Planning rules allowing “build-to-rent” apartments will be abolished, the Fianna Fáil Árdfheis has heard.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien told the árdfheis that from the end of this year every apartment application “will be a single, build to buy standard and allowed to be sold, not restricted solely for rental”.
“Every home that is built should be fit to buy. To achieve that I am announcing to this árdfheis that I am abolishing the separate two tier planning standards for build-to-rent apartments,” he said on Saturday.
He said a single apartment standard would give “certainty, level the playing field and still enable investment where it is needed.”
Mr O’Brien’s future as housing minister was locked in at the árdfheis with the Taoiseach saying he would remain in the brief, despite record homelessness figures released this week.
The Dublin Fingal TD said his housing for all plan would “put home-ownership back at the heart of Irish life while helping those who need it”.
He said that the “simple truth” was that “whenever Fianna Fáil is in power there are more work vans on the road, more cement mixers turning, more bricks being laid and more homes being built”.
Fianna Fáil has made a step change in housing a key aim of its time in Government, but homeless figures and ongoing affordability issues in both the home purchase and rental markets continue to be a focus for the opposition.
Elsewhere at the Fianna Fáil árdfheis, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said he has started the process to recruit a so-called “food ombudsman” — a chief executive for the new Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri-Food Supply Chain.
“The office will be up and running by the end of the year, and will be an office with real teeth that will protect our farm families,” he said. “I want those who are breaking the unfair trading practices to be afraid of the office,” he added, saying it would “shine a light on the sector” and have “real teeth”.