Five-year social housing strategy to be published after budget, says Enda Kenny

SF leader urges Government to accept ESRI advice on social housing investment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “There is a serious supply-and-demand situation, particularly in the greater Dublin area.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “There is a serious supply-and-demand situation, particularly in the greater Dublin area.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

A five-year social housing strategy is to be published by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly soon after next week’s budget, the Taoiseach told the Dáil.

Enda Kenny said that the need for social housing, based on last year’s assessment, was very well documented and accepted by everyone. “The Housing Agency has admitted that to meet the housing need over the next five years, we need 35,000 housing units to be provided,’’ he said. “The Government’s challenge is to meet the social- housing need in an innovative and cost-effective manner.’’

The Taoiseach was replying to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who urged the Government to accept the ESRI’s call for a major investment in social housing in the budget instead of making tax cuts.

Serious situation

“The issue of homelessness, of those who had been put off apartments and houses because of rent increases, and of the demand for housing – a demand which is rising very rapidly – is a cause of great concern.’’

Mr Kenny said the recently published planning Bill provided for a vacant site levy of 3 per cent to encourage development, the delivery of 4,000 additional homes by 2020, changes to development contributions and the use-it-or-lose-it approach to planning permissions.