Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Noel Ahern (Minister of State, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Minister of State, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
Priorities for investment in housing under the National Development Plan 2007-2013 will take account of a number of factors, including the key policy challenges highlighted by the NESC report, the results of the 2005 housing needs assessment and the policy framework set out in the document, Housing Policy Framework — Building Sustainable Communities, which was launched in December 2005.
Under Towards 2016, the Government is committed to providing investment for an expanded range of housing options to households which cannot afford to provide for their accommodation needs. In the period 2007-09, this will include the commencement or acquisition of an additional 4,000 new housing units through a combination of local authority, voluntary and co-operative housing and long-term contractual arrangements under the rental accommodation scheme for new supply. The total number of new commencements and acquisitions over the period will be 27,000 units. Additional households will benefit from full implementation of the rental accommodation scheme, which will involve contractual arrangements with landlords for existing properties transferring from rent supplement.
The Government's overall strategy is to increase housing supply to meet demand and to improve affordability, particularly for first-time buyers. We will continue to support investment in infrastructure to deliver high levels of housing and improve affordability and we are putting a greater focus on building active and successful communities through quality housing and the provision social and affordable housing.