New builds account for less than 8% of social homes

Dublin city meets only a third of social housing targets in first nine month of 2018

Fewer than 1,500 social homes have been built by local authorities and housing associations in the first nine months year, latest figures show.

Figures released by the Department of Housing show just 601 were built across the Dublin region, the area of greatest social housing need.

A total of 18,781 “additional housing solutions” have been provided nationally for the 86,000 households on social housing waiting lists.

However, an analysis of the department’s construction projects status report shows just 1,415 were either built by, or on behalf of, local authorities or housing bodies.


The vast majority of social homes were rented from private landlords, with Hap (housing assistance payment) tenancies accounting for 13,741 “solutions”. Various other leasing or rental arrangements make up most of the remaining social homes secured in the first nine months of the year.

Dublin City Council is further away than any other local authority in reaching its "housing solutions" target for the year, with just 1,928 homes of its 5,871 goal provided in the first nine months of the year.

Despite the pressure to secure new social homes in the capital, the four Dublin local authorities – combined with approved housing bodies (AHBs) – produced just 601 newly-built homes. Of those, 40 per cent were “turnkey” projects – new homes which are purchased from private developers.

Dublin City Council, the State’s largest local authority and the one with the biggest waiting list at just under 20,000 applicants, has so far this year provided 132 homes, 116 of which were in regeneration projects that largely replaced older existing social housing.

South Dublin County Council built 97 homes, Fingal built 44, and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown built 43.

When the homes built or bought by housing bodies are added to the mix, the social housing construction results for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are particularly poor. Housing bodies built no homes in the area and provided just six turnkey homes, bringing the total to 49 homes.

Dublin city

In Dublin city, approved housing bodies built 36 homes and bought 68. When these figures are combined with the council’s own construction numbers, the total comes to 236 social homes in the city in the first nine months of the year.

In South Dublin, housing associations bought 78 turnkey homes, but built none, bringing that area’s total to 175 homes. In Fingal, housing associations built eight and bought 51, bringing the area’s total for the first three quarters of the year to 141 newly-built social homes.

The Government has set a social housing delivery target of 25,469 homes for the year, the majority of which will be rented from landlords. While some local authorities had met, or even exceeded, their targets by the end of the third quarter of the year, Dublin City Council had secured just a third of its target, far below any other local authority.

Fingal had made 62 per cent of its target for the year, South Dublin hit 59 per cent and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was at 58 per cent by the first nine month of the year.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times