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Sasko Lazarov/
essential service

Housing minister says construction sector is set to reopen on 5 March

The minister said the building of homes is an “essential service”.

HOUSING MINISTER DARRAGH O’Brien has confirmed that the Government is working on plans to allow the construction sector to re-open on 5 March. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, O’Brien said that the current shutdown is drastically affecting the number of new homes being built across Ireland. 

O’Brien said he viewed the construction of new homes as an “essential service”. He said that there is a loss of between 700 and 800 new homes every week the sector is shut. 

“We are working towards March 5, in terms of the opening up of the construction site sector, as it can be done safely. The provision of homes and housing is crucially important, essential, in my view,” he said.

“The reason that the sector was closed was nothing to do with their own work practices. It was simply to reduce the movement of people. 

“So they’ve been able to operate safely. They’ve shown that and I’m more than confident that we will be able to have the sector fully open and open again on 5 March.”

O’Brien was speaking after he announced that three Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) had received approval for the State’s first cost rental scheme, delivering 390 homes.

These homes will be available to rent for 25% below the open market value. 

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