29 July 2016

Irish Government moves to solve housing crisis

New initiatives to solve the housing shortage in Ireland have been published by the Government.

The headline announcement in the report entitled ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ states that 25,000 new homes will be built every year until 2021. To place this figure in context, just 12,000 houses were built in 2015 with a similar amount expected to be completed this year.

Over €5.35bn will be spent on 47,000 social housing units by 2021.  

A new fast-track planning process will be put in place for any developments over 100 units.

A €200m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) will provide much-needed enabling infrastructure on key sites to open up lands for early development, greatly enhancing existing measures in relation to construction growth.

The announcement comes only days after the latest census figures reveal there are over 200,000 vacant homes in Ireland. The population grew by 3.7% to 4,757,976 with, unsurprisingly, the largest growth in Dublin and surrounding counties.

According to Derry Scully, Chairman Linesight, the plan is a welcome boost to the Irish construction sector.

'The target of 25,000 new housing units every year until 2021 is an ambitious one but as most commentators, including the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), believe this is the minimum level we need to be building to maintain a sustainable housing market',...
...'As we said at the launch of the Linesight Handbook back in April the most significant concern is around resource levels in the industry. This level of housing production will require a major increase in skilled and semi-skilled workers, as well as supporting professional services. There is now a challenge for the Irish construction sector to meet that demand.' 

he said.