The Government today agreed extra measures under the Housing for All Plan to make it cheaper to build and refurbish homes, speed up home building and drive down building costs across the board.
The new measures will build on the momentum that we’re already seeing this year with work starting on a record 7,349 homes in the first three months of 2023.
The measures comprise:
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Housing for All is working. At the moment about 400 people are buying their first home every week, which is the highest since the Celtic Tiger. We have the best social housing output since the 1970s. After a slowdown, commencements are bouncing back. And we are likely to meet our overall target again this year. But we need to do more.
“We know that merely meeting our own targets won’t be enough. We have a huge deficit in housing and we’re playing catch up. Our mission is to restore the social contract and make home ownership affordable for the majority again. When I was re-appointed as Taoiseach, I said that no option will be taken off the table. The Housing Package approved by Cabinet today is about accelerating Housing for All. It flows from the interim advice to Government of the Housing Commission in February and the Housing Summit back in January.
“We expect these actions will have an immediate impact and increase the number of homes built in the coming years. It should move the dial in terms of those unactivated planning permissions and might be the difference in a young couple taking on a vacant or derelict property, making the best use of our existing housing stock. We have a long way to go, but I am more confident now than ever before we are on the right path.”
Tánaiste, Micheál Martin said “Housing is this Government’s top priority, and Housing For All is working. Supply of new homes is ultimately the solution. In 2022, we built more social houses than we have in almost half a century, and the number of homes completed last year is up 45% on the year before.
“We are making record investment available again this year to give more people, and families, secure, and affordable homes, and to boost the construction of new homes at scale.”
The Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “Last week we published radical proposals to ensure communities gain from land value increases arising from land rezoning. Communities will gain from this uplift in the form of increased housing infrastructure. Taken with implementation of the new Residential Zoned Land Tax, we are addressing land speculation and land hoarding, major sources of land mismanagement. These reforms will help ensure housing gets delivered without unnecessary speculative costs from land mismanagement.’’
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD added: “The greatest security anyone can have is to own the roof over their heads. That is why increasing home ownership is a priority for Government. We’ve introduced a range of major innovations through Housing for All, including the First Home Scheme, which has granted support to 1,336 buyers during its short existence, and the new – and very popular - vacancy grant. We’ve also made a strong start to delivering affordable housing under Housing for All. This year will see more homes delivered for affordable purchase or rent as the pace of delivery quickens.”
Government has also published the Progress Report on Housing for All for the first three months of 2023, with the year off to a good start and work starting on a record number of homes in the first quarter.
Progress has also continued across a range of important measures, including continued take-up of the First Homes Scheme, LDA grant of planning permission for over 1,100 homes, additional capacity for An Bord Pleanála and €41million in capital funding approved for student accommodation. We have seen progress across a number of fundamental reforms in land management and planning, as well as the promotion of innovation in construction.
There is a strong pipeline of social and affordable housing, with over 19,000 social homes at various stages of construction and over 2,700 more affordable homes already approved for funding.