As the Deputy rightly signalled, the issue of cost in the deliver and supply of housing is of grave concern to us all. There are numerous commitments and a broad range of measures to tackle the cost of same and to make it easier to increase supply. Some 84 actions are set out in the action plan. Most aim to increase activity and supply while making housing more affordable. There have already been changes to Part 8 requirements, levy requirements and many other aspects. These enable the more affordable construction of housing, the opening up of sites and easier delivery. Under one of the actions, we are considering paying upfront for Part V housing in recognition of the fact that raising money is difficult.
Recommendation No. 6 of the Committee on Housing and Homelessness calls for a detailed audit every year. We have not committed in the action plan to having that audit every year. Rather, we have committed to a detailed analysis, as a follow-up to the recent National Competitiveness Council research on this matter and in conjunction with the construction sector, in order to benchmark housing delivery input costs in Ireland. The intention is to publish the findings with a view to identifying economies. Our Department has started preliminary work on analysing costs as well as on the various reports and international studies that, for example, compare costs in Ireland with those in the UK and the rest of Europe. We will have ongoing consultation with the stakeholders in the sector in the months ahead to determine how, if possible, to affect costs.
The Deputy mentioned increased regulatory costs, but these have been disputed. Figures of €20,000 and €30,000 have been cited. I urge the committee to analyse these. In our work, we have met many of those involved in regulation and certification roles. It does not have to cost €20,000 or €30,000. It accounts for much less than 2% of the build cost, putting it at lower than €3,000 or €4,000. In some cases, it is much cheaper. I have met people involved in the business who can do a good job providing the service for €1,000 per unit.
While increasing housing supply, we must not neglect quality. We have all dealt with issues concerning low standards and a lack of quality in our areas in recent years. A developer might claim that it cost more to reach the quality mark in the past, but the administration and certification under the regulations do not cost €20,000 or €30,000, so it is wrong to keep saying that it does.
As to the committee's recommendation, we are doing that, only not in the exact way that the committee wanted us to. We have started that work because it is an important part.