Government at risk of missing targets for delivering social and affordable homes for 2023

Just 2,642 new-build social homes in first nine months, far short of 9,100 target for year

The Government is at risk of missing targets for delivery of social and affordable housing, newly-released figures indicate.

Just over 4,800 social homes were delivered in the first nine months of the year, of which 2,642 are new-builds. This is far short of the target for new-builds for the year in Minister Darragh O’Brien’s Housing for All plan, which is set at 9,100.

Meanwhile, some 2,000 “affordable housing supports” were delivered in the same period, less than half of the 5,500 target.

Mr O’Brien’s spokeswoman cautioned that delivery of both social and affordable homes was typically weighted towards the end of the year. However, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin predicted that the targets would be missed and he accused Mr O’Brien of “deliberately trying to inflate” delivery figures for affordable housing.


Figures published by the Department of Housing show that 4,815 new social homes were delivered by the end of September. These include 2,642 new-build homes, 1,033 acquisitions and 1,140 homes delivered through leasing programmes.

The department also said more than “2,000 affordable housing supports” were delivered in a number of ways, including through approved housing bodies, local authorities and the shared equity First Home Scheme. This includes some 1,844 First Home Scheme Approvals as of the end of September.

The number of drawdowns – where people are at the stage where they have bought a home under the scheme – is not included on the table published on Wednesday.

Mr Ó Broin said the First Home Loan scheme website shows that “just 562 actual purchases had occurred by the end of September”. He said the report published by Mr O’Brien failed to mention this, and he accused the Minister of “deliberately trying to inflate his delivery figures”.

He also said just 29 per cent of the new-build social housing target was delivered by the end of September, and said “it is hard to see” the 9,100 target being met.

A spokeswoman for Mr O’Brien responded to the Sinn Féin criticism, saying: “As Deputy Ó Broin knows delivery is weighted towards the year-end and the last quarter in particular sees the largest delivery of housing.”

She added: “With respect to the First Home Scheme, Deputy Ó Broin’s opposition to this scheme is well known. He and his party have committed to scrapping it.”

She said: “These approvals mean families and individuals now have the finance they need, backed by the State, to purchase their own home.”

The spokeswoman also said “delivery is ramping up, and the full-year delivery statistics will be published as normal early in the new year.”

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Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times