Government's Action Plan On Housing A Prime Opportunity For Real Estate Development

Author:Mr Kevin Hoy, Rachel Carney, Jamie Fitzmaurice and Adam Hogg
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

Ireland needs more houses and apartments. Neither the private sector nor the public sector will fulfil the requirement on its own. The Government has set a target of 175,000 new housing units built by 2021. The aim is to achieve this ambitious goal through a combination of public sector house build, better use of existing resources, funding for relevant infrastructure and a more effective regulatory environment, with particular emphasis on large scale developments infrastructure and planning reform. We look at the potential opportunities that arise for real estate development on foot of these plans.

'Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness' sets out a number of detailed proposals aiming to:

address homelessness accelerate the social housing development process build more private homes improve the rental sector  make better use of existing housing stock These five targets will create opportunities for developers, builders, funders and investors.

Implementation of Action Plan

Building More Homes

The Government's goal is to have 125,000 private housing units built over the period 2017-2021, with 50,000 social housing units delivered within the same time period.  It proposes to do so by:

opening up land supply and low-cost state lands establishing a Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) providing financing through the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) for large-scale "on-site" infrastructure reforming planning laws and processes providing a €5.35 billion investment for social housing builds lowering housing delivery costs through efficient design and delivery methods supporting construction innovation and skills Planning and Funding

The Action Plan proposes planning law reforms to enable planning applications for 100-plus units to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála and by-pass the local authority. This should fast-track large scale developments and assist developers in providing housing in a rapid manner to meet demand. The Action Plan is ambitious and will need significant resources to implement. If successful, it would mean a planning decision could be achieved within a maximum of 18 weeks, compared to 18 months or more.

The200 million Housing Activation Fund will provide for a publicly sourced financial allowance to housing providers willing to build on particular strategic sites. This aims to significantly increase investment where infrastructural investment is needed in...

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