Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (95)

Brian Stanley

Question:

95. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps he is taking to accelerate the building of social housing provided by local authorities. [16294/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

This Government introduced the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness in 2016 in order to accelerate housing supply, with a particular emphasis on social housing.  The implementation of the Action Plan has seen the capacity of local authorities to deliver social housing increasing over the past three years and very substantial progress has been made.

This is evidenced by the fact that in 2018 local authorities exceeded the national target for social housing delivery by 6%.  A total of 27,103 households had their housing needs met in 2018, with 8,422 new homes brought into the active social housing stock through, build, acquisition, voids and leasing programmes.  This is 550 more homes than targeted for the year.  

Local authority build programmes are an essential component of the 50,000 homes to be delivered over the lifetime of the Plan. In addition to local authorities building on their own land, this also includes partnerships with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). Annual targets for build, acquisition, leasing, HAP and RAS are issued to local authorities, and delivery against these targets is published quarterly on the Department's website. The 2019 social housing targets are available at the following link:

 http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/.

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 Social Housing Construction Status Reports which I publish on a quarterly basis 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/.

To further support local authorities and AHBs deliver, my Department has streamlined its approval processes and provided a range of delivery supports to local authorities. In order to deliver effectively and efficiently, local authorities and approved housing bodies are responding using a combination of the rapid build framework, turnkey opportunities, as well as through traditional construction methods.

Over the coming three years, social housing output will continue to increase further throughout the country.  I am confident that delivery remains on track to meet our target to provide 50,000 new social housing homes over the 2016 - 2021 period.