The initial liability date for the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) has been deferred by one year, from 1 February 2024 until 1 February 2025.
The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, have announced the deferral of the initial liability date for the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) by one year, from 1 February 2024 until 1 February 2025.
This deferral, announced as part of Budget 2024, will afford landowners an additional opportunity to submit requests for a change in the zoning of their land to local authorities in respect of the mapping process being undertaken as part of the 2024/25 annual mapping process, ahead of the initial liability date in 2025.
The RZLT measure is an important component of the pathway to increasing new housing supply, contained in the Government’s Housing for All plan to 2030.
The aim of the tax, which will apply from 2025 to relevant land at a rate of 3% of market value, is to activate appropriately zoned land for residential development throughout the country, rather than to raise revenue.
Speaking following the announcement of the deferral Minister McGrath said:
“The extension of the initial liability date of the Residential Zoned Land Tax by a year is an important step to ensure fairness and transparency in the process of implementing the tax.
Ireland requires increased housing supply to meet our housing needs. The RZLT aims to incentivise landowners to activate existing zoned and serviced residential development land for housing on identified lands and lead to the building of more homes. The tax measure is a key pillar of the Government’s response to address the urgent need to increase housing supply in suitable locations. However, affected landowners should have another opportunity to engage with the mapping process before the tax comes into effect, especially considering the application of the tax to previously unaffected lands for the first time. For these reasons, I have decided to defer the liability date to 1 February 2025.
The deferral will provide a further opportunity to landowners whose land will appear on the annual draft map for 2025, to be published on 1 February 2024, to request the rezoning of such land from the local authority in whose functional area the land is situated."
Commenting on the deferral of the initial liability date for the Residential Zoned Land Tax, Minister O’Brien said:
“It’s estimated that only one-sixth of residentially zoned land is currently activated for housing during a local authority’s six-year Development Plan period. We need to see more suitable land which is serviced and available for housing unlocked for the delivery of homes and the RZLT is an important measure to ensure suitable land is brought forward for development.
I wish to acknowledge the significant work put into publication of the draft, supplemental and final maps and provision of determinations to landowners by each local authority and An Bord Pleanála during 2022 and 2023. The publication of Final Maps on 01 December identifying the land in scope is an important step in the process of introducing this measure, a key action in Housing for All, aimed at increasing housing supply.
As a consequence of the deferral of the tax liability, landowners now have an additional opportunity to make submissions to their local authority, , if they consider that their land does not fall into the scope of the tax, or if they wish to seek the re-zoning of their land.
Taken together with the planned Land Value Sharing initiative and reform of the planning system, the Government is ensuring an active approach to land management and that housing will be built more quickly.”
Homeowners will not have to pay the Residential Zoned Land Tax if they own a dwelling which appears on the local authorities’ Residential Zoned Land Tax Maps, where the property is subject to the Local Property Tax (LPT).
More information on the RZLT can be found at www.gov.ie/rzlt
Scheme specifically targets Waste Water Collection and Treatment needs for villages and settlements without access to Public Waste Water Services
Clarinbridge, Craughwell, Ramsgrange, Broadford, Cooraclare, Beaufort and Ballygawley applications all successful
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien today (7 December 2023) announced the successful applications under a new funding scheme targeting the waste water collection and treatment needs of villages and settlements without access to public waste water services. The Minister received Government approval to progress with the scheme at Cabinet today.
The scheme is funded by a €50 million commitment under the National Development Plan (NDP) to 2025 and today’s announcement follows the completion of a review of villages and settlements that do not have access to public waste water infrastructure.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said:
“This Government have committed, through the NDP, to support the proportionate growth of rural towns and villages. We absolutely understand the need for balanced regional investment and growth throughout the country and the importance of equitable rural investment.
“As well as that we are extremely conscious of the risks arising from inappropriate waste water treatment infrastructure both to public health and indeed the environment.
“That’s why I am making the announcement today that the villages of Clarinbridge and Craughwell in Co. Galway, Ramsgrange in Co. Wexford, Broadford and Cooraclare in Co. Clare, Beaufort in Co. Kerry and Ballygawley in Co. Sligo will all proceed to funding stage subject to engagement and agreement with the relevant with Local Authority.
“Having visited many of these villages, I acknowledge and greatly appreciate the work of the local communities in campaigning for these facilities.”
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has published its monthly data on the number of Commencements Notices (residential construction starts) for October 2023.
The data show Commencement Notices for 2,624 new homes were received by Building Control Authorities in October 2023. This is an increase of 42.5% on the number of new homes commenced in the same month last year (1,841 units).
The strong uptick in commencements this year has continued and 26,547 homes have been commenced in the first ten months of 2023. This is a 16.6% increase on the same period last year (22,760).
The full commencement data set can be accessed at: Construction Activity Statistics.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has announced the approval of another proposal under the Croí Cónaithe Cities Scheme, for the development of 274 apartments in Blackrock Villas, Cork. This development is the third one to be approved under this scheme and it is the second one in Co. Cork.
Under the scheme to date, contracts have been signed for:
The Scheme launched in May 2022 with an Expressions of Interest process, which is being managed and administered by the Housing Agency on behalf of the Department.
The development at Woodward Court, Glencairn, Murphystown Way, Dublin 18 comprises 53 apartments with a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments.
The development of 68 apartment at Carr’s Hill, Carrigaline Road, Douglas, Cork will comprise 68 apartments with a mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments.
The development at Blackrock Villas, Blackrock, Cork will comprise 274 apartments with a mix of studio, 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments.
The Housing Agency are continuing to appraise additional proposals that have been received in the first and second calls for expressions of interest under the Scheme.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said:
“This is the third proposal under the Croí Cónaithe Cities Scheme which I have approved and a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to address the current “viability gap” between the cost of building apartments and the market sale price.
“I’d like to commend those developers who have engaged with the scheme at an early stage. Their foresight and willingness to embrace this new approach is very much welcome.
“We want to increase the supply of urban, owner-occupier apartments and provide those who wish to purchase a home with a greater choice. Giving people the opportunity to buy a home in our cities will help make them more vibrant. I look forward to making further announcements in relation to other proposals in the near future.”
The Housing Agency’s Chief Executive, Bob Jordan, said:
“Under the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) Scheme, The Housing Agency is working to increase the supply of new apartments for home purchasers. In addition to increasing supply, the scheme will also help deliver more sustainable places to live in our urban centres.”
Next year’s fund will invest €7 million to help owners and custodians of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future. It is estimated that the funding for 2024 will support approximately 120 projects nationwide.
The core aims of the Community Monuments Fund are to conserve, maintain, protect and promote local monuments and historic sites. Funding is available to allow conservation works to be carried out on monuments that are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support. The aim is to encourage access to monuments and improve their presentation and also build their resilience to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change. The fund supports essential repairs and capital works for the conservation of archaeological monuments and also the development of Conservation Management Plans to identify measures that may be needed to conserve monuments. Grants are also available to enhance public access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments.
Speaking today, Minister of State Noonan said:
“I am delighted to announce a €7 million Community Monuments Fund for 2024. The fund has been a resounding success since it was established in 2020 and is now widely regarded as a vital contributor to the protection and preservation of our precious archaeological heritage. The CMF supports these vulnerable community assets by improving public accessibility and preserving the irreplaceable richness and sense of place that they bring to communities, villages, towns and cities. It also provides thousands of hours of employment for conservation architects, archaeologists, traditional skills workers and others to help deliver on key national policies, such as Heritage Ireland 2030 and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan in relation to archaeological heritage. I look forward to receiving the applications this coming February, 2024.”
Commenting on today’s launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, said:
"We are very pleased to announce the Community Monuments Fund for 2024. Funding for this scheme has grown considerably since the inaugural scheme of 2020 and I am thrilled to have secured significant funding again this year. The fund helps to support the heritage sector and provides an extremely impactful way of assisting Local Authorities, State-funded organisations and private owners in protecting our outstanding yet vulnerable archaeological heritage.”
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell, said:
“Our archaeological heritage lies at the heart of communities across this country, an inheritance of monuments showing a past that we are all obliged to protect. It is fantastic to see the co-operation between Local Authorities and the National Monuments Service in rolling out and operating this fund. I would like to thank the Local Authorities and the National Monuments Service for their dedication and effort in the administration of this important scheme.”
The closing date for applications for the 2024 round of grants is 14 February 2024.
Link to call for projects: Community Monuments Fund 2024 - Call for Projects
Previous projects funded by the Community Monuments Fund include:
Kildare Cathedral Round Tower
St. Canice's Graveyard
Oran Ecclesiastical Site
Malin well old Church
Carlow Town Wall
- Strong momentum in new homes this year with over 22,400 completed in the first three quarters and construction started on almost 24,000 more
- €448m new approvals to deliver over 1,900 affordable homes in 8 local authority locations announced
- Target for assistance to restore properties through the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant doubled to 4,000 homes
- Government to extend access to Local Authority Home Loan to tackle long-term vacancy and dereliction
The Cabinet has agreed today to double the number of homes eligible for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant under the Croí Cónaithe Fund – raising the target to 4,000 homes to be delivered by 2025. The announcement was made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister Darragh O’Brien at a Housing for All quarterly update.
The Government will also broaden the Local Authority Home Loan to make finance available to purchase and renovate derelict or non-habitable properties for the first time. These measures are evidence of the Government’s continued focus on bringing vacant and derelict homes back into use.
In another effort to address vacancy, this time in ‘under-occupied’ social housing, Cabinet have agreed to extend the Rent a Room tax relief from December 1st, on an administrative basis, for those in social housing who wish to rent a room to a third level student. A dedicated webpage, gov.ie/roomforastudent, will provide information on the operation of the scheme.
Emphasising its commitment to social and affordable housing, the Government also announced that new approval has been given for funding of €448m to deliver 250 affordable purchase and over 1,650 cost rental homes.
The new developments will provide homes to both purchase and rent at below market rates and will be located in eight local authority areas (See editor’s note for details).
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Ministers Ryan & O’Brien also today published the update of the Housing for All Action Plan, setting out priorities for the year ahead, which will see us building on the momentum to date and continuing the vital reforms.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:
“It’s clear we are making real progress. We can see it on the ground, with new homes and apartments being built all over the country. In the past 12 months, 30,000 new homes have been built. That is 50% more than when this Government came to office, more than double the number when I became Taoiseach in 2017. Housing for All is working. Our task is to focus on implementation and take whatever action is necessary to keep this positive momentum going.”
An Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, T.D. commented:
“There is real momentum in our Housing for All strategy. We are building more affordable homes, delivering more social houses, bringing more vacant properties back to life, and helping more first time buyers to own their own home.
“The Government knows to achieve our targets across all housing types there must be a focus on the long-term sustainability of the residential construction sector. We must continue to help firms bridge the ‘viability gap’ whilst promoting more innovative approaches to the delivery of new homes.”
The Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. said:
"This updated Plan underlines the Government’s objective to deliver a sustainable housing system. Schemes such as Ready to Build and Croí Cónaithe Cities will facilitate compact urban growth in our towns and cities whilst enhancements to the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant under Housing for All will make more efficient use of our existing housing stock by breathing life back into derelict properties. These initiatives, coupled with the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction, means we can improve productivity whilst building sustainable housing and communities.”
Commenting on the focus on vacancy measures as part of the updated Action Plan, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, T.D. said:
“All the indicators – completions, commencements and planning permissions – are showing a positive momentum and strong delivery. Indeed, by the end of this year, we will have delivered 100,000 homes since 2020, the year this Government was formed. Housing for All underpins this momentum. There is no one magic bullet to tackle housing – as this strategy demonstrates – but a network of required actions across the board.
“For example, in the last two weeks alone, I have approved funding to proceed with the construction of significant affordable housing developments across the country – almost €450m for 1,900 affordable purchase and cost rental homes. These new developments which will provide homes to both purchase and rent at below market rates and will be life changing for the families involved.
“Tackling vacancy is another one of the actions necessary to meet the housing challenge and I’m delighted to say that our interventions here have been highly popular. The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has been a particular success - with over 2,400 projects currently approved and in progress with payment to be made by the local authorities, when the works are completed and verified. Given the appetite for the Grant, I am delighted today to confirm that we will now double our target for assistance to 4,000 by 2025.
“Furthermore, I am pleased to confirm today that we will be extending the availability of the Local Authority Home Loan to finance the purchase and renovation of derelict and non-habitable properties. This will meet our objective of bringing homes back into use, which is a major focus of Housing for All, and it will also provide a means for many eligible individuals and families out there to finance renovation projects on their own initiative. My officials will now be tasked with finalising the details of implementation to ensure we can have this ready for applicants in Q2 next year.”
While both vacant and derelict properties can qualify for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant (of €50,000 and €70,000 respectively), only habitable properties currently meet the property eligibility of the Local Authority Home Loan. The extension announced today will allow eligible loan applicants to plug any gaps where sufficient finance is not available to complete renovation projects.
Under the Plan, supply of new homes is increasing with over 22,400 new homes completed in the first three quarters of the year. Building started on almost 24,000 new homes in the same period, an increase of 14% on the same period last year. The Government is confident that the 2023 Housing for All target of 29,000 new homes will be exceeded.
More people are buying their first home than in any period in well over a decade, supported by affordable purchase initiatives, including the First Home Scheme, the Local Authority Home Loan and Help-to-Buy, which is extended to the end of 2025. Over 30,000 First Time Buyer mortgages were approved in the twelve months ending September 2023.
The annual update of the Housing for All Action Plan identifies 30 priority actions to activate and accelerate the delivery of housing.
A major emphasis for the remainder of the year and into 2024 will be on measures to improve viability of housing construction, including through the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction, and enhancing construction sector capacity. The year ahead will also see substantial progress made in reforming the planning system.
The Action Plan update launched today will ensure that the focus remains on fast and effective delivery of the schemes and initiatives launched under Housing for All. This, together with the record €5.1 billion in capital investment allocated to housing delivery in Budget 2024, reaffirms this Government’s commitment to sustaining the progress made to date.