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Housing for All - a multi-annual, multi-billion euro plan for Ireland – one year on

One year on from its introduction, the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, has said that while the Government recognises that there are still significant challenges to be overcome, the Housing for All plan is delivering for the Irish people through increased housing supply; a range of affordable purchase and rental measures; new initiatives to tackle homelessness; and ongoing, long-term reforms of the housing and planning systems. 

Commenting on a year of delivering Housing for All, the Taoiseach said:


“Increasing housing supply and delivering sustainable, affordable homes for people is the Government’s top priority.


“A year ago, we produced an ambitious multi-annual, multi-billion plan that is now delivering.


“It’s a plan with real ambition, guaranteed investment and fresh ideas to deliver housing for real people and create a long-term sustainable housing system. Guaranteed State investment of over €4 billion a year in housing is aimed at increasing supply, which in turn will help increase access to affordable housing to buy or rent.”


“Housing supply is increasing, despite unprecedented challenges. Having a stable plan that can respond to these challenges is more important than ever and I look forward to working with colleagues across Government to produce an updated Action Plan in the autumn.”


Since the middle of 2021, over 54,000 new homes have been either built (24,916) or commenced (29,343). Last year, 9,183 social homes were provided. 


This increase in supply will be key to meeting demand, moderating price inflation, and addressing affordability for those wishing to rent or buy their own home.

Among the main measures delivered since Housing for All was launched are:


  • A Government budget of €4bn for investment in housing in 2022, with a further €4bn committed for 2023. The 2022 budget is an increase of 20% on 2021.
  • The introduction of four affordable purchase initiatives: First Home scheme; a local authority-provided Affordable Purchase scheme; a revised Local Authority Home Loan scheme; the Project Tosaigh scheme by the Land Development Agency
  • A new Croí Cónaithe (Cities) Fund to address the current viability challenges and activate housing supply at density in city centres through the delivery of 5,000 apartments. 
  • The rollout of Cost Rental, a new form of State-backed secure, long-term rental tenure through which rents are aimed at a minimum of 25% below open market rates
  • Significant funding has been made available by Government to assist local authority affordable housing delivery, for purchase and rent, through the Affordable Housing Fund (AHF). To date, more than 1,000 local authority affordable purchase homes have been approved for funding under the AHF.
  • Further protections for renters including legislation enacted last year that caps any rent increases in a Rent Pressure Zone at 2% per annum pro rata when the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is higher 
  • To reduce current cost pressures in construction and increase standardisation, the Government and the Construction Sector Group have commissioned a study on the cost of construction.
  • The Government also implemented the Inflation Co-Operation Framework, which sees the State bearing up to 70% of the additional inflationary costs on public works contracts. 
  • Legislative underpinning to a new requirement that residential houses be ring-fenced for individual buyers – almost 16,000 units restricted to single purchasers or social and affordable housing by mid-May as a result of restrictions on permissions, with legislative provision incorporated in housing strategies and development plans going forward.
  • To increase supply, legislation introducing a Residential Zoned Land Tax (commencing in 2024 following publication of maps showing land in scope). Coupled with legislation being developed to introduce Land Value Sharing and Urban Development Zones, these reforms will help (1) activate vacant land zoned and serviced for housing (2) reduce land hoarding that drives up the value of land and cost of housing and (3) ensure greater community gain from land value increases. Community gain will secured through a proportion of the uplift in land values for the provision of infrastructure to support development and, where appropriate, social and affordable housing.
  • To tackle vacancy, the Croí Conaithe Towns and Villages scheme provides a new Vacant Properties Refurbishment Grant; a new Town Centre First policy and changes to the Fair Deal Scheme to remove disincentives to renting or selling vacant property
  • Measures to increase construction sector capacity, 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. One of the five overarching objectives of the Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025 is ‘Apprenticeship for All’, ensuring that the profile of the apprenticeship population more closely reflects the profile of the general population. Female representation in craft apprenticeship has doubled in the last 2-3 years and participation in industry areas such as manufacturing and engineering is also increasing. Women also feature more strongly in the new apprenticeships, such as the hospitality, healthcare, property, sales, biopharma, and ICT sectors.  
  • 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. A key action in Housing for All is the development of sustainable innovation in the residential construction sector. The creation of the Demonstration Park at Mount Lucas will illustrate Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in response to this. This expansion and new National Demonstration Park for MMC will focus on increasing specialised training capacity and allow us to better respond to skills gaps in the construction sector. 
  • More resources have been provided to local authorities to deliver social and affordable housing, including sanction for additional housing posts; the streamlining of pre-construction procurement and delivery of social housing (including the de-risking of potential delays) by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies; the issuing of guidelines to improve the design and delivery of housing, and ensure the delivery of social and affordable housing is based on need and demand.
  • Enactment of the Regulation of Providers of Building Works Act to provide a statutory register for builders


While global and external challenges have emerged since the Plan was published, the Government remains focused on achieving its targets. As committed to last year, when Housing for All was launched, the Government will review and update the actions in the plan. The updated actions will be contained in the next quarterly report, to be published in the autumn. This will allow us to respond to these challenges and redouble our focus on prioritising measures to activate and accelerate the delivery of housing supply.

Commenting on his department’s work in fostering innovation in the sector the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD, said:


“This Government believes in home ownership. Our absolute focus is on increasing the supply of new homes, as quickly as possible so this generation has the opportunity to buy or rent at more affordable prices. While we have a lot more to do, we have made some significant progress. I will continue to help the construction industry to accelerate building, looking at ways we can encourage innovation, productivity and efficiencies to get new homes built quicker and to the highest standard.”


The Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, commented on progress made in putting sustainability at the heart of housing:


“Compact growth has to be at the heart of housing provision and planning. With higher population densities we can have cities, towns and suburbs where people can get to their work, shops, schools and other services easily and with 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 better designed and more people-friendly new towns and, importantly, will help curb land speculation.”


The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, emphasised the supports for home ownership in the strategy, saying:


“Increasing homeownership has been central to the Government’s first year of implementing Housing for All. Over the last 12 months I’ve introduced three schemes – the First Home scheme, local authority-provided Affordable Purchase Scheme and a revised Local Authority Home Loan – to support the purchase of affordable homes. I’ve also delivered the rollout of Cost Rental, with homes now tenanted which are approximately 30% to 50% below the local market rent.  The latest First Home figures show very encouraging interest in a scheme that will support thousands of first-time buyers over its lifetime.”


Illustrating the latter point, Minister O’Brien today shared the latest statistics showing the interest in the Government’s new First Home scheme. In the weeks since the scheme was launched on July 7th: 

  • Over 175,000 visits have been made to the website
  • 1,397 households so far have established accounts with a view to making applications
  • Almost 500 full applications were made to the scheme
  • 272 Eligibility Certificates have been issued to First Home applicants, equipping these households to purchase their first home

Commenting on the Government investment in housing, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, added:


“The revised €165 billion National Development Plan, published by the Government last year, sets out an ambitious roadmap to build critical infrastructure for a growing population throughout the country.  Housing forms a central part of the National Development Plan, reflecting the Government’s overarching priority to build more social and affordable homes for people to live in.  €4 billion of public money is being provided annually for the delivery of new homes, amounting to €20 billion by the end of 2025.  To safeguard projects falling under the Public Works Contract, we introduced an Inflation Co-operation Framework in acknowledgment of the large increases in energy and material prices facing the construction sector.  Much has been accomplished under the Housing for All plan in the past year with more homes being built, the first Cost Rental homes becoming available, and the launching of the First Home Scheme.  With Housing for All plan and the funding from the National Development Plan, the Government is committed to increasing home ownership and making housing more affordable for more people.”


The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD highlighted the link between his department’s work and increasing housing supply:


“Having an adequate amount of housing is critical to society and to Ireland’s reputation in the eyes of foreign director investors and employers, both domestic and international. In the Finance Act 2021, we introduced a Residential Zoned Land Tax that will help activate the supply of housing on land zoned for housing and which has benefitted from investment in services. The tax is an important measure that will ensure we provide more in the right locations supporting the compact growth agenda of the National Planning Framework and investment made through the National Development Plan. That is the aim of Housing for All.”


The Minister of Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, emphasised his Department’s work in increasing the availability of apprenticeships and training in the construction sector:


“To meet our housing targets, we need to increase our workforce. Last year, we saw a record increase in apprenticeship registrations and we are continuing to build on that success until we reach our goal of 10,000 new registrations every year. 

"We have announced €17million in funding to expand training infrastructure earlier and we are continuing to improve our facilities across the country. We are also continuing to work with jobseekers to offer them training in construction under our Future Building initiative.

"The workforce is growing and we will continue to grow it to meet our ambitious targets."


The Minister for Social Protection, Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, emphasised the plan’s role in revitalising rural Ireland:


“Earlier this year, I along with Government colleagues, launched Town Centre First Policy, which was clearly committed to in both Housing for All and Our Rural Future.

“The policy contains a broad range of actions that tackle vacancy, combat dereliction and breathe new life into our towns, making them more vibrant places to live, work and raise a family.  The implementation of the policy is supported by significant levels of funding from across Government, and will make a key contribution in supporting communities in revitalising towns and villages across Ireland.”


Housing for All quarterly reports can be found here.