Housing plan: Main points of Government’s strategy
Ways to address homelessness, improve rental market and build social housing to be prioritised
The Government has promised that 25,000 new homes will be built annually over the next six years under its plan to tackle the housing crisis.
The Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, launched on Tuesday afternoon, also commits to supplying an additional 47,000 social housing units by the conclusion of the plan.
The key actions contained in the plan are set out under ‘Five Pillars’:
- Ensure by mid-2017 hotels and B&Bs only used used as emergency accommodation for families “in limited circumstances”.
- Provide 1,500 units of ‘rapid build’ housing by end of 2018. Twenty-two have been provided so far.
- Increase number of unit for ‘housing first’ for rough sleepers, from 100 to 300
- Ensure sufficient emergency beds nationally
Accelerate Social Housing
- Provide 47,000 units of social housing between now and 2021, of which 26,000 will be newly built, 11,000 ’acquired’, 11,000 built or acquired
- Develop mixed-tenure estates on public and lands – about 25 to 30 per cent to be social housing
- Accelerate social housing approval process and reduce length of Part 8 planning process
Build More Homes
- Double output to about 25,000 units per year. Last year’s figure was 12,666. In 2006, it was 93,419.
- Establish a €200 million fund to put infrastructure into lands zoned for housing
- Planning reforms will enable larger housing applications go straight to An Bord Pleanála
Improve the rental sector
- Develop a strategy for the private rental sector to be published in the autumn
- Review standards in the sector
- Introduce an affordable rental sector and ‘build-to-rent’ schemes
Utilise existing stock
- Introduce scheme to provide up-front aid to owners of vacant properties, to refurbish them for social housing
- Establish €70 million fund for Housing Agency to buy repossessed buy-to-lets, vacant properties from banks and investors
- Enhance ‘Living City’ initiative to encourage people to live in vacant units in town centres.