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Budget boost for social housing in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Housing / Shutterstock_509223637

Irish housing and planning minister Eoghan Murphy has declared that this week’s Budget has removed the last significant obstacles to building more homes, more quickly and at more affordable prices.

He said this would happen because of the state investing more in direct housebuilding, the removal of the capital gains tax incentive to hold on to residential land, higher penalties for land hoarding, the introduction of new affordability measures and a new, more affordable finance vehicle for builders.

He insisted that the Budget measures would allow 3,800 homes to be built directly by the state as well as a further 1,200 as so-called Part V builds or rebuilt vacant homes. Some 900 homes would also be delivered through acquisitions, and another 2,000 homes will be secured through long-term leasing arrangements.

Almost €1.9 billion is being provided for social housing next year, an increase of 46 per cent on 2017. Murphy said this would provide homes for 25,000 people currently on waiting lists.

The budget included proposals for a new entity called the House Building Finance Ireland. This agency will offer loans to developers that are not customers of Nama for “viable” projects. It will be financed with €750 million from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

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