Tuesday 16 January 2018

Breaking: Government's €151m plan to provide 1,200 social housing units


Paul Healy

THE GOVERNMENT is set to announce an ambitious €151m plan to provide up to 1,200 social housing units across the country.

Ministers have allocated funding to Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to construct 517 new homes, at a cost of €84m, and for the purchase of a further 536 housing units costing €67m.

The investment, which comes to more than €151 million, will be given to AHBs to assist those with specific needs such as elderly people, persons with intellectual or physical disability and homeless persons. 

The newly acquired units will come on stream for people with housing need this year while the newly constructed units will be completed by 2017.

The projects all form part of the Department of Environment’s Capital Assistance Scheme.

The scheme seeks local authorities to prioritise proposals for people with special housing needs in co-operation with an approved housing body.

The majority of acquisition proposals are scheduled to be delivered in the short term, with work required in some cases to customise special needs housing.

Larger scale construction proposals are to be completed by 2017.

The Department of the Environment says that the investment “is a strong commitment to meeting special housing needs for those who may require particular supports, including the elderly, persons with an intellectual or physical disability and homeless persons.”

The investment is part of the further Government’s overall €4billion social housing strategy to deliver 35,000 housing units out to 2020.

The announcement comes on the back of the plans mad public  by the government  in May of increased funding for local authorities to undertake adaptations to houses to support people with a disability and the elderly.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly says that the investment “will have a short term impact with over 500 homes being purchased and with another 517 being built.”

“In May I announced the first major investment in local authority housing for many years, with 100 new construction projects approved that will deliver over 1,700 new housing units over a three year period.

“ I said at that time that this represented a good start but more would be needed. 

“It’s significant, therefore, that we are now announcing a major delivery programme for the Approved Housing Body sector, with over 1,000 new social housing units to cater in particular for the elderly, persons with a disability and homeless persons,” he said.

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