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Kelly unveils ambitious social housing strategy

Words: Roger Milne
Housebuilding / iStock

Environment minister Alan Kelly has unveiled an ambitious social housing programme that he says would eliminate housing waiting lists by 2020.

The government’s housing strategy involves building 35,000 new homes, and another 75,000 units will be rented from the private sector.

Funding of some €3.8 billion will provided over the next six years - a €1.6 billion increase on the amount announced in October’s Budget. The government says this will create 29,000 construction jobs.

In addition, a tenant purchase scheme will be introduced to allow social housing tenants buy their homes.

Funding for the programme will come from NAMA, public-private partnerships and the establishment of a ‘Strategic Housing Fund’.

Local authorities and so-called Approved Housing Bodies will deliver the new housing supported by a newly established Dublin Social Houisng Delivery Taskforce. These will be encouraged to create more mixed-tenure developments in urban areas of high demand, says the strategy.

“We are going to clear waiting lists for social housing by 2020, and that is the most critical thing to say,” insisted Kelly.