Could mobile home sites offer a solution to the housing problem in Ireland?

On paper, these homes offer everything a family should need with all modern conveniences. However, these homes are temporary and mobile and the sites lack adequate services and facilities.

Your own home away from it all in the unspoilt beauty of Brittas. But nothing appears to be permanent in this life.

A few years ago, Mr Hill took the opportunity to turn the family land into a profitable business. He now has more than fifty mobile homes on the site with plans for more.  Mr Hill claims that he has invested £20,000 in the site. However, the council has identified problems with the site.

The site offers "penthouse" style three bedroom houses living at a cost of £3,800 cash down payment including £500 for servicing. All the homes are absolutely identical in every detail down to the colour of the curtains. The homes are fully furnished and offer central heating and pipe television. 

But the walls are hardly soundproof and you can feel the floors sag as you walk through the house.

With a deposit of £1,500 and £11 a week payments, this is hardly the answer to the problem of the homeless. Nor is it a planner's dream. But is it the housing of the future?

The question of mobile homes and their sites is a complicated one and comes under three separate local government departments - health, housing, and planning.

According to Planning Officer Mr Johnson, the problems begin with the fact that many of these sites are located in areas that were never intended for development and the council has difficulties in providing services to the sites. Many of the sites have no planning permission. 
 
Housing Officer Mr Hanley sees these mobile home sites as a temporary measure for families looking for a more permanent home. 

Health Officer Mr O'Sullivan points out that under the Public Health Code, penalties for the provision of poor drainage and sewage are quite weak. There is little incentive to make sure that the owners of these sites meet their responsibilities. 

These people don't have much regard to the proper standards in these sites.
 

This episode of 'Tangents' was broadcast on 3 April 1973. 

A miscellany of events, entertainment, opinions and personalities, 'Tangents' was first aired on Monday 25 September 1972 and ran until 1974. Tangents was presented by Cathal O'Shannon and Doireann Ní Bhriain on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and by John O'Donoghue each Tuesday.