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Housing for All Updates by Minister for Housing

Yesterday, 25.04.23 the Minister was invited to give an update on the Housing for All plan to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing


[Francis]: cost rental, there's been talk of a commitment to increase the threshold, can you speak to that?

[Minister]: At the moment, the 53,000 net cap is in place. We're working on a tiered arrangement within that and looking at potentially looking at regional prices within it because there are different rents in different parts of the country and different levels of income, too. But that is being worked on and we expect that will be advanced before the summer recess. And we've been engaged quite heavily with the approved housing budget sector, and the LDA there who've actually delivered the first Cost rental homes.

Interestingly, we're seeing local authorities tomorrow, actually in South Dublin will break ground and 134 new Cost rental units that have been delivered directly through South Dublin County Council. Local authorities can borrow at a rate that's less through the HFA than the AHB sector

There will be some structural changes to cost rental over the coming months to ensure its viability into the future.

[Francis]: Just on the cost rental, I know that the numbers are lower than what's projected, but that's [2,000 target] an average projection over 20 years. Do you have any insight from on the ground and within the department on the numbers that are escalating?

And I know we spoke to the department last week and they did say that they see them going well beyond what we got this year or last year. Will we surpass the 2000 units?

[Minister] I do believe in affordable we'll surpass what we did last year. We have a higher target of over 5000, as you know but we'll surpass delivery of what was delivered in 2022. We intend to surpass delivery on social housing output as well.

One thing I as well the purchase for tenant in situ, that Cost rental element to it is in place now. That's important that people know that and that's, as I said earlier on, being managed through the Housing Agency.

We have every intention to exceed what we delivered last year. We want more cost rental, that's why we need the Cost Rental viability measure and why we're looking at further changes to the Cost Rental Equity Loan.

[Francis]: One last question just in respect to the referendum right to housing, is that in our sights yet?

[Minister]: the Housing Commission due to report to us on that and I think this committee will play an important role in that. It's a commitment in the Programme for Government that we will have a referendum on housing as we will on water. I would say that I think there's about eight referendum planned by this government, the timing of which will be a matter for government itself to decide.

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