I propose to take Questions Nos. 419 and 420 together.
In 2017, funding of almost €1.3 billion is being made available to support housing programmes, including the delivery of over 21,000 social housing supports. In Budget 2018, I secured €1.9 billion for housing programmes next year, representing a 46% increase over 2017. This investment will ensure that the housing needs of 25,500 households will be met next year, over 4,400 more than in 2017.
In addition to this significant increase for 2018, I also secured a further €500 million for investment in social housing over the period 2019 – 2021. This additional funding will allow for an increase in the overall level of social housing to be delivered by local authorities and approved housing bodies by a further 3,000 homes, resulting in the overall target for social housing delivery under Rebuilding Ireland being increased from 47,000 to 50,000 homes, with the total funding investment increasing from €5.35 billion to over €6 billion.
As previously announced, I am placing a greater emphasis on the direct building of social housing than was originally envisaged under Rebuilding Ireland. Therefore, in 2018 we will see some 5,000 homes built; this includes 3,800 homes to be built by local authorities and approved housing bodies, an increase of 800 as a direct result of the reorientation towards increasing building activity overall.
With the increased focus on construction delivery, supported by the required funding, some 33,500 new social homes will be delivered through various construction programmes over the lifetime of Rebuilding Ireland.
In relation to construction activity, my Department publishes comprehensive status reports on a quarterly basis of all social housing construction schemes for all local authority areas, showing details such as their locations and a range of information relating to their advancement. The most recent of these reports covers the period up to the end of quarter 2 of 2017; it contains information on the delivery of 11,000 new social homes – currently approved and progressing through planning, design, and construction. The report also contains details of the homes delivered in 2016 and to the end of quarter 2 of 2017. The report can be accessed at the following link:
The level of funding provided to local authorities for their social housing construction activity is directly linked to the scale of delivery they achieve on these projects. Further project approvals are being added to the construction programme as they are developed by local authorities and approved housing bodies. I am keen that all local authorities advance their social housing construction programmes as speedily as possible and I have assured them that funding is in place to support their activity in this regard.