Republic of Ireland news

Government announces new housing measures in effort to boost supply

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Housing minister Darragh O'Brien (right) during a site visit highlighting Cairn Ltd's new housing projects in Delgany, Co Wicklow (Brian Lawless/PA)
Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The government has announced new housing measures in an effort to encourage the supply of homes.

The changes to the Housing For All plan, agreed by Cabinet on Tuesday, aim to make it cheaper to refurbish homes, to speed up home construction and to reduce building costs.

Development levies are to be scrapped for 12 months to encourage building by saving up to an average of 12,650 euro per home.

The measure takes effect from Tuesday and the government will cover the cost for local authorities to fund public infrastructure and services that would have been done through the levy.

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will be increased from 30,000 euro to 50,000 euro for vacant properties and from 50,000 euro to 70,000 euro for derelict properties, extended to cover houses built up to 2007, and will be available for properties intended for rental as well as owner-occupied.

Work is to start on thousands of affordable apartments to rent which have planning permission but which are not being progressed, which the minister for housing Darragh O’Brien said was due to a “viability gap”.

The government is to “bridge” that gap by committing up to 750 million euro via the Land Development Agency and other providers to complete between 4,000-6,000 additional affordable apartments if they are part of the cost-rental system.

Speaking at the announcement of the measures, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pledged to build 35,000 homes next year.

Mr O’Brien said that viability and affordability are “two sides of the same coin” as the scrapping of the development levy aims to activate dormant permissions, which in turn is expected to boost supply.

Republic of Ireland news