Through the Pandemic and Beyond

ESRI and Threshold conference 2021

The private rental sector in Ireland has experienced high rental price growth and affordability challenges for a number of years coupled with a shortage 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.

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. 

Guest speakers include Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor in Housing Economics at the London School of Economics and Deputy Director of LSE London.  Christine 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.


Conference Programme

- Details of the conference programme and profiles of our guest contributors is available here


Conference papers and presentation slides


The private rented Sector as part of the global housing system in a Covid world - Prof. Christine Whitehead (LSE).

The Impact of Covid-19 on the private rental sector - Conor O'Toole, ESRI.

The Perfect Storm: the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland - Dr Martina McAuley, Housing Rights Northern Ireland.

Renting during the pandemic: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tenants in the Irish private rental sector - Michael Byrne, UCD.

Threshold's Tenant Sentiment Survey - AnnMarie O'Reilly, Threshold.


Threshold's Tenant Sentiment Survey - full report