75% of social housing to be sourced from private sector

Four Dublin authorities, Limerick, Galway and Waterford councils face targets

Three-quarters of new social housing to be supplied in several major local authority areas under the Government’s social housing strategy will be sourced from the private sector.

This means just a quarter of the new social housing units will be council-delivered or owned, figures show.

Detailed housing delivery targets were issued to all 31 local authorities by the Department of the Environment last week. The details, which set out whether the new units should be directly provided by the council or sourced through leasing arrangements with the private sector, have yet to be presented to councillors.

But The Irish Times has seen them in the cases of the four Dublin local authorities, Limerick Council, Galway City Council and Waterford Council. Cork City Council would not provide details before presentation to councillors.


The broad targets announced last month will, if achieved, represent implementation of Phase 1 of the Minister, Alan Kelly's, Social Housing Strategy 2020. Published in November, it says 18,000 units of social housing will be provided by the end of 2017 with an additional 17,000 by the end of 2020.

According to the targets issued to the four Dublin authorities – which have a combined housing waiting list of 42,000 households – some 7,049 units are planned in the next two years and eight months. Of these, 2,560 (37 per cent) will be council-delivered, while 4,489 units (63 per cent) will be privately sourced.

South Dublin County Council, which has a housing list of 8,641, has been given a target of 1,445 units, of which 350 (24 per cent) will be council-owned and 681 (76 per cent) will be sourced privately.

In Fingal, the proportion of units to be council-owned is 25 per cent. The local authority has a housing list of 8,378 and plans 1,576 units of social housing by the end of 2017. Of these 396 are to be publicly owned and 1,180 are to be private.

The largest local authority, Dublin City Council, which has a waiting list of 20,000 households, has a target of 3,347 new units by the end of 2017. Of these some 1,498 (45 per cent) will be council-owned, while 1,849 (55 per cent) will be provided through leasing arrangements with the private sector.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, with a housing list of 5,285, is targeting 681 new units, of which 316 (46 per cent) will be council-owned and 365 (54 per cent) will be private.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times