CIH Ireland welcomes ambitious housing plan
Commenting on the government’s action plan for housing and homelessness Rebuilding Ireland announced today, Nicola McCrudden, CIH Ireland director, said: “Homelessness and the lack of new housing symbolise the current housing crisis. We welcome Rebuilding Ireland as a considered and comprehensive response, and we urge all housing and support providers to back and deliver the plan.
“It is pleasing to see that the plan isn’t just about bricks and mortar but is also about people. It covers new ways to increase supply but also focuses on keeping people in their current homes and helping those who are homeless. Initiatives such as ending the use of hotels, extending the housing first service and introducing a National Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service will have immediate impact on people’s lives.”
Nicola McCrudden said: “Approved housing bodies (AHBs) have found it difficult to access affordable finance. This plan builds on the government’s return to capital subsidy by providing additional funding to AHBs, and committing to a new innovation fund. This could help AHBs get more homes on the ground for vulnerable people. The investment of £5.35 billion for 47,000 homes by 2021 demonstrates the government’s support for social housing.
"There will be capacity issues, both for housing bodies and the construction sector. These must be overcome if the new targets are to be achieved – this could mean a mix of capacity building in the local market and opportunities for providers in other countries.
“Ultimately, the success of the plan will be measured by the number of new homes built. The yearly target has been doubled to 25,000 which will be a challenging number to achieve. Significant input from the private sector is required at a time when access to mortgage finance is a problem for many – particularly first time buyers – which in turn places pressure on the rental market.
“The level of ambition in the plan is welcome as much as is needed, if we are serious about tackling the current housing crisis. But we must make sure that the level of delivery matches the level of ambition.”
Ms McCrudden added: “We welcome that publicly-held land is to play a greater role in development, and be used to create mixed tenure schemes. This will mean more homes on the ground while at the same time reducing the problems of income based segregation and associated stigma that influences public attitudes to development of social housing.
She added: “Making best use of existing stock is another important way of enhancing housing supply. This is where housing professionals make a real difference as better management of social housing leads to fewer empty homes, happier tenants and sustainable communities.
“There is still some detail to be worked out but the housing and homelessness action plan is well thought out and backed by robust oversight arrangements to make sure it happens.”
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on +44 (0)28 9077 8222, +44 (0)7824 304 351 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org