Plan to build or refurbish 35,000 social housing units by 2020

Minister for the Environment says neglect of such programmes in recent years ‘deplorable’

The Government will build and refurbish 35,000 social housing units over the next five years, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

The Government will build and refurbish 35,000 social housing units over the next five years, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

 

The Government will build and refurbish 35,000 social housing units over the next five years, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said.

Announcing the Coalition’s new social housing strategy, Mr Kelly said an overall budget of €3.8 billion would be allotted for the scheme.

He said the announcement was the most important that he would make as Minister.

Mr Kelly said the new housing assistance payment, which replaces rent supplement, would be made available to 75,000 households.

The combined effect of these measures, he said, would effectively accommodate all 90,000 individuals and families on the housing list, as well as providing cover for new applicants for social housing in that period.

He said it was his number one priority as Minister and was the first comprehensive housing plan since 1995.

Mr Kelly said the neglect of social housing programmes in recent years was deplorable.

The funding will be derived from a mixture of central Exchequer funds, off-balance sheet funds, as well as some public private partnership programmes.

Mr Kelly, and Minister for State Paudie Coffey, launched the strategy at the Custom House on Wednesday.