Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Schemes

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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105. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will provide an update on the implementation of Housing for All; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11755/23]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Housing for All was published 2 September 2021 and the Government published its first annual update of the plan's actions on 2 November 2022.

Progress reports are published quarterly. The sixth of these reports, covering progress in Q4 2022 was published on 7 February 2023. These reports can be accessed my Department's website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/collection/9d2ee-housing-for-all-quarterly-progress-reports/Under Housing for All, the supply of new homes is increasing:

- In 2022, nearly 30,000 homes were completed. That is an increase of 45% from 2021 and 41% from 2019, pre-pandemic. The 2022 total exceeds the Housing for All target by 21%;

- Planning permission has been approved for over 40,000 homes in the year ending Q3 2022. This is a 2.4% increase when compared to the same time period to Q3 2021;

- Commencement Notices for over 27,000 new homes were received in the 12 months to end of January 2023. In January alone, 2,108 Commencement Notices were received, the highest number received in the month of January since the data series began in 2014.

The plan is delivering through increased housing supply; a range of affordable purchase and rental measures; new initiatives to tackle homelessness; and ongoing, long-term reforms of the housing and planning systems. This week, I announced further measures to increase the supply of social homes including:

- an increase in the number of social housing acquisitions to 1,500 in 2023 to reduce the number of households at risk of homelessness;

- an additional 1,000 homes through Targeted Leasing initiatives in 2023 and 2024; and

- the amendment of the Capital Advance Leasing Facility used by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to assist them in their efforts in delivering social homes.

I have also informed Government of plans to give a number of new opportunities to tenants who wish to become homeowners. These include:

- requiring a landlord selling a property to first offer it to the tenant on an independent valuation basis for sale;

- working with AHBs and local authorities to develop a bespoke ‘cost rental’ model for tenants at risk of homelessness but not on social housing supports to continue to rent their homes at existing or market rates.

The Government recognises, however, that there are challenges. Price inflation, rising interest rates and other inter-related factors arising from the war in Ukraine have increased the cost of construction, leading to a very uncertain and unstable environment. The first annual update of Housing for All sets out how the Government is responding to these changed circumstances and ensuring focus remains on delivery. The stability provided by a clear and comprehensive plan is now more important than ever.

Acting now, with measures like the extension of the LDA’s Project Tosaigh; the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) initiative; increasing the subvention to local authorities under the Affordable Housing Fund; and the recent increase in the Cost Rental Equity Loan for AHBs, will further improve viability, and get sites activated that might not otherwise be developed.

In parallel, we will continue to deliver on the fundamental reforms set out in the Plan, such as addressing the cost of construction; accelerating the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction, particularly in the delivery of public housing; and reforming the planning system to ensure a simpler, more streamlined process for all stakeholders.

A record €4.5 billion in State housing investment will be made available in 2023. This will underpin the ambitious Housing for All plan and deliver the largest state home building programme ever with 9,100 direct build social homes, and 5,500 affordable homes. Over €1 billion will be spent on affordability measures, supporting homeownership in 2023.

A copy of the Housing for All Action Plan Update can be accessed at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/publication/da0d1-action-plan-update-and-q3-2022-progress-report/


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