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Budget boost for housing in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Euros / Shutterstock_194311094

The Irish Government, whose budget is dominated by measures to counter a no-deal Brexit, has been criticised this week for not doing more to boost housing and combat climate change.

That said, the €2.9 billion net budget package included a €6 per tonne increase in carbon tax and a €1.1 billion allocation to build more than 11,000 new social homes next year.

In addition, €130 million is being provided for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, with a second call for proposals to be made shortly.

Another €17.5 million is being provided towards the cost of the activities of the Land Development Agency alongside €0.5 million in increased funding for the operational budgets of An Bord Pleanála and the Office of the Planning Regulator, as part of measures to enhance the effectiveness of the planning system.

The capital budget of An Bord Pleanála will also increase by €0.7 million, while a further €0.6 million is being allocated to fund additional activities by the Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government on marine spatial planning and environmental planning.

A total of €60 million will be pumped into the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund to assist delivery of almost 20,000 new homes across 30 public and private sites.  

The budget measures included new energy-efficiency scheme targeted at social housing stock in the Midlands, an area affected by the potential closure of peat and coal-fired power stations.

This week’s announcements committed a further €5 million for peatland rehabilitation; €3 million for electric vehicle infrastructure, which should double the existing number of local authority street charging points; and €9 million for sustainable mobility projects including the expansion of greenway projects and new urban cycling schemes.

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