I believe that everybody should have access to good-quality housing to purchase or rent at an affordable price and that home ownership should be a realistic aspiration for people. To this end, the Programme for Government confirms that the Government will prioritise the increased supply of social and affordable homes.
Delivering on these commitments, Budget 2021 provided for an overall investment of €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing programmes. This represents an increase of €641m or 24% on 2020 and the single biggest annual spend on housing by any Government. 50,000 new social homes are planned for delivery over the next 5 years; 12,500 of which are targeted for delivery next year including 9,500 new builds.
Budget 2021 also provided for two new schemes; the Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme and the Cost Rental Equity Loan facility. These will build on exiting schemes and provide more affordable homes to purchase and rent in 2021. Furthermore, the Services Sites Fund is being expanded and accelerated to help local authorities deliver up to 6,200 more affordable homes from their land.
Taken together, this delivery sees a fundamental refocusing towards the delivery of social and affordable housing.
The Programme for Government commitment is to increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000 over the next 5 years. Local authorities will play a key role in delivering on this commitment.
Louth County Council has a strong pipeline of projects projected to deliver 771 new homes in 2020 and 2021. My Department will continue to provide funding and other support to Louth County Council to further develop this build pipeline on lands in the ownership of the Council. My Department will also continue to engage with the Council on the development of new project proposals.