Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Independent)
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189. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government further to the announcement of social housing strategy 2020 if he will provide a breakdown of the promised 35,000 new social housing units in respect of the method of procurement; and the scheduling of same. [46702/14]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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The Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform, approved by Government and published last week, builds on the provisions contained in Budget 2015 and sets out clear and measureable actions and targets to increase the supply of social housing, reform delivery arrangements and meet the housing needs of all households on the housing list.In committing to provide 35,000 new social housing units, at a projected cost of €3.8 billion, the strategy marks a fresh start for social housing in Ireland. It is estimated that this level of investment will create or sustain some 29,000 construction industry jobs. Importantly, the Strategy restores the State to a central role in the provision of social housing through a resumption of direct building on a significant scale, primarily by local authorities and approved housing bodies. Over the 6 years of the strategy, I anticipate that the 35,000 units will be delivered as follows: 22,273 units to be built and acquired utilising both current and capital monies; 11,000 units to be leased;and 2,300 units to be supplied through the refurbishment and bringing back in to use of vacant local authority stock.

The strategy will be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 targets the delivery of 18,000 additional housing units and 32, 4 00 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) units,by the end of 2017. In phase 2, spanning the years 2018 to 2020, the strategy target s the delivery of 17,000 additional units and 43,000 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) units.

In the initial phase, increased Exchequer funding is necessary to underpin delivery . The Government has already committed this initial funding, through the €2.2 billion announced as part of Budget 2015. The provision of this funding will allow time for the work to be carried out to move towards more off-balance sheet funding, through the extension to the NAMA Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a large scale Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the establishment of a ‘Strategic Housing Fund’.

The strategy provides a clear governance structure, which as Minister I will personally oversee, to ensure delivery .Action 1 of the Strategy requires the agreement of targets for delivery of social housing next year and in subsequent years. These specific targets will be agreed through the governance structure, which is currently being put in place, in collaboration with local authorities and with input from the approved housing body sector.


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