To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of affordable purchase schemes units provided to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The delivery of more affordable homes, to buy or rent, particularly in areas where people are facing the greatest affordability challenge, is a major priority for Government.
Of course, affordability and access to affordable housing are significantly influenced by the supply of new homes to buy and rent, and competition in the market. Therefore, the Government has taken significant action to increase housing supply through the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. This is having a significant impact, particularly for those on lowest incomes, with nearly 26,000 households having their social housing needs met in 2017.
More generally and in order to increase overall house-building at scale, a suite of actions is underway, including, for example, actions to fund infrastructure, streamline planning, and reduce building costs. There is evidence that these measures are working with housing planning permissions and commencements growing by 27% and 23% respectively, year on year as evidenced in the most recent Monthly Housing Activity Report, which can be accessed at the following link:
The Government is committed to ensuring that housing is affordable for households on low to moderate incomes. Recognising that people want a choice of affordable purchase and rental, depending on their stage of life and circumstances, we are progressing both through a range of initiatives.
I announced new measures in January specifically targeted at delivering more affordable homes to households generally with maximum income of €50,000 for single applicants and €75,000 for joint applicants. Based on initial estimates, the initiatives have the potential to deliver some 4,000 new affordable homes to buy or rent, with a target delivery of at least 10,000 new affordable homes in the medium to long term. The emphasis initially will be on delivering affordable homes from the public land bank, particularly in urban areas where affordability issues are greatest.
Already, proposals for a number of large mixed-tenure projects, that will include affordable homes, are progressing for local authority sites in Dublin, including Kilcarberry in Clondalkin, as well as O'Devaney Gardens and Oscar Traynor Road in the Dublin City Council area. These sites can accommodate 2,000 to 2,500 new homes. I also expect to announce a major cost rental project on a Dublin site shortly.
Finally, to support local authorities, I have secured additional funding for enabling infrastructure which will facilitate affordable housing provision, and I expect to issue a call for proposals for this funding to local authorities very shortly.
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