Ireland to double housing output

The ambitious plan, dubbed Rebuilding Ireland, was unveiled by Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, at a cabinet meeting on 19 July.

He was joined by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe.

Rebuilding Ireland strategies how to double the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 per annum by 2020 in a bid to tackle Ireland’s growing housing crisis and homelessness.

The plan revolves around five key objectives, or pillars:

  • Address homelessness;
  • Accelerate social housing;
  • Build more homes;
  • Improve the rental sector; and
  • Utilise existing housing.

“Rebuilding Ireland is a really ambitious and far-reaching initiative by government to provide homes for people – it is my own, and this government’s, number one priority,” said Coveney. “It’s about changing people’s lives by providing affordable stable homes for them and solving the housing challenges that touch practically every family across the country. This government is committed to a range of measures to reverse the chronic undersupply of new homes that’s making new home purchase and rents increasingly unaffordable and driving more people into homelessness.

This plan is designed to accelerate all types of housing supply – social, private and rental. It aims to dramatically increase the delivery of much-needed homes, in the right places and at more affordable prices. “Over the next six years, we are going to provide some 47,000 new social houses and we are going to progressively increase housing output generally towards the target of producing 25,000 houses per year through all channels,” said Coveney.

“Today’s launch is only our starting point, but it’s crucial that we move from words to actions immediately,” he continued. “My Department will be driving implementation, including through a new dedicated Housing Delivery Office, and we will measure and report on progress regularly. While it’s a huge challenge, it simply has to be done and working with all of the stakeholders involved, across government and beyond; I’m confident that we will succeed in our ambitions.”

Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, added, “Amongst the biggest challenges for the Government are the shortage of housing at affordable prices and rents and the unacceptably high level of homelessness. I am, therefore, making available an additional €2,200 million in capital to 2021, or 43% of the available public capital, for investment in housing under this action plan, despite the many other demands for public investment that will have to be considered in this year’s estimates and next year’s capital review. Housing will also be a priority for current expenditure in the annual estimates.”

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