Housing crisis

Taoiseach says housing crisis won’t be over in a year, but report shows progress has been made

THE GOVERNMENT said its Housing for All plan had made “significant progress” towards increasing the volume of supply.

The Government today released the second quarterly update on progress in delivering Housing for All since it was launched in September last year.

It shows that the closure of the construction sector during last year’s first lockdown impacted housing supply last year, with 30,724 new homes started.

However, this represents the highest since 2008.

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Additionally, over 39,000 building permits were granted in the 12 months to the end of September 2021.

The coalition’s central housing strategy was released last September and aims to create 300,000 homes by the end of 2030, with more than half – 156,000 – coming from the private sector.

On average, the government wants to build 33,000 homes each year, rising to 40,000 by 2030, according to the plan.

However, the target of 33,000 new homes per year will only be achieved in 2024 with the plan for that year that 24,600 new homes would be built.

Today’s report says recent data gives confidence that 2022 housing delivery targets will be met and most likely exceeded.

There has been a strong recovery in the construction sector, with employment now close to pre-pandemic levels and a welcome increase in construction apprenticeship registrations in 2021, which are up more than 40% from to 2019, according to the report.

Of the 213 Housing for All actions, a total of 123 have already been carried out or are in the process of being carried out.

The report says 65 rental units have been let so far, with 1,580 due for delivery this year.

It also outlines caps on rent price increases, changes to rental mortgage, tenancy and planning laws.

The report states that “there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done” on the issue of homelessness.

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said today:

“When we launched Housing for All, we said the focus would be on delivery across government. Increasing housing supply is our top priority, and I am pleased to report that we have made good progress in building new housing and reforming our housing system.

He said the government will continue to focus its attention on delivering new homes, where they are needed.

The Taoiseach said the housing crisis “will not be solved in a year”.

Covid-19, inflation and problems with delays are causing problems for housing construction, he acknowledged.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was “not a perfect scorecard”, but progress is being made.

“A big priority for me in the coming years is to increase the level of home ownership. Owning a home is part of our culture and our history. We cannot accept that an entire generation is excluded from home ownership, stuck in a rent trap as property prices rise.

“Housing for All is our plan to change that – to turn the aspiration of home ownership into reality, to ensure that everyone has access to good quality, sustainable housing, to give stability to tenants and protection for people at risk of homelessness.”

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said “tremendous progress” has been made since Housing for All was published last September.

According to a Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) report released today, the highest volume of mortgages taken out since 2009 and the highest overall value since 2008.

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According to the report, 5,021 homes were completed in the second quarter of 2021, a marked improvement from last year.

This means that 8,955 homes were completed in the first half of the year, an increase of 10% compared to the same period last year and only 1% less than the same period in 2019 pre -pandemic.

“If the industry continues to build at a similar rate to the second half of 2020, it is likely that total completions in 2021 could reach 22,000 units.”

With reporting by Christina Finn