Budget 201910 October 2018
Focus should be on Building, Not Competing in the Private Market
There is sufficient funding in Budget 2019 to make a major improvement in the housing crisis, but going from allocated funds to built homes will require the government to overcome a number of barriers, according to the Society of Charted Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI).
The SCSI said the government will need to address issues like procurement and skills shortages if it is to realise its ambitious targets which included the delivery of 10,000 social homes in 2019.
Áine Myler, Director General of the SCSI, said: “The housing funding which the Minister has outlined is significant given the fiscal promises he’d set out. However, it is not about what you commit to spend, it’s the number of homes you build. There are numerous barriers to the delivery of the 10,000 social homes the Minister outlined, they include acquisition, leasing and Housing Assistance Payments, all competing with private sector housing.
“This is having an inflationary effect within the rental sector. SCSI would prefer to see any additional funding in Budget '19 allocated for direct delivery of new social housing,” said Ms Myler.
The New Sites Services Fund commits €310 million over the next three years which will help Local Authorities in making more land available, and this is to be welcomed. This coupled with the Affordable Housing Scheme will assist those in need of social housing. The Affordable Housing Scheme provides for a discount of up to 40% on market value, with thresholds set at €50,000 and €75,000 income levels for single and couples, respectively.
“SCSI is supportive of the Government's plan to provide housing on State lands. However, we need to see early results to start meeting the pent-up demand which exists" Ms Myler concluded.