The number of new social homes built last year is roughly on target, with over 4,000 provided by councils, approved housing bodies and private contributions.
The number of new social homes almost doubled between 2017 and 2018, according to figures published by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.
The Government's flagship Rebuilding Ireland plan envisaged that 4,409 social houses would be built last year through traditional construction, as well as through rapid build homes, regeneration of existing properties and homes delivered through the requirement to set aside 10 per cent of estates for social housing.
Of the 4,251 newly built last year, 2,022 were constructed by local authorities, 1,388 by approved housing bodies and 841 through the Part V, 10 per cent mechanism
In total, the Department of Housing says 27,103 households had their needs met through new homes that were built, the refurbishment of long-term vacant council homes – or “voids” – which are to be refurbished and returned to use, acquisitions, leasing and through the housing assistant payment (HAP) and rental accommodation scheme (RAS).
The Rebuilding Ireland plan wants to increase the supply of social homes to 10,000 by 2021 and its figures for 2018 are roughly on target.
The department also says that construction figures from December show a further 5,000 social homes are currently being built across 291 sites. It says the supply of such homes has been enabled by €2 billion investment in social housing in 2018, with €2.4 billion expected to be invested in 2019.
“New build and long-term leasing is helping us move away from HAP solutions as demonstrated by the fact that new HAP solutions did not increase significantly in 2018, while other delivery streams did,” the department said.
Mr Murphy said the Rebuilding Ireland plan is working.
“A real improvement was made for thousands of families last year. But still there is a lot more work to do for those who are depending on us, not least those in emergency accommodation.
“While there is no quick fix, our housing plan is now showing real progress in the delivery of new homes and new social housing homes. We’ve also recently seen moderation in rents and property prices.”
“This is about more than delivering blocks and roofs; it’s about delivering sustainable and affordable homes and communities.”