Minister insists housing plan has made 'significant progress', despite delays

The Housing for All programme set out by the Government has a target of 33,000 new homes every year over next decade.
Minister insists housing plan has made 'significant progress', despite delays

Olivia Kelleher

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has insisted that the Government's Housing for All programme has made "significant progress" despite delays.

It comes are The Irish Times has reported that an affordable housing scheme for first-time buyers and an initiative to speed up the development of apartments in cities have both been delayed.

The Housing for All programme set out by the Government has a target of 33,000 new homes every year over next decade. Despite the cost of inflation and supply problems, Mr O'Brien told RTÉ News at One, that the Government is sticking to those targets.

"We published the Q1 progress report this year and since Housing for All was launched in September we have made significant progress," Mr O'Brien said.

"This year we have a good pipeline of homes. We are targeting for delivery about 24,600 new homes both public and private. We are on track for that.

"There will be challenges. Certainly there is no sector that will be untouched by the war in Ukraine."

According to Mr O'Brien, there were 1,300 more homes built last year compared to 2020.

"That was in a difficult year with Covid and construction shut down. We have to watch this very carefully of course," he said.

"There will be further challenges to delivery but this year our pipeline is strong. It is not going to be easy. Nobody is suggesting it is.

"The plan is to 2030. That is what has been lacking in the past is actually having a plan that is sustained and fully funded.

"We are investing on behalf of the Irish people over €4 billion a year in Exchequer backed funding in the housing market which is the single biggest intervention the State has made.
Nobody is saying this won't be without challenges.

"Obviously all of us, first and foremost for the people of Ukraine, hope that this war end. No one can predict what will happen even on a daily basis.

"It is [disruptive to supplies]. There have been disruption and continues to be disruption in the supply change. We are seeing quite eye watering increases in materials as well."

'Robust plan'

When asked if there will be delays in 2023, Mr O'Brien insisted that he is sticking to the targets that have already been set.

"The plan is a robust plan. It covers both public and private. No one is revising down our targets. We are fully aware of the challenges that present themselves."

The Minister for Housing also confirmed that homes will be released under the Fair Deal Scheme

"Yes it is going to happen, and it was happening anyway prior to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. This isn't a specific measure in relation to the humanitarian response.

"We estimate that there is about 8,000 homes vacant right now. The legislation for the change will be made before the summer recess.

"It is a decision the homeowner and the family will make. It is really important that the State uses every lever in its power to get homes back in to use."

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more