshold and ESRI ENHR Conference)

On Thursday July 1st, Threshold and the ESRI are hosting a conference that aims to 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 address issues such as affordability, security, emerging housing options such as cost-rental, and the role of institutional investments.

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.

The day will commence with an international keynote speaker. Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor in Housing Economics at the London School of Economics and Deputy Director of LSE London. Whitehead is an internationally respected applied economist concentrating mainly in the fields of housing economics, finance and policy. She has worked with a wide range of international agencies as well as regularly for the UK government and Parliament. She was awarded the OBE for services to housing in 1991. This segment will be 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.

Join the conversation #ESRI events

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  


Keynote address: The Private Rented Sector as part of the Global Housing system in a COVID-19 world

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


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 Ó 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