I propose to take Questions Nos. 91, 100 and 105 together.
The Programme for Government confirms the priority to increase the supply of social and affordable homes. In the first instance, it is a matter for housing authorities to bring forward optimum proposals for the delivery of housing on their sites maximising the potential from the suite of delivery mechanisms and Exchequer funding streams available from my Department.
Dublin City Councillors voted last week not to support the transfer of lands required to progress the proposed development of 853 homes on the Oscar Traynor Road site. The proposal included 253 social homes to be funded under the Department’s capital programme. In addition to this, Serviced Sites Funding of up to €8.6m was available to the Council to assist in the delivery of 172 affordable homes on the site.
This site, together with O’Devaney Gardens and Emmet Road in Inchicore has long been prioritised for housing development by the Council via its ‘Housing Land Initiative’ and the approach and tenure mix for the delivery of these homes had been agreed by the Council previously.
I note that the Council rejected a proposal by members to defer the vote on the issue and to first consult with my Department, the developer selected by the Council and DCC's consultative Group. Given the decision I requested, and received a report on the matter from the Council Management. It has confirmed that, in light of the decision taken, they will now engage further with councillors as to how this site should be developed. The Council has highlighted that given the complexity and scale of the site it could take some time to develop a new agreed approach.
It is critical, particularly given that this area has the highest social housing waiting list in the State, that the delivery of a large number of homes on this key site is progressed as soon as possible. I have encouraged the Council to make every effort to put plans to deliver housing on this key site back on track.
In relation to the provision of social and affordable housing, five months ago, we launched the Programme for Government, which includes a range of commitments including to increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds and to progress a state-backed affordable home purchase scheme to promote home ownership.
The Government has since backed these objectives in Budget 2021, with €3.3 billion in total funding being made available for the delivery of housing programmes. This overall investment will see the social housing needs of over 28,500 households being met in 2021 - this includes 12,750 new social homes to be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programmes.
Capital funding of €468 million was specifically provided to cover affordability measures including a new national Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme, accelerated and expanded delivery of Cost Rental and accelerated delivery of affordable housing on Council sites using Services Sites Funding.
Taken together, this will see a fundamental refocusing towards the delivery of social and affordable housing.
I would urge Dublin City Council to bring forward realistic and deliverable proposals for the delivery of much needed homes from this site as quickly as possible. My Department will support Dublin City Council in this endeavour.