Minister O’Brien launches two new publications to improve quality & quicken delivery of social homes
ig and Review of Pre-Construction Processes documents are key actions under Housing for All plan;
Compact growth is core element of Design Manual and will help combat climate change.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has today launched two publications that will help improve the quality, cost-effectiveness and pace of delivery of social homes and mixed-tenure developments.
Minister O’Brien presented a Design Manual for Quality Housing, and a Review of Pre-Construction Processes for Social Housing Construction and Mixed Tenure Projects to Fingal County Council’s Chief Executive Ann-Marie Farrelly and Fingal’s County Architect Fionnuala May at the council’s office in Swords, North County Dublin.
Design Manual for Quality Housing
The Design Manual is being sent to all Local Authorities and Tier-3 Approved Housing Bodies and will also be available electronically on the Department’s website. The manual, a commitment in the Government’s Housing for All plan, will help to:
The Review of Pre-Construction Processes for Social Housing Construction and Mixed Tenure Projects was also a key commitment in Housing for All. In the Plan the Government has committed to delivering over 90,000 new build social homes by the end of 2030. The review of Pre-Construction Processes for Social Housing will help to deliver on this seismic shift towards new build social homes. The review sets out a number of practical actions which will streamline the approvals and other pre-contract processes, while ensuring that cost effectiveness is being achieved for the taxpayer. Some of the actions included in the review are:
Commenting on the new publications Minister O’Brien said: “I am pleased to launch these important publications, both of which will greatly assist local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, their respective design teams and planners to deliver better designed, more cost-effective and efficiently built social and mixed-tenure developments.
“The key to our current housing challenges is supply and the speed at which we can scale up supply. Both publications are key elements of Housing for All’s aim of improving the quality and delivery times of social housing developments. They will help make public housing more efficient and cost-effectively designed, and will help shorten the social housing and mixed tenure approvals processes. This is critical given the scale of public housing ambition.
“The Design Manual also sits firmly within the Programme for Government commitment to act against climate change. We must continue to improve not only the quantity of housing output across all the various forms of tenure but also to maintain and improve on the quality of residential development, in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner. I want to thank the local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, Land Development Agency and all who inputted into the Design Manual for Quality Housing and the working group on pre-construction processes for their comprehensive report.”
On behalf of the local government sector, Frank Curran, Chairman of the County and City Management Association Housing, Building and Land Use, Committee said: “Local Authorities have a major role to play in delivering the social housing targets set out in the Housing for All plan and I welcome the publication of the Design Manual for Quality Housing which will be of great assistance to housing departments across the 31 local authorities as they seek to increase their own-build output of sustainable social housing to meet the needs of our communities.”
The manual was also welcomed by Dr Donal McManus, CEO of the Irish Council for Social Housing: “The publication of the Design Manual provides a welcome guide for Approved Housing Bodies in delivering quality social housing. The application of quality design and sustainability principles to the delivery of new homes will provide a useful resource to AHBs in achieving good quality housing using best practice guidelines. The availability of design layouts across different housing typologies will assist AHBs in delivering an expanded social housing programme.”
The Design Manual for Quality Housing contains sample site layouts and standard internal layouts for houses, duplexes and apartments. Where proposals are received which adopt standard internal layouts approvals will be quicker as the Department will not re- evaluate such standard internal layouts, as is necessary with unique, bespoke designs.
The Design Manual for Quality Housing can be found at this link.
The Review of Pre-Construction Processes for Social Housing Construction and Mixed Tenure Projects Working Group Report can be found at this link.
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