€5.169 Billion Budget for Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan have today [13th October] announced a budget package for 2021 of over five billion euro.

Key spending areas include:

  • €3.3 billion spend in housing – 24% increase on 2020 and highest investment in housing by any Government in a single year
  • Social housing needs of over 28,500 additional households to be met in 2021
  • 12,750 new homes will be added to the available supply of social housing through build, acquisition and long-term leasing
  • Support for local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to deliver 9,500 new build homes in 2021.
  • Range of affordability measures including €110 million for a new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme for first time buyers and a new cost rental model
  • €218 million (€166 million in budget 2020) to ensure those experiencing homelessness are supported and helped to successfully exit homelessness. (6,000 exits from homelessness estimated for 2021)
  • €1.3 billion investment in water services
  • €65 million will facilitate energy efficiency improvements to social housing homes
  • €60 million to adapt the homes of up to 10,700 older people and people with a disability
  • Increase funding to €21 million for the Residential Tenancies Board and local authority rental inspections and to implement reforms for the short-term letting sector
  • €150 million for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF)
  • €192million contribution to the Local Government Fund
  • Heritage funding for 2021 will amount to €95.5m – an increase of 51% on this year.
  • Access to additional central COVID-19 funding as required in 2021


Commenting following the announcement Minister O’Brien said, “I am delighted to have secured such a significant increase for 2021. Today’s budget demonstrates that this Government are truly committed to tackling homelessness, increasing the number of new build social houses as well providing more affordable homes to those trying to get on the housing ladder. This budget is the very definition of a ‘Housing for All’ budget. Importantly, this budget has also seen a large increase in funding for Irish Water so that they can provide critical infrastructure which has knock-on effects on our supply of housing. We have also secured further increases in the areas of Planning, Local Government and Heritage as well as vital access to ring-fenced COVID-19 funding,” he concluded.

Minister of State Burke added, “As Minister for Local Government, I am committed to building and strengthening the Local Government Sector. We have seen local authorities make a huge contribution and provide key services to citizens, especially over the very difficult times recently. I have been working to secure a further rates waiver and I’m pleased that the additional €300m announced today will support businesses who are the cornerstone of our economy at local authority level. Local authorities can be assured that I am continuing to work with Minister McGrath to ensure that services can continue to be delivered as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. I also welcome the €266m that is being provided for planning purposes in 2021,” he concluded.

Finally, Minister of State Noonan said “Budget 2021 has seen a much welcomed 50% increase in the Heritage Budget. At a time when our citizens have never appreciated their built and natural heritage more, this budget is of huge significance. The 15% increase in funding for Waterways Ireland will facilitate the continuation of major projects such as the Ulster Canal and the extension of Greenway and Blueway routes throughout the navigational network,” he concluded.