Ireland

Housing schemes expanded as government says its plan is gathering momentum

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien said there was ‘positive momentum’ in the housing industry (Brian Lawless/PA)
Housing minister Darragh O’Brien said there was ‘positive momentum’ in the housing industry (Brian Lawless/PA) Housing minister Darragh O’Brien said there was ‘positive momentum’ in the housing industry (Brian Lawless/PA)

Senior government figures have said that the coalition’s approach to tackling the housing crisis is gathering momentum, as some housing scheme criteria were extended.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said there is no “magic bullet” to address the housing crisis, but said 100,000 new-build houses since 2020 had indicated that real progress had been made.

The Government on Tuesday approved funding of 448 million euro to deliver 250 affordable-purchase and more than 1,650 cost-rental homes.

Following Cabinet, the Government also agreed to broaden the local authority home loan to make finance available to purchase and renovate derelict or non-habitable properties for the first time.

Ministers extended the rent-a-room tax relief from December 1, on an administrative basis, for those in social housing who wish to rent a room to a third-level student.

The number of homes eligible under the vacant property refurbishment grant in Ireland was also doubled – raising the target to 4,000 homes to be delivered by 2025.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government was “making real progress” in tackling the housing crisis.

“We can see it on the ground, with new homes and apartments being built all over the country,” he said.

“In the past 12 months, 30,000 new homes have been built. That is 50% more than when this Government came into office, more than double the number when I became Taoiseach in 2017. Housing for All is working.

“Our task is to focus on implementation and take whatever action is necessary to keep this positive momentum going.”

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said recent figures on completions, commencements and planning permissions indicated “a positive momentum and strong delivery”.

“Indeed, by the end of this year, we will have delivered 100,000 homes since 2020, the year this Government was formed. Housing for All underpins this momentum.

“There is no one magic bullet to tackle housing – as this strategy demonstrates – but a network of required actions across the board.”