Coalition’s housing plan to provide support for renters

Cost-rental homes planned and European-style extended leases earmarked for legislation

Among transport locations being earmarked for potential housing developments are lands at Broadstone bus depot and Conyngham road bus garage in Dublin. File photograph: The Irish Times

Thousands of cost-rental homes and plans to legislate for European-style indefinite leases for tenants form part of the Government’s plans to support renters in the Housing for All plan.

The rules surrounding tenant purchase of social housing will also be tightened under plans to be revealed today.

Rents have spiralled in recent years. One survey by last month showed the average asking price stood at €1,477 in the second quarter of 2021 while the average in Dublin was €2,035.

A total of 18,000 cost-rental homes are to be delivered by 2030 under the plan.


In the cost-rental system rents are based on the cost of building, managing and maintaining the homes, but not market rates. The intention is for rent in these homes to be at least 25 per cent below the market rate.

Meanwhile, long-term leases of the kind seen in Europe would also become a possibility under the plan which includes a commitment to legislate for indefinite leases.

There will also be a reform of the system of tenant purchase of social housing.

Local authority tenants who wish to buy their home will have to be living there for 10 years – up from the current one year – and will get a maximum discount of 25 per cent of the costs, down from between 40 per cent and 60 per cent under the existing system.

Other measures expected to be announced include an incentive for people in family-sized homes who may wish to downsize.

Thousands of homes could also become available under a plan to allow families keep rents where an elderly homeowner is in care under the Fair Deal scheme.

Land Development Agency

Various actions in the plan include a role for the Land Development Agency which is tasked with delivering housing on State-owned land.

Project Tosaigh will enable the agency to help activate thousands of dormant planning permissions on privately owned land.

It is also involved in the plans for a home-building programme on land controlled by commercial semi-State companies.

Among transport locations being earmarked for potential housing developments are lands at Broadstone bus depot and Conyngham road bus garage in Dublin as well as parts of Colbert station in Limerick and a parcel of land which had been originally scheduled to form part of the Dart underground project at Inchicore train works.

Some sources suggested converting land at Broadstone for use for housing could prove problematic as it is a key working depot for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.

Options could include moving operations to a new site on the outskirts of the city or redeveloping the site to allow the depot continue in use underground, beneath any new housing or apartments.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent