Minister Darragh O’Brien launches Housing for All – A new Housing Plan for Ireland

The Government has published its Housing for All plan which has been called “unprecedented” by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Unprecedented financial commitments of in excess of €4bn per annum will be made available.

A target of over 300,000 new homes to 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 makes this the largest State led building programme in Ireland’s history.

Launching the plan Minister Darragh O’Brien, said: “We know that the impact of the housing crisis is felt in every family across our country. From hard-pressed tenants stuck in a rent trap and wondering if they will ever own their own home to those at the sharpest edge of the crisis, who will spend tonight sleeping in emergency accommodation or worse, sleeping rough on one of our city streets.

“It is only by taking measures across all aspects of our housing system that we can begin to improve the situation for our citizens across the board. That is what this plan is all about, it’s a whole of Government approach to get to grips with this crisis and to improve the lives of all our people.”

The plan puts forward a “new vision” of homeownership O’Brien said.

–       The First Home scheme will see people buy their home with the help of Government by bridging the gap between the finance they have and the cost of the home they want.

–       The Local Authority Led Affordable Purchase Scheme will see homes at an average of €250,000 be available across the country.

–       A reformed Local Authority Mortgage Scheme will see more single people eligible for State backed mortgages, while interest rates will be reduced for all new applicants.

The plan includes measures to support the availability of land, funding, workforce, and capacity to facilitate public and private sectors activity in an effort to help met targets.

Commenting on Local Authorities housing activity O’Brien said: “We are empowering Local Authorities to get back building again, and with their AHB’s partners they will deliver an average of 10,000 social homes each year.

“The plan also includes modern ‘Kenny Report’ style powers to ensure the State gets a fairer share of the increase in the value of land resulting from re-zoning decisions, and that the community benefits as a result.

“Major planning decisions will be returned to Local Authorities and will be subject to strict time frames, while judicial reviews will be overhauled to unblock obstacles to development.”

Tom Parlon, CIF Director General said “Implementation of the plan will provide opportunities for home builders and contractors in the greater delivery of residential output. Expected infrastructure investment in the forthcoming National Development Plan review will be critical in optimising ‘Housing for All’.’’

Speaking after the announcement James Benson Director IHBA, said, “We welcome this plan from Government today which we hope goes some way towards meeting the challenges we currently face in terms of supply and affordability. The numbers contained within the plan are ambitious with 33,000 homes set to be delivered per annum up to 2030. Our members will be working hard to supply these much-needed homes however it is important that issues such as planning and infrastructure, which are impeding delivery, are also tackled.”

“A priority for the IHBA is to deliver much-needed homes for those who are locked out of the market, particularly first-time buyers. We welcome strongly the inclusion of the ‘First Home Scheme’ which will bridge the gap for many first-time buyers who have been keen to buy their first homes but who have been locked out of the market for the last number of years.”

John Coleman, CEO of the Land Development Agency said: “We welcome the publication of Housing For All, which empowers the LDA to be a crucial lever supporting the Government’s policy to create a sustainable housing market.  The plan recognises the LDA’s long term mission to increase the supply of social and affordable homes through the optimal use of large-scale State-owned land.  More immediately it mandates us to play a leading role in the delivery of a new cost rental housing model that will help the many thousands of people who currently struggle to meet their housing needs in an affordable way.

“It’s been said before that the LDA should do for housing what the IDA has done for foreign direct investment into Ireland.  In time this will be a valid comparison, and requires us to continue to work in close collaboration with other state agencies – particularly local authorities. The LDA is unlocking major State-owned and other lands that can be efficiently transformed to better serve the public good as the location for thousands of new homes.”