Sunday 11 December 2016

Emergency powers to slash delays in housing crisis

Published 17/05/2016 | 02:30

Housing Minister Simon Coveney is planning to introduce emergency legislation to allow city and county managers fast-track the planning process for social-housing projects
Housing Minister Simon Coveney is planning to introduce emergency legislation to allow city and county managers fast-track the planning process for social-housing projects

Housing Minister Simon Coveney is planning to introduce emergency legislation to allow city and county managers fast-track the planning process for social-housing projects.

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In an interview with the Irish Independent, the minister said he was planning new rules to reduce the public consultation period from eight weeks to four and empower managers to give the green light to projects without seeking approval from councillors.

Mr Coveney also plans to deliver 1,000 modular homes – double the current target.

He said he did not expect to see an increase in the number of houses and apartments being completed this year, despite the fact that the number being delivered is well below what is needed to meet demand.

His comments came after one of the country’s biggest landlords warned that apartment rents around the capital were approaching the limit of what people could afford.

IRES Reit chief executive David Ehrlich said that rents were now “touching the limits of sustainability”, with average rents above €1,460 per month across the capital and €1,000 nationally.

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