Cork City Council confident it will deliver on housing plan

Under the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan, local authorities were required to prepare a Housing Delivery Action Plan
Cork City Council confident it will deliver on housing plan

Budget 2021 stock generic image 07/10/2020.

CORK City Council has expressed confidence that it will be able to meet the social and affordable housing targets set out in a five-year action plan published over the summer.

Under the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan, local authorities were required to prepare a Housing Delivery Action Plan.

Cork City Council’s plan, published in July, sets out the city council’s delivery targets for both social and affordable housing for the period 2022 to 2026. It provides for the delivery of up to 5,671 social and affordable homes across the city from 2022-2026, in accordance with the targets as set by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), with 3,934 social homes and 1,737 affordable homes to be delivered in that timeframe.

The local authority and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) will each contribute 50 percent to the delivery of the overall social housing targets.

Of the 1,737 affordable homes set to be delivered, which the council notes are deemed “minimum affordable delivery targets”, city council is to provide 378 homes and the balance is to be delivered by AHBs and the LDA through affordable purchase and cost-rental schemes.

In a recent housing report to councillors, Cork City Council said it is “confident”, in partnership with both AHBs and the LDA, that the proposed housing delivery detailed in the action plan can be delivered during the period 2022-2026.

“The city council, given its excellent track record in the area of social housing delivery over the last five years in particular, aligned to its current pipeline of new affordable housing units shows its willingness to meet the challenges head on and with the support of the DHLGH in the areas of funding and resourcing it can meet the ambitious delivery targets set out in this action plan,” the report continued.

A spokesperson for Cork City Council told The Echo that the council’s target for social housing delivery in 2022, as set out in the Housing Delivery Action Plan, totals 637 homes — 515 new build homes and 122 homes delivered by leasing.

“The council is confident of delivering on this target with the publication of the exact figure due via the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

In relation to affordable housing, last year construction works on 33 homes in Tower and 27 homes on the Middle Glanmire Road were completed.

In addition, construction works were “substantially complete” on 35 affordable homes in Bishopstown, with a phased delivery of 117 homes in Lotamore between 2022 and 2023.

'AHEAD OF THE GAME'

Speaking at a council meeting this week, Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said city council is “ahead of the game” in comparison to a lot of other local authorities when it comes to affordable housing, however he questioned if something could be done to expedite the process for those who have secured affordable homes.

The council’s director of housing, Niall Ó Donnabháin said that the sales process has taken some time, with legal matters that have needed to be finalised.

“We would expect as we deliver the schemes being delivered, people would become more accustomed to the process - the banks, the solicitors involved - and as a result it will speed up this delivery to put keys in hands of those who have successfully secured properties,” he added.

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