Announcement of Additional Housing Initiatives - Housing for All
Published on: 25 April 2023
Tuesday 25th April 2023
Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD
As I have said many times, I believe housing to be the single most important social issue facing the country and the Government right now.
Housing is crucial for social cohesion, family security, economic progress, quality of life and many other things. It is central to our social progress.
A good quality home gives families and individuals so much more than a roof over their heads.
It gives them the confidence and security to engage with and build stronger, safer and happier communities and lives.
That’s why we have been investing in housing at a level unprecedented in the country’s history over recent years, with an additional €1 Billion of measures being announced today.
In fact, our level of expenditure on housing and community amenities, as a percentage of Modified Gross National Income, is more than double the EU 27 and Euro area averages.
I know that these sorts of figures are of very little comfort or interest to people in acute housing need, but I think it is important to acknowledge that PROGRESS is being made, and crucially that there is HOPE when it comes to housing.
Last week for example, we learned that in the month of March there were commencement notices for almost 3,300 new homes across the country.
That is the highest number of commencements in the month of March since records began in 2014.
In fact, the number of commencements in Quarter 1 of this year is also the highest number for the same period since these records began.
Why is this important?
It’s important because the only sustainable way to deal with the housing crisis in the country, as I keep saying, is through increased supply, supply, supply.
And that is what today’s announcements are also about.
Today is about my colleague Darragh O’Brien and the Government continuing to be creative, continuing to innovate and continuing to be OPEN to solid and constructive ideas to increase supply and get people into homes.
Darragh will explain the various schemes in detail, but I just want to make the point, that today’s action on development levies, subventions towards the cost of building homes, and grants to bring vacant and derelict property back into use, are clear evidence of this Minister’s and this Government's determination to do everything possible to deal with this crisis.
The last of these initiatives, the expansion of supports to refurbish vacant and derelict properties under Croí Cónaithe is a really positive move.
Since the scheme was introduced by the minister last July we have seen strong interest, with more than 1,600 applications already received.
This expansion of eligibility and increase in the financial support available has the potential to be a strong driver of regeneration all over the country, and the key to a warm and secure home for many people.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, we have an opposition in the country at the moment that does not want to see progress.
Everything we introduce today will be dismissed by them. Indeed, the Leader of the Opposition has already dismissed them in advance of them being published.
Today, they will continue their pattern of rejection and condemnation, while failing to bring forward any coherent plans of their own.
For today’s opposition, housing is a problem to be exploited for political gain.
For this Government and for me, it is a social crisis that we will do everything within our financial and political power to solve, for the benefit of the families and individuals that need a home.
We have a lot of work to do, but real, sustained and significant progress is being made.
The additional tools being introduced today will help us build upon and accelerate that progress.
Go raibh maith agaibh.