Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (649)

Bernard Durkan


649. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which the capital programme in respect of housing, direct build or for approved housing bodies remains on track; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16703/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Local authority build programmes are an essential component of the 50,000 social housing homes to be delivered over the lifetime of Rebuilding Ireland. In addition to local authorities building on their own land, partnerships with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are also an important aspect of build delivery.

Rebuilding Ireland has been increasing the capacity of local authorities and AHBs to deliver social housing over the past three years and clear results are being delivered. This is evident in the fact that there was an 85% increase in new build social homes in 2018 when compared to 2017 (excluding voids) and the number of new social housing homes built in 2018 was eight times greater than the number built in 2015, the year before Rebuilding Ireland was initiated.

My Department supports delivery through the development and implementation of policy and legislation geared towards enhanced supply and also through the provision of significant funding for local authorities. In addition, my Department works closely with each individual local authority to support them to deliver their minimum build targets, and where possible to exceed their targets and advance their pipelines for additional delivery in the coming years. The quarterly Construction Status Reports which I publish provide an overview of all new build social housing completed and being advanced across the 31 local authorities. The latest report, which sets out the position at end 2018, is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q4-2018/.

In order to deliver effectively and efficiently, local authorities and approved housing bodies are using a combination of the rapid build framework, turnkey opportunities, and through traditional construction methods.

The coming three years will see further increased output of social housing throughout the country and I have recently written to each local authority outlining ambitious targets for 2019. These targets can be viewed at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/.

In 2019, funding of €2.4 billion is being provided for the delivery of housing programmes, which will allow for the housing needs of almost 27,400 additional households to be met. 10,000 of these will be provided through build, acquisition and lease programmes.

I am confident that progress remains on track to meet the target to deliver 50,000 new homes over the 6 years 2016-2021.