In order to ensure an effective and efficient response to urgent social housing needs, Rebuilding Ireland provides for a range of delivery mechanisms for social housing. There are a variety of objectives behind this mix including the appropriateness of support, flexibility and speed of delivery, as well as value for money for the Exchequer. The paper from my Department to which the Deputy has referred on other occasions sets out the relative cost of these delivery mechanisms based on data across six local authorities. The report is careful to acknowledge that there are factors which may vary by local authority area, for example prices within the wider housing market, the availability and cost of land and the level of demand for social housing.
There are two current expenditure-funded schemes analysed in the report, which utilise private rented tenancies to deliver speedy responses to social housing requirements. The housing assistance payment, HAP, and the rental accommodation scheme, RAS, are important components of the accelerated delivery of social housing envisaged under Rebuilding Ireland. It was noted in my Department's report that it may be more cost effective for the State to provide private tenancies in the short term to meet social housing needs where limited public land is available, where the cost of constructing social housing units is prohibitive or, more broadly, where timing is the key issue.
Following the review of Rebuilding Ireland at the end of 2017, there has been a renewed emphasis on increasing the number of social housing units through build programmes. In addition to this, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, has agreed delivery targets that are appropriate for particular areas, with due regard to timing, capacity, flexibility and the cost implications highlighted in the paper from my Department.