Housing for All has delivered for Carlow over last 12 months
· A range of measures delivered in plan’s first year, including investment in social housing; measures aimed at addressing viability and activating the delivery of new homes; additional supports for renters; measures to enhance construction sector; planning and land management reforms
· Measures aimed at bringing vacant and derelict homes back into use also introduced
One year on from its introduction, I'm marking the first 12 months of the Government’s ambitious Housing for All plan and the progress made in delivering housing for Carlow-Kilkenny.
When we launched Housing for All our aim was that everyone should have access to a home to purchase or rent at an affordable price, built to a high standard and in the right place. We backed that with a guaranteed over €4 billion a year in housing investment and a series of actions to deliver 300,000 new homes by 2030, including 90,000 social homes and 54,000 affordable homes. While there’s a lot of work still to do, we can see already, after the first 12 months that the plan is working in Carlow-Kilkenny and across the country. Carlow
Among the measures and impacts in Carlow arising from Housing for All are:
o 248 new homes built in Carlow in the 12 months to end of June 2022 (a 2.5% increase on the previous 12 months)
o Commencement Notices for 240 homes were received in Carlow in the 12 months to the end of July 2022 (a 21% increase on the previous 12 months)
o Planning permissions for 259 homes in Carlow to the end of Q1 2022 (a 34.2% increase on the previous 12 months)
o Approval for five new posts in Carlow County Council for local authority housing delivery
o Introduction of exemption from planning permission requirements for converting vacant Carlow pubs into homes. The existing exemptions to converting vacant commercial premises into homes in Carlow have been extended. Since 2018, 25 residential units have been provided in county Carlow through 12 notifications of exempted developments.
o In 2021 the Government provided €30.5m in total funding for housing to Carlow County Council. 240 social homes were delivered.
o There was a 36% reduction in the number of households on the social housing waiting list in Carlow at the end of 2021 compared to the first annual assessment conducted in September 2016. Kilkenny Among the measures and impacts in Kilkenny arising from Housing for All are:
o 363 new homes built in Kilkenny in the 12 months to end of June 2022
o Commencement Notices for 380 homes were received in Kilkenny in the 12 months to the end of July 2022
o Planning permissions for 1,285 homes in Kilkenny to the end of Q1 2022 (a 136.6% increase on the previous 12 months)
o Approval for six new posts in Kilkenny County Council for local authority housing delivery
o Introduction of exemption from planning permission requirements for converting vacant Kilkenny pubs into homes. The existing exemptions to converting vacant commercial premises into homes in Kilkenny have been extended. Between 2018 and 2021, 17 residential units were provided in County Kilkenny with 12 notifications of exempted developments received.
o In 2021 the Government provided €44m in total funding for housing to Kilkenny County Council.
o In 2021, 226 social homes were delivered.
o There was a 62% reduction in the number of households on the social housing waiting list in Kilkenny at the end of 2021 compared to the first annual assessment conducted in September 2016.
Other key measures delivered through Housing for All that benefit the people of Carlow-Kilkenny include:
o A new expanded Local authority Home Loan
o Launch of the First Home Scheme
o Significant funding made available by Government to assist local authority affordable housing delivery, for purchase and rent, through the Affordable Housing Fund
o A revised cap on any rent increases and legislation on tenancies of unlimited duration
o Introduction of a Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant (through Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund) to incentivise the refurbishment of vacant homes in Carlow
o Fair Deal Scheme reforms and Town Centre First policy to reduce vacancy
o New National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability
o Reformed planning process for large-scale developments in Carlow and elsewhere – greater certainty, clarity and public participation
o Tax to activate vacant land zoned for housing, commencing in 2024.
o Measures to increase construction sector capacity in Carlow-Kilkenny, including greater investment to increase the availability of apprenticeships and training, international recruitment initiatives and the new 'Future Building' initiative to spearhead activation and recruitment for the sector
o A number of significant measures to accelerate research and innovation in the sector, including Enterprise Ireland's new Built to Innovate Fund, a €5m investment for the establishment of a new Construction Technology Centre, and the turning the sod on a new Modern Methods of Construction Demonstration Park.
o A new design manual and streamlined processes for the procurement of social housing for Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council
Both Councils are playing a central role in delivering housing in the constituency. Over the past 12 months the Government has provided resources and funding to the council to help it deliver for people in Carlow-Kilkenny. We’ve recently issued guidelines to Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council on the making of their county development plan to ensure it takes into account projected housing need so that sufficient new homes can be built in key areas of housing demand. We have also streamlined the processes for the procurement of social housing.
Compact growth has to be at the heart of housing provision and planning. Higher population densities will have upshots such as minimal transport demand and shorter travel distances. Since Housing for All was launched, we have made progress in developing legislation to introduce Land Value Sharing and a new concept, Urban Development Zones. These are key reforms in land management and planning, which will result in compact growth and curbs on land speculation.