Government reveals €5.5 bn social housing plan. 

The government is to spend over €5 billion on the development of social housing during the next five years, it has been announced.

Details of the government’s new housing plan were announced by an Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Housing Minister Simon Coveney on Tuesday.

‘Rebuild Ireland’ is a new government initiative which seeks to address the country’s growing housing and homelessness crisis. The 114-page document describing the plan outlines its aims to provide 47,000 new social houses over the next six years, as well as increase the supply of all types of housing.

The goals of the Rebuild Ireland action plan, as stated in the plan itself, are :

Address Homelessness
Provide early solutions to address the unacceptable level of families in emergency accommodation; deliver inter-agency supports for people who are currently homeless, with a particular emphasis on minimising the incidence of rough sleeping, and enhance State supports to keep people in their own homes.

Accelerate Social Housing
Increase the level and speed of delivery of social housing and other State supported housing.

Build More Homes
Increase the output of private housing to meet demand at affordable prices.

Improve the Rental Sector
Address the obstacles to greater private rented sector delivery, to improve the supply of units at affordable rents.

Utilise Existing Housing
Ensure that existing housing stock is used to the maximum degree possible – focusing on measures to use vacant stock to renew urban and rural areas.

The government has also pledged to ensure that hotels are only being used to house homeless families in cases of emergency by 2017.

Launching the Action Plan on Tuesday, the Taoiseach said: “In forming the current Government, I was determined that the housing challenge was going to be addressed fully and finally which is why it was positioned as a key objective in the Programme for a Partnership Government. The publication of this Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, well within the timeframe of 100 days set out in the Government Programme, underpins our commitment to end the housing shortage and to tackle homelessness.

This is a cross-Government plan, which also stretches beyond into the local government and voluntary sectors. I am committed to ensuring that it results in us achieving our critical national ambition of ensuring that all our people have access to quality and affordable housing, either through their own endeavours or with the support of the State. “

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