Tuesday 12 December 2017

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Cork Independent

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5,900 social houses earmarked in plan

Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 4:57pm

Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, has claimed the Budget's funding provision of €1.9 billion for housing in 2018 will allow the government to meet the social housing needs of 25,500 households.

A total of €1.14 billion has been earmarked for the delivery of almost 5,900 social homes, through a range of construction and acquisition programmes.

Its plan is to build 5,000 properties and acquire 900.

The balance of funding will provide for additional tenancies and maintain existing ones through Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), and longterm leasing.

It will also finance other supports and services relating to homelessness, regeneration and upgrade programmes in areas such as energy efficiency; adaptation; traveller housing and pyrite.

There is an allocation of €301 million for HAP to enable a further 17,000 households to be accommodated, as well as supporting the existing 32,000 HAP tenancies.

Funding of €134 million will support a further 600 new transfers under the RAS, and also the ongoing costs of the 19,900 households supported under the scheme.

On homeless services, €116 million has been allocated in response to increased demand for emergency homeless services and to assist in supporting homeless households with longterm housing solutions.

Over 3,000 departures from emergency accommodation are expected next year through the provision of social homes and HAP. The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is to receive €60 million in 2018.

It will provide infrastructure on key sites to open up lands for early development.

The Minister said this has the potential to release at least 20,000 new homes by 2021.

At least ten per cent will be social housing, with additional social housing to be provided on certain State-owned sites.

The majority of the 34 sites being opened up will have a proportion of housing available at under €320,000. Individual arrangements on affordability are being reached on remaining sites.

A second LIHAF infrastructure fund of €50 million is expected to unlock further sites, more quickly, at "affordable" prices.

The aim is to bridge the affordability gap for those who don't qualify for housing supports.

Home Building Finance Ireland will provide finance at commercially competitive rates to developers experiencing difficulty accessing funding who have sites ready to go.

Funding of €12 million will support traveller accommodation schemes, delivering 110 houses next year. Among other measures, the Residential Tenancies Board will be supported through the provision of €7 million next year.

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