Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Provision

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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107. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of modular homes constructed for local authorities in 2021 and 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11601/23]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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108. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government in view of the growing population and the ever-increasing demand for housing, if he continues to monitor the situation with a view to the use of major numbers of modular houses including log-cabins where appropriate in both urban and rural areas with a view to addressing the acute and present shortage which is likely to worsen in the future; if he will set specific targets well in excess of anything projected so far in respect of housing accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11926/23]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 107 and 108 together.

Housing for All is the Government’s plan to increase the supply of housing to an average of 33,000 per year over the next decade. This includes the delivery of 90,000 social homes, 36,000 affordable purchase homes and 18,000 cost rental homes. Housing for All is supported by an investment package of over €4bn per annum, through an overall combination of €12bn in direct Exchequer funding, €3.5bn in funding through the Land Development Agency and €5bn funding through the Housing Finance Agency.

While my Department does not hold details on the various construction processes used in the delivery of new homes, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) has been identified as a key measure to address increased housing delivery and methods to support increased use of MMC are set out in Pathway 5 of Housing for All. The development of MMC will improve productivity in construction and increase efficiency in residential construction.

The Housing for All Action Plan Update, which was published on 2 November 2022, includes a new action to develop a roadmap with targets for increased use of MMC in public housing. My Department is now working closely with the local authorities to increase the use of MMC in social and affordable housing.

All new dwellings must comply with building regulations and have a 60 year durability. The minimum performance requirements that a building must achieve are set out in the second schedule to the building regulations. These requirements are set out in 12 parts (classified as Parts A to M). Building regulations are performance based and technology/material neutral.

Part D (Materials and Workmanship) requires that all works should be carried out in a workmanlike manner using “proper materials...which are fit for the use for which they are intended and for the conditions in which they are to be used” to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.

The primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings.

For new innovative products or systems, not covered by existing standards, compliance with the Building Regulations can be demonstrated by 3rd party certification by an independent approval body, such as National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Agrément.

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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109. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government his plans to deliver affordable housing units in Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11557/23]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Under Housing for All, the Government will deliver 54,000 affordable homes between now and 2030, to be facilitated by local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), the Land Development Agency (LDA) and through a strategic partnership between the State and retail banks.

2022 represented the first year of a very ambitious programme of affordable housing delivery. Significant funding has been secured and is being made available to support delivery of affordable housing for purchase or for cost rental by local authorities and other delivery partners, including those in Dublin City.

Local authorities have published 5 year Housing Delivery Action Plans setting out affordable housing delivery targets up to 2026. Dublin City Council has a target of 2,114 affordable homes over this period, not including additional affordable homes that will be delivered through AHBs and the higher Part V requirements introduced through the Affordable Housing Act 2021. Dublin City Council's affordable housing delivery plan can be accessed on its website.

To date, I have approved €38.8 million for two affordable home projects at Poppintree and Emmet Road which will cumulatively assist in the delivery of 388 affordable homes for purchase or rent.

€24.8 million of AHF funding has also been approved to assist with the delivery of 248 affordable purchase homes at O'Devaney Gardens. Dublin City Council have made a revised funding application for this scheme to my Department which is now under assessment. Construction of the affordable units is estimated to commence later this year with full delivery expected within 30 months of the commencement date.

Dublin City Council have also submitted revised funding applications to my Department for affordable housing schemes at Oscar Traynor Road and Cherry Orchard. These applications are currently under assessment and a decision on funding approval will be issued to Dublin City Council shortly. Dublin City Council has advised that the delivery of these units would commence in early 2025.

Last December I wrote to local authorities to set out the increased level of Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) subsidy available for applications in respect of Cost Rental apartment developments in cities. The maximum subsidy now available is €150,000 per home.

In addition, the First Home Scheme, launched last July, supports first-time buyers in purchasing new houses and apartments in the private market through the use of an equity share model, similar to that employed in the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme. The Scheme aims to support in the region of 8,000 households in acquiring new homes in the private market in the years 2022 to 2026 with an overall budget of €400 million. The scheme is available nationwide and more information can be found at www.firsthomescheme.ie/


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