Friday 28 July 2017

Using State lands and cutting VAT on new homes will help address housing shortage

As Census 2016 shows the true depth and extent of a housing crisis which shows no sign of abating, Paul Melia sets out some possible solutions

'While the Government has reduced development levies, provided resources to planning departments to speed up processing of applications and increased funding to pay for infrastructure to help deliver homes, it’s clear that the pace of delivery is too slow. More could be done.' Stock Image
'While the Government has reduced development levies, provided resources to planning departments to speed up processing of applications and increased funding to pay for infrastructure to help deliver homes, it’s clear that the pace of delivery is too slow. More could be done.' Stock Image
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Two figures revealed in the Central Statistics Office's 'Housing in Ireland' report set out the profoundly dysfunctional nature of the housing market. The first is that 3,308 apartment blocks dotted across the country, capable of providing 11,680 homes, are completely vacant.

The second is that 10,000 vacant homes are within 1km of a town or urban area. Not up a mountain, or down an isolated boreen, but capable of providing homes close to existing communities and essential services.

The CSO also notes that just over 33,000 new homes were built since 2011. There is a discrepancy with official figures, which put new home completions at just over 55,000 in the same period. But the fact remains that whatever figure is used, the number of homes being built is way below the levels needed to meet demand.

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