€50m Boost to Housing Capital Budget a Significant Investment

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, TD, of an additional €50m capital expenditure in housing this year.

“This is a significant investment that will make a real difference to families in need of social housing throughout the country in 2014.

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It is a sign of the Government’s commitment to the provision of high quality social housing and I will be working with colleagues to ensure that further progress in terms of capital spend is achieved over the coming years.”
The additional €50m will be allocated to the following initiatives, with the vast majority of spend to be completed in 2014.

  • An additional €20m to bring long-term vacant units back into beneficial use.  This is in addition to the €15m the Minister announced in April;
  • An additional €20m for the construction of mainstream social housing in local authorities with the largest housing need.  This is in addition to the €68m investment the Minister announced in March;
  • A €10m boost to funding for people with a special housing need, with a particular focus on the construction and refurbishment of units for people who are homeless.

“The €20m additional investment in turning long-term vacant units into high-quality family homes will produce approximately 800 homes.  This is in addition to the funding to bring back into use 950 homes announced in April, giving a total of 1750 homes produced under this measure.  It will mean that the vast majority of vacant local houses that can be allocated are brought back into use.

“This important funding will also go hand-in-hand with significant reform of how local authorities manage their housing stock.  I want to see better management of housing stock to prevent the occurrence of vacant units in the future.  There is a disparity at present between how different local authorities manage their temporarily vacant units.  I want to see the best practice that exists in many local authorities deployed throughout the system.  I will be meeting the Directors of Housing in all local authorities in the coming weeks to give momentum to this reform agenda.”

“The additional capital spending in the area of special housing need, with a particular focus on homeless accommodation, is also very welcome.  In the coming days I will be announcing the details of a two year spending programme in this area and I will also bring a memo to Government in the coming weeks that will set out a detailed implementation plan to bring an end to long-term homelessness.”
“In addition to meeting housing need this additional capital spending will also support jobs in the construction industry throughout the country.  In many cases local authorities have framework agreements in place which will ensure that the work can commence without delay.”