‘Housing for All’ is Falling Short
The latest housing figures are in for Q2 2022 and the picture is looking mixed. While overall production is on track to meet the yearly targets, social housing figures are failing short. With social housing a key component of the Irish government’s Housing for All strategy, the ongoing supply crisis is likely to continue.
The Housing for All plan
Introduced in 2021, the Housing for All plan was introduced by Minister Darragh O’Brien as the “largest state building programme in our history”.
The plan promises to bring 312,750 homes to Ireland by the end of 2030. The ambitious project is in response to the growing housing crisis in Ireland with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) estimating 33,000 new homes a year are now needed. Housing for All aims to overshoot this and ramp up production to 33,450 by 2024 and 40,500 by 2030.
Of the 312,750 planned homes, 90,000 are due to be social housing let put by local authorities and housing charities. A further 53,800 will be low-cost, affordable housing with the rest privately owned and rented.
Housing figures falling short
- All housing: 24,929
- Apartment: 7,625
- Scheme housing: 12,615
- Single housing: 5,049
Breaking down the figures from Q2 2022 (updated September 23, 2022), overall housing production has already met the yearly target of 24,600, with all housing now sitting at 24,929.
Under scrutiny are the government’s social housing goals. As it stands, construction of new social properties is failing to meet the yearly targets. Ministers have also been told that the Housing for All scheme will fail to deliver the number of affordable housing properties too.
With the government’s social and affordable housing “not currently on track”, scheme housing has produced just 12,615 properties in 2022 thus far. While this is a 6.6 percent year-on-year increase from 2021’s Q2 figure, it is below what is considered necessary to address the housing supply shortage.
Single home figures are down year-on-year by -1.6%. By Q2 2022, only 5049 single home properties have been constructed.
- Total units: 44,715
- Private flats/apartments: 25,752
- Multi-dev houses: 10,990
- One off houses: 7,973
Updated permission figures from Q2 (September 9, 2022) show permissions are up 11.4 percent year-on-year with 44,715 units approved. This is an improvement over Q2 2021 which saw a decline in permissions by -4.6 YoY.
Of these 44,715 units, apartments accounted for 60 percent of all dwellings approved. Housing made up the remaining 40 percent.
There was also a significant uptick in multi-development houses receiving planning permission, with 28 percent more projects approved.
Delays, shortages, and pressures
As well as missing key housing targets, the Housing for All scheme has been criticised for not meeting homeless health model deadlines.
This model is expected to give local authorities the powers necessary to incentivize the conversion of vacant properties into residential dwellings.
Delays have meant outlining guidelines regarding issues such as community introduction are still forthcoming. Other issues include material shortages and inflationary pressures largely attributed to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Housing for All not on track
To improve the development speed of social housing, Cabinet Committee suggestions include introducing “discrete timelines” to introduce further, unimplemented measures.
Amongst these include incentivising older people in large social housing properties to downsize.
The lack of progress in social housing production is now beginning to hit crisis point with homelessness hitting record numbers in 2022. There are now 10,568 persons, including children, now without a home.
The need to house 45,000+ Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war in Eastern Europe is also putting pressure on the government.
To date, the Housing for All initiative is ultimately failing to scale up where it matters most.
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