Rebuilding Ireland
2017 Status Report

Mr Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, today (25 January, 2018) appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government.

A copy of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan Status Report 2017 was presented to the members of the Committee.

The following is a summary of some of the main achievements under Rebuilding Ireland in 2017:

  • Almost 26,000 households had their housing need met.
  • 4,000 individuals exited homelessness into homes.
  • 200 additional permanent beds were provided for rough sleepers.
  • 18 family hubs are now operational providing accommodation for approximately 430 families.
  • Over 7,000 new homes were brought into the active social housing stock through build, acquisitions, voids and leasing programmes. This is a 40% increase (almost 2,000 new homes) on what was planned for the year, and 24% of an increase over what was achieved in 2016.
  • 100 new households had their social housing need met each working day of the week.
  • 33% increase Construction Commencement Notices (17,500+).
  • Extra €100 Million allocated for homelessness and housing, bringing total budget to €1.4 Billion.
  • Held first Housing Summit with key outcomes and deliverables issued afterwards.

Rebuilding Ireland – Some Key Actions

Pillar 1 – Address Homelessness

  • 4,000 exits from homelessness in 2017 (3,000 in 2016). Target for 2018 is 3,000
  • In 2017 the target for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) of 15,000 was exceeded by nearly 3,000 with 17,916 new HAP tenancies established.
  • In 2017 over 1,700 new Homeless HAP tenancies established, exceeding target by 500.
  • Over 200 new permanent emergency beds were delivered in 2017.
  • 18 new family hubs were delivered in 2017.

Pillar 2 – Accelerate Social Housing

  • 85,799 households were assessed as qualified for housing support as of 28 June 2017. (decrease of 5,801 (6.3%) compared to the assessment carried out in 2016).
  • Target of 50,000 new social housing units (build, acquisition, voids and leases) for 2016-2021.
  • 7066 new homes brought into active social housing stock through build, acquisitions, voids and leasing in 2017 (5714 in 2016)
  • Construction figures from September of 2017 show 3,700 new social housing homes being built across 190 sites. These are being added to on a weekly basis.
  • The Department’s Housing Delivery Unit is now up and running and working on the ground with Local Authorities to support and accelerate delivery.

Pillar 3 – Build More Homes

  • The latest available housing market data shows that residential construction activity levels continue to strengthen (from a low base):
  • Planning Permissions – 18,171 in 12 months to end Sept – up 13% y-o-y
  • Commencement Notices – 2017 – 17,572 – up 33% y-o-y
  • Registrations – 2017 9466 – up 68% y-o-y
  • ESB Connections – 2017 19,271 – up 29% y-o-y
  • Residential Property Price Index up 11.6% nationally from Nov. 16 – Nov. 17 (11.3% Dublin, 11.7% rest of Ireland)
  • Housing Analytics Group – The CSO is working with ESB and the Department on housing completions data and is analysing additional data provided in late 2017. Critical success factors in terms of moving to a new model of completion stats this year are the outcome of the CSO’s analysis and the point at which a more regularised supply of data from the ESB to the CSO is secured.

“Construction figures from September 2017 show 3,700 new social housing homes being built across 190 sites. These are being added to on a weekly basis.”

  • Measures announced to increase housing supply:
    • a new fast-track planning process for large developments and apartments to speed up decisions and provide greater certainty for developers;
    • a dedicated infrastructure fund to open up land for development more quickly and enable developers to offer homes at reduced prices;
    • new apartment guidelines that will allow more homes to be built on a site, while also removing unnecessary costs such as expensive-to-provide car parking spaces where they are not needed; and
    • a new State-funded bank to provide competitive loans for builders, keeping their costs low.

Pillar 4 – Improve the Rental Sector

  • RTB Rent Index – up 9.5% nationally (Q3 16 – Q3 17), 9.9% Dublin, 9.2% rest of Ireland
  • 21 Rent Pressure Zones introduced
  • Legislation will be passed as soon as possible in 2018 to make it an offence to implement rent increases that contravene the Rent Pressure Zone limits and the Residential Tenancies Board will be given the powers and resources to investigate and prosecute landlords who implement such increases.
  • Build to Rent – introduce new ‘Build to Rent’ and ‘co-living’ guidelines introduced to encourage development and investment in more rental accommodation at more affordable rents.
  • National Student Accommodation Strategy launched with 8 key targets and 27 actions to increase number of purpose built student accommodation.
  • Budget 2018 introduced new deduction for pre-letting expenses on a property vacant for 12 months.
  • Exempted Development Regulations – change of use, and any related works, relating to the conversion of vacant commercial premises for residential use (subject to certain limitations).

Pillar 5 – Utilise Existing Housing

  • Urban generation scheme announce in Budget 2018.
  • Budget 2018 introduced new deduction for pre-letting expenses on a property vacant for 12 months.
  • Exempted Development Regulations – change of use, and any related works, relating to the conversion of vacant commercial premises for residential use (subject to certain limitations),
  • Choice based lettings introduced.