Campaigns

Dolphin House Regeneration Project

Posted November 20th, 2018

The Taoiseach and I recently visited Dublin City Council’s Phase 1 of the Dolphin House Regeneration Project where we met with some of the families who will be getting the keys to their homes shortly.

The development consists of 63 refurbished units and 37 new build units. Of the 100 units, there are 91 apartments and 9 houses consisting of 40 x 1 bed units, 41 x 2 bed units and 19  x 3 bed units.

I was pleased to visit the development which will provide much needed homes for so many families and individuals. I want to congratulate the residents and the Regeneration Board of Dolphin House for their steadfast commitment to this project. The €26 million invested in this scheme clearly shows the dedication of this Government to revitalising the area. It will enhance the living conditions in Dolphin House as well as providing much needed housing in Dublin 8.

Continue reading here.

Respond Launch

Posted November 2nd, 2018

I visited ⁦Respond this week to launch their annual report – they are on track to deliver over 3,600 new homes in the coming years. Working with organisations like them across the country we can help families each and every day.

To see more about Respond’s work, go here.

New Regulations for Short Term Lets

Posted October 26th, 2018

Yesterday I announced new regulations in respect of short-term lettings.

As homesharing has become more popular as a form of tourism letting, it has resulted in some professional landlords withdrawing houses and apartments that would normally be rented on a long-term basis to instead rent them out as short-term lets (STLs).

This is an unregulated activity, it is not homesharing as it is typically understood, and in a time of housing shortage it is unacceptable that rental homes would be withdrawn from the letting market, particularly in our cities and large towns where rents are high and supply is still constrained.

The reforms being presented here aim to bring homes, once available on the traditional rental market, back into typical long-term renting, to regulate for the first time STLs, and to allow homesharing to continue as it was originally meant to be – a homeowner hosting people in their own home for short periods of time.

To continue reading, go here.

To see a short video where I announce the measures, go here.

Land Development Agency

Posted September 20th, 2018

Last week we launched the Land Development Agency to build 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years, the next step of Project Ireland 2040.

The new Agency has an immediate focus on managing the State’s own lands to develop new homes, and regenerate under-utilised sites. In the longer-term it will assemble strategic landbanks from a mix of public and private lands, making these available for housing in a controlled manner which brings essential long-term stability to the Irish housing market.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said the LDA will come to be seen to be as significant as the decision to establish the ESB, Aer Lingus or the IDA. I signed the new agency into law  by Statutory Instrument, with a chief and management team already in place. It has an initial pipeline of State land which is capable of delivering 10,000 homes, with 3,000 of those homes on lands which have already been secured. The Agency is already in the process of expanding its portfolio.

The LDA will have two main functions: coordinating appropriate State lands for regeneration and development, opening up key sites which are not being used effectively for housing delivery and; driving strategic land assembly, working with both public and private sector land owners to smooth out peaks and troughs of land supply, stabilising land values and delivering increased affordability.

Go here for full details.

 

Increase in New Home Construction

Posted August 23rd, 2018

I welcome the CSO’s (Central Statistics Office) New Dwellings Completion Report, which confirms a strong upward trend across all housing construction activity data sets. 4,419 houses were completed in the second quarter of 2018. So far this year almost 8,000 new homes have been completed.

While we still have some way to go, more homes have been completed in the first six months of this year than in any year between 2011 and 2016. So that is really welcome progress. Our fundamental task is to increase supply and these figures confirm that this is happening, and quickly.

This housing crisis is deep and affects people’s lives in so many ways, from people in emergency accommodation, to those struggling to pay the rent or afford their own home. But the primary solution to these problems is supply.

The message from today’s CSO report is clear. The ongoing efforts by my Department, relevant agencies, local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and other stakeholders to deliver on the goals of Rebuilding Ireland is bearing fruit, but we will not become complacent and will continue to work together to tackle the issue of housing supply.

For full information, go here.

New Age Friendly Homes

Posted August 1st, 2018

Last week I was at ALONE Ireland in Dublin 8 this where 11 new homes for elderly people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness were handed over.

I was delighted to be part of the formal opening of this special project delivering these much needed homes. This project reflects the Government’s commitment to providing homes for people in their area of choice further empowering people to stay in their communities and safeguard the quality of life for all who live within them.

I am witnessing on a daily basis the endeavors of the AHB sector to provide appropriate housing solutions. Earls Court perfectly demonstrates how the Sector, working with Local Authorities, are responding in a focused way to this challenge and ensuring people are supported as their needs change throughout their lifetime. ALONE have developed a very worthy project here with these high-quality purpose-built homes, delivered through a collaborative and holistic approach, which will benefit the community as a whole.

ALONE procured these 16 units using funding made available by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through Dublin City Council (DCC), combined with loan finance advanced by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). The purchase of the units is part of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan. ALONE has since been renovating these homes to an age-friendly standard with assistance from Community Finance Ireland.

To continue reading, go here.

Social Housing Construction Report Q1

Posted August 1st, 2018

Last week I published the Quarter 1 2018 Social Housing Construction Projects Status Report, which sets out the continuing progress being made in advancing the national Local Authority and Approved Housing Body new-build pipeline. We also published the overall social housing delivery across all programmes for Quarter 1 2018, broken down on a local authority basis and tracked against 2018 targets. Key points of note:

– At the end of Q1 2018, some 6,146 additional housing solutions had been provided across all local authorities in the quarter.

– On the construction side, 3,932, were under construction at end Q1 2018; and some 1,989 homes had been approved and were about to go on site.

– The full programme listed in the report now includes 930 schemes (or phases), delivering 14,813 homes – a very substantial increase on the 10,072 homes which were in the programme at the end of the same quarter last year.

Earlier this year I committed to creating more transparency around local authority targets and delivery, and in April I published the full list of targets broken down by local authority.

What’s encouraging about this is that the first quarter is typically the lowest quarter of activity in the year because our building programme is managed towards an uptake in delivery as we move towards the end of the year. We see this when we look back at 2016 and 2017. This is on track to happen in 2018 also.

To continue reading, go here.

 

Inchicore Redevelopment

Posted July 30th, 2018

Last week I announced that a Dublin City Council-owned site at Emmet Road in Inchicore has been selected as the location for Dublin’s first major Cost Rental development.

The Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan has welcomed plans for the council to lead out on the development. It is expected that the detailed proposal for the site will be brought before the Council in September for approval. The entire development will be managed as a single integrated community, by a professional estate management company, which will also be competitively procured by the Council.

Based on the most recent modelling analysis, it is estimated that the site can accommodate over 470 homes in a high quality development. While the final tenure mix will be decided by the Council and informed by the detailed site development process, it will include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 homes predominantly provided under Cost Rental. While the level of social housing is fully committed, the model allows for some level of interchange between Cost Rental and private homes. As part of the broader development, a new library and other community facilities are also planned.

To continue reading, go here.

New Social Housing in Kerry

Posted July 19th, 2018

On Tuesday I opened a new 20-unit social housing scheme in Killarney. The €3.1m scheme of two-storey, three-bedroom units will provide homes for families currently in need of accommodation in the Killarney area. Construction began in February 2017 and tenants have moved into the new homes last week.

I saw that the development has been designed and built to a very high standard. I understand there is an already vibrant community spirit in this area and the new residents there, in the new estate, will add to that.

To continue reading, go here. To see a short video from the site, go here.

We also traveled to Kenmare where we visited 22 new social houses that are under construction.

Last week I officially opened the latest housing project by Carlow Voluntary Housing Association Ltd (trading as Tinteán), in partnership with Delta Centre in Carlow.

It is a landmark project – the first group home for people with disabilities designed and constructed to Passive House standards.  It has been built on an existing site with an existing special needs home and has been designed to create a shared, private area between the two homes. The house will serve as a home from home for elderly special needs tenants with care provided by Delta Centre.

This Government recognises the serious challenge we face in terms of housing and a critical focus and priority has been firmly placed on responding to this challenge through the development and implementation of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

It is critical at this stage to ensure that all the structures already in place are aligned, co-ordinated and co-operating towards a shared vision. This includes the Department, the Housing Agency and the Housing Finance Agency working with local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies across the country.  Local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies working in partnership is a model that the Department encourages, and this scheme here today highlights the real progress on the ground being achieved to address the challenges we face in the housing sector.

To continue reading, go here.

To watch a short video from the site, go here.

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