‘Demanding’ five-year social housing targets issued to councils

More than 9,000 social homes expected to be built in Dublin city

Almost 20 per cent of the 47,600 homes are designated for Dublin city, a target which would require social housing construction in the capital to increase by almost 10 times the current rate

Almost 20 per cent of the 47,600 homes are designated for Dublin city, a target which would require social housing construction in the capital to increase by almost 10 times the current rate

 

Demanding targets for the construction of more than 47,000 social homes over the next five years have been issued to local authority chief executives across the State.

Under the Government’s Housing for All plan published last month an average of 9,500 new social homes are to be provided annually State-wide.

However, individual targets have now been issued to the managers of each city and county council, which would in some cases require local authorities to increase their construction rates by many times the current output.

Almost 20 per cent of the 47,600 homes are designated for Dublin city, a target which would require social housing construction in the capital to increase by almost 10 times the current rate.

Councillors in all local authorities will be briefed in the coming weeks on the individual targets for new homes to be built by their local authorities or housing bodies in their jurisdiction.

Dublin City Council has been issued with a construction target of 9,087 homes from 2022-2026. The other three Dublin local authorities are between them expected to deliver another 18 per cent of the national total. South Dublin County Council has been issued with a construction target of 3,380 homes. A similar target of 3,287 homes has been issued to Fingal County Council, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has been given a significantly lower target of 1,996 homes.

Outside Dublin

Outside Dublin, large numbers of homes are also expected in Co Cork (3,189), Cork city (2,788), Co Limerick (2,693), Co Kildare (2,068), Co Galway (1,717) and Galway city (1,235).

Significantly lower targets have been set for Waterford city and county with a combined total of 1,057 social homes to be built over five years.

In the mid range are Kerry (1,424), Meath (1,372), Wicklow (1348), Louth (1,322), Wexford (1,149), Donegal (879), Tipperary (847), Clare (834), Kilkenny (804), Westmeath (745), Mayo (730), Laois (534) and Sligo (517).

The lowest five-year targets have been set for Cavan (490), Carlow (464), Offaly (463), Longford (391), Monaghan (361), Roscommon (241), and Leitrim (139).

Dublin City Council’s director of housing delivery, Dave Dinnigan, said the council was “still in discussions” with the Department of Housing in relation to the final numbers but “there is no surprise the build targets will be challenging for us”.

The city council last year built 124 social homes, with another 114 constructed by housing organisations in its area. Against this 238 total, the council is being asked to secure the construction of 895 homes next year, 1,931 in 2023, 1,947 in 2024, 2,122 in 2025 and 2,165 homes in 2026, when council and housing body totals are combined.

Difficult

In a briefing for councillors on the Housing for All programme, Mr Dinnigan said the annual targets might be difficult to meet but he would be “more confident” the council could deliver over a five-year period.

However, he said, this was dependent on reducing delays in the system.

“It’s not when the contractor gets on site that the slowness occurs. In the main when we get on site you’re talking 18 months to two years from the beginning of construction to completion. It’s in the preconstruction phases where we get stuck in the mud.”

This was due to the capacity problems in the industry and “community acceptance” of new social housing.

The council spent a considerable amount of time consulting with existing communities, which was a “bit of democracy we are kind of proud of”. However, it “does delays us”, he said.

“Sometimes we just can’t do enough to please everybody,” he said. “We will listen to people and we will make revision to designs where we can... sometimes the design revisions don’t make the schemes viable,” he said.

“We are never going to get a situation where we keep 100 per cent of the people happy and we have to keep moving forward given the scale of the waiting list.”

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