€200m fund will help build 20,000 homes, says Coveney

Building fund will not be available until 2017 and scheme will apply over three years

A fund established by the Government to help to build small infrastructural projects will speed up the construction of some homes by two years, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Coveney and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the new €200 million "local infrastructure fund" would help build between 15,000 and 20,000 new houses or apartments.

Councils will be able to avail of the fund to build small infrastructural projects, such as access roads, bridges, amenities, and surface water management facilities. This would help speed up the development of sites for houses and apartments by removing the financial burden of such projects from developers.

Mr Coveney claimed it would allow developers “bring forward their plans for timetabling” developments and bring about “real movement” in the construction industry.


Next year

The move was welcomed by organisations including Engineers


and the

Construction Industry Federation


The funding will not come into effect until next year, however, and the scheme will apply over three years. The Ministers said the money available, which will be awarded on a competitive basis, will be frontloaded.

“We are trying to ensure that projects that otherwise would be going ahead in 2019 or 2020, when local authorities find a way of affording infrastructure, that actually those projects can go ahead in 2017 or 2018,” Mr Coveney said.

“When Paschal talks about this fund being spread over three years, the vast majority of it will be spent over the first two years. Only €30 million of the €200 million is earmarked for the third year.”

Mr Donohoe said the fund could be used for infrastructure such as "a road . . . a connection to an ESB station, it could be a connection to a gas mains".

It will help with urban housing shortages in Dublin and Cork in particular, Mr Coveney said. He said the average cost of building a house in Dublin is €330,000, with €57,000 linked to construction costs.