Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Social and Affordable Housing.
Ms Lynch Ms Lynch
195. Ms Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he intends to take to ensure that social housing completions account for at least 12% of all housing completions by 2012, as recommended by the 2004 NESC report on housing in Ireland. [5304/06]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Mr. N. Ahern: There has been unprecedented growth in overall housing output in Ireland over the past decade and this in itself is providing greater choice and access to housing for our growing population. The year 2005 represented a further record year, with nearly 81,000 new homes completed. In addition, there is now in place a broad range of targeted measures to meet the needs of lower income groups. As well as building new homes, local authorities also purchase some second-hand homes for social housing applicants, vacancies arise in the stock and a range of affordable housing schemes is also in operation. In 2004, some 12,000 households benefited through these various measures.
The Government has also put in place a number of new arrangements to facilitate the delivery of strong programmes of social and affordable housing. In consultation with my Department, local authorities have developed five-year action plans for their social and affordable housing programmes covering the period to 2008. The preparation of these plans has improved the identification of priority needs and will help to ensure a more coherent and co-ordinated response across all housing services.
The new multi-annual plans have also provided an overview of delivery by a range of providers — local authorities, voluntary and co-operative housing bodies and the private sector — through Part V and public private partnership arrange ments. A mid-term review of plans will be undertaken this year which will allow for adjustments to be made in light of actual performance and any new housing policy initiatives arising in the interim.
In December 2005, the Government launched a new housing policy framework, Building Sustainable Communities, which outlines key principles underpinning housing policy and investment over coming years. The framework sets out an important programme of investment and reform to address the key policy challenges highlighted by the NESC report on housing, and takes account of the results of the 2005 housing needs assessment and the work of the housing forum in regard to the effectiveness of social and affordable housing provision.
As a result of extra capital provision in the budget for 2006, substantial increased investment in social and affordable housing is outlined in the framework. This will allow for some 23,000 new social homes to be commenced between 2006 and 2008 and some 15,000 affordable homes to be delivered. In total, some 50,000 households will benefit over the coming three years from an Exchequer capital investment package of close to €4 billion. Implementation of these expected targets will represent a significant response to the recommendations of the NESC housing report.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Social and Affordable Housing.