The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has today (9 March 2021) published details of social housing delivery in 2020 alongside the Construction Status Report for 2020.
In 2020 over 24,000 households had their housing need meet through the allocation of a new social home, or through the supports provided by the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS). A total of 7,827 new social homes were delivered in 2020 including 5,073 new build homes, 1,314 targeted acquisitions by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies and 1,440 homes delivered through leasing programmes.
The restrictions and partial shutdown of construction activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the delivery of social homes in 2020, with a number of projects delayed until 2021.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “At the end of 2020 housing delivery had reached over 70% of the original target, clearly demonstrating the impact COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown in construction has had in 2020. At the end June, just 1,478 new social homes had been delivered, including 739 new build homes. This represented 13% of the overall target for 2020.
The second half of the year showed a strong rebound with local authorities working with their delivery partners to deliver almost 7,000 new homes. I want to commend the local authorities, the Approved Housing Bodies and the construction industry for putting in place effective protocols to mitigate against COVID, to allow for increased output over the final six months of the year.”
The Minister also published the Construction Status Report (CSR) for Quarter 4 2020. The CSR provides scheme level detail on new build social housing activity in each local authority area.
Commenting on the report Minister O’Brien said, “The report shows a strong pipeline for new social homes with 8,555 social homes on site and over 9,000 homes at various stages of the approval process. The key priority for my Department is increasing the supply of social housing, I intend to publish our new housing plan ‘Housing for All’ later this summer. It will build on our commitments in the Programme for Government and provide a roadmap, with a whole of Government approach, to outline how we get to a housing system that gives us the sustainable supply we need, at a price that people can afford, with appropriate housing options for the most vulnerable in our society,” he said.
Noting the publication of the 2020 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) which shows a decrease in the total number of households on the social housing waiting list, Minister O’Brien said, “While the number of households on the social housing list remains very high, it is welcome to see an almost 10% decrease in 2020. Driving these numbers down while increasing supply is essential. Increasing the supply of social homes, with a focus on new build homes will be a central element of “Housing for All,” he concluded.