The Government’s social housing strategy targets the provision of over 110,000 social housing units to 2020, through the delivery of 35,000 new social housing units and meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through the housing assistance payment and rental accommodation scheme. This will address the needs of the 90,000 households on the housing waiting list in full, with flexibility to meet potential future demand.
I set ambitious targets for local authorities for the period 2015 to 2017 in my announcement on 1 April 2015, with an investment of €1.5 billion in a combination of building, purchase and leasing schemes which will accommodate 25% of those currently on social housing waiting lists. On 5 May I announced funding of €312 million to support 100 separate housing projects, providing 1,700 units of accommodation across all 31 local authorities. I will make further announcements, with the Minister of State, Deputy Paudie Coffey, in the coming weeks and months.
Ultimately, a shortage of supply is at the heart of rising rents and the Government is addressing the issue on a number of fronts. Construction 2020: A Strategy for a Renewed Construction Sector, published last year, is aimed at addressing bottlenecks that might impede the construction sector in meeting demand. My Department, in particular the Minister of State, Deputy Paudie Coffey, is leading on a range of actions under Construction 2020, including two significant pieces of planning legislation, one of which, the Urban Regeneration and Housing Bill, is progressing through the Oireachtas, as the Deputy is aware.
My overriding objective in regard to rents is to achieve stability and sustainability in the market for the benefit of tenants, landlords and society as a whole. The regulation of rent raises many complex economic and legal issues and I have to be satisfied that any measure proposed is balanced and will have the desired effect on the rental market, while being fair to landlords and tenants alike. Ultimately, any decision on rent certainty is a matter for the Government. It is my intention to bring proposals to the Government for consideration in the very near future.