Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Questions (334)

Richard Boyd Barrett


334. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the current estimated average cost of directly built local authority or AHB public and affordable housing on publicly owned land, providing the estimated cost for one, two, three and four-bed housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43927/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The cost of constructing new homes is dependent on a range of variables, such as the location, the scale of the development and the size and type of the homes involved. My Department assesses, approves and records local authority social housing delivery on a project basis, rather than on the basis of individual unit types.

My Department has developed Unit Cost Ceilings (UCCs) for social housing in determining the cost of homes to be delivered, which are updated periodically. The UCCs are based on the analysis of returned data from tendered social housing schemes over an extended period, and market tender index information. Construction cost is reflective of building costs (including VAT) and also includes normal site works and site development. All-in cost includes cost of construction, land cost, professional fees, utility connections, site investigations/surveys, archaeology where appropriate, VAT and contribution to public art. Abnormal costs are excluded from these figures. 

The table below outlines the current range of UCC values across all local authorities for houses and apartments:


Construction - Range per Unit

All-in - Range per Unit

1 - Bed. House

€137k - €244k

€174k - €344k

2 - Bed. House

€156k - €266k

€194k - €368k

3 - Bed. House

€167k - €278k

€206k - €381k

4 - Bed. House

€182k - €297k

€223k - €401k

1 - Bed. Apartment

€158k - €273k

€198k - €373k

2 - Bed. Apartment

€172k - €293k

€215k - €395k

3 - Bed. Apartment

€193k - €320k

€238k - €426k

The Construction Costs outlined above as shown are reflective of building costs, inclusive of normal site works/site development and VAT. All-In Costs are reflective of the above construction costs with the addition of allowances for site purchase costs, design team fees, utilities, site investigations, surveys, local authority in-house fees, public art etc. as appropriate. With regard to the other (i.e. non-construction) items that make up the all-in total, the following should be noted:

- Design/technical fees : Design fees vary from project to project, depending on the location, size  and complexity of a scheme (and depending on whether design services are provided by a local authority in-house or via external appointment). As a guideline/indicator, design fee are generally expected to range between 7.5% - 12.5% of construction costs.

- Land cost :  Land costs will vary significantly from project to project, depending on location and ownership status (i.e. land costs could vary from existing local authority land at no cost to land purchased at market value).

- Utilities : Connection fees for Irish Water, ESB, gas, etc. As a guideline/indicator, utility connection costs are generally in the order of €7k per unit.

- Other Costs : Other items that make up the all-in delivery cost can include site investigations/surveys, archaeological requirements, Percent for Art contributions  - and will vary from scheme to scheme.

The above data excludes Abnormal Costs, which are specific to the requirements of each scheme, for instance demolitions, service diversions, existing site conditions, access requirements. 

Approved Housing Body (AHB) social housing delivery is primarily funded by the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) which is capital support provided to AHBs by local authorities to facilitate the funding of construction, acquisition or refurbishment of new social housing units. This loan facility can support up to 30% of the eligible capital cost of the housing project, with the housing units provided to local authorities for social housing use under long-term lease arrangements known as Payment and Availability Agreements.

In relation to affordable homes, it is not possible to provide a universally applicable cost of delivery of a quantum of affordable housing units. Such a costing is centrally dependent upon, and impacted by, a range of site and project specific characteristics. These factors include variables such as unit type, land cost, development and construction costs, costs and source of finance, together with ongoing maintenance and management fees, etc. In most cases affordable homes will be delivered via joint venture arrangements with the development sector with Exchequer funding covering an element of overall delivery cost.