Housing; Local Government and Heritage | Housing For All Programme demands and implementation
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which he expects to meet future housing demand at all levels notwithstanding the existence of many challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which the various housing schemes put forward by his Department in the Housing For All package can be improved to meet the increasing challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which he expects to be in a position to improve or augment the various schemes encompassing the Housing For All programme with a view to identifying the best way that these might be improved to meet the challenges; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which the various categories of housing applicant continue to be met or are likely to be met throughout the Housing For All programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which the various categories of housing applicant including those hoping to house themselves continue to be met or are likely to be met throughout the Housing For All programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the measures that he will take to address the most serious housing shortages within the shortest possible period; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Housing for All (September 2021) is the Government’s plan to increase the supply of housing to an average of 33,000 per year over the next decade. Over 300,000 new homes will be built by the end of 2030, including a projected 90,000 social homes, 36,000 affordable purchase homes and 18,000 cost rental homes.
It is important to state that supply, which is key to improving our housing system, is increasing. The most recent CSO figures on planning permissions show a strong pipeline, with 44,715 dwellings granted planning permission in the twelve months to the end of June 2022. There were 26,608 units commenced in the year to October 2022. 27,773 new homes were completed in the twelve months to end September 2022. We are on track to exceed the Housing for All target of 24,600 new build homes in 2022.
Housing for All is delivering for the various categories of housing applicants.
For first-time buyers, we have extended the Help to Buy Scheme, enhanced the Local Authority Home Loan, and introduced the First Home Shared Equity Scheme in July. In the 5 month period to the beginning of November, over 600 First Home applications have been approved.
In the year to September 2022, first-time buyers represent a 33% share of all purchases, having reached their highest levels since 2007 with over 16,241 homes purchased. To put this in to context, this figure is up from a low of 6,381 in 2011.
For those people starting again, A ‘Fresh Start’ principle applies to all State affordable housing and loan schemes. People who are divorced and have no interest in the family home or who have undergone insolvency proceedings will be eligible to apply to those schemes.
For renters, we have introduced new protections such as a cap on allowable rent increases and tenancies of unlimited duration. Hundreds of Cost Rental homes with State-backed rents targeted at least 25% below what they would be on the private market have been already tenanted.
For low and middle income households, a record €4.5 billion in State housing investment will be made available in 2023. This funding provision will support an additional 27,000 households in 2023, including the delivery of 11,830 social homes, the majority of which, 9,100, will be new build homes, and 5,550 new affordable homes to be delivered through a range of affordable housing measures. The funding for 2023 also provides for supports for disabled people, older people and Travellers.
For those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, I have introduced a ban on evictions during the winter months. I have also written to local authority Chief Executives, informing them of my decision to continue the delegated sanction, to purchase homes where the tenant is at risk of homelessness, for the duration of the emergency winter eviction ban and up to the end of the transition period in June 2023.
The new Housing First National Implementation Plan 2022-26 will provide 1,319 new supported tenancies for people who are long-term homeless and who have complex additional needs. 764 individuals were in Housing First tenancies by the end of Q3 2022. Ultimately, increasing social housing and residential housing supply is key to eradicating homelessness and guaranteed State investment of over €4 billion a year in housing will support increased supply.
We have also introduced other significant initiatives since Housing for All was published including:
- The introduction of a Ready to Build scheme, funded through the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund;
- To tackle vacancy, a new Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – available right around the country; a new Town Centre First policy that includes initiatives to revitalise towns; and changes to the Fair Deal Scheme, to remove disincentives to renting or selling vacant property;
- The establishment of a new Construction Technology Centre and other policies to promote the widespread adoption of Modern Methods of Construction;
- Construction sector recruitment initiatives including the new ‘Future Building’ initiative to spearhead activation and recruitment and additional investment to increase the availability of apprenticeships and training; and
- More resources provided to local authorities to deliver social and affordable housing.
The Government recognises there are challenges. Price inflation, rising interest rates and other inter-related factors arising from the war in Ukraine are increasing the cost of construction and leading to a very uncertain and unstable environment. Ireland’s obligation to provide accommodation for Ukrainians displaced by the war further highlights the importance of increased housing supply.
The first annual review of Housing for All, published on 2 November, sets out how the Government is responding to these changed circumstances and ensuring focus remains on accelerating delivery. The stability provided by a clear and comprehensive plan is now more important than ever.
The updated plan focuses on priority measures that will improve viability and accelerate supply. 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.
Leave a Reply