We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Units in Finglas.

Government provided just 20% of its planned target of rapid-build houses by the end of last year

The government’s 2017 Rebuilding Ireland progress report was released this week.

THE GOVERNMENT FAILED to meet one if its key targets for addressing homelessness last year.

At the end of 2017, 1,000 new rapid-build homes were due to have been completed in Ireland.

The government’s 2017 Rebuilding Ireland progress report – released this week – found that just 208 had been delivered by this time – almost 800 below target.

The idea was first floated as a possible solution to the housing crisis in September 2015 , when the previous government announced it would be investing in 500 new modular housing units.

This plan was expanded on with the launch of Rebuilding Ireland – the government’s Housing Action Plan – in July 2016.

The plan contained a commitment to deliver 1,500 of this rapid-build homes by the end of 2018. The units were to be specifically earmarked for homeless families who were living hotels, “while more permanent tenancies are secured”.

By the end of 2016, 200 homes were to be delivered under this scheme (just 22 were by that time period).

By the end of last year, a further 800 units were due to be delivered (just 186 were).

Delays in delivery have dogged the progress of the rapid-build homes from the start.

The Housing Department confirmed that 208 units had been delivered up to the end of 2017 across seven schemes in the greater Dublin area.

These included units in Ballymun, Finglas and Drimnagh

As well as this, the department confirmed that an additional 20 rapid delivery schemes set to provide more than 470 homes were at various stages of advancement.

The department said that the “vast majority” of these were due to be delivered this year.

It also said that more units were being added to the pipeline on a weekly basis.

Commenting on the figures, Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said that the department needed to stop referring to the housing units as “rapid”.

“[The minister] needs to stop calling them rapid because they’re not,” Ó Broin said.

21 one months is the quickest they can deliver those units. You can’t call a 21 month turnaround period rapid.

Ó Broin said that the rapid builds were dogged with delays around tendering and procurement.

“We think there’s no problem using timber and steel frame technology to build if that allows you to be build a bit quicker,” he said.

The problem is the long bureaucratic process for approval.

Ó Broin said that strict rules around department approval needed to be relaxed so that builds could be sped up.

Rebuilding Ireland report

The 2017 report found that good action had been made on a lot of the other targets in Rebuilding Ireland.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy expanded on these last week at the launch of the government’s housing report for 2017.

Overall, the department said that it exceeded its social housing delivery targets by over 20%.

The department said that 25,892 households had their social housing needs met last year.

This is 23% above the target of 21,050 that is set out in Rebuilding Ireland.

The vast majority (c. 76%) of the households were delivered through the private rental market – for example through the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), long-term leasing, and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

Read: Those who bought houses with major defects ‘should get a redress scheme’

Read: First-time buyers will be able to get government-backed mortgages

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel