• Capital funding being provided for housing in 2024 at a record €5 billion
  • Significant funding for Local Authorities, Water, Planning and Heritage

The Government’s significant investment in Housing, Local Government and Heritage was reaffirmed today [10th October] as Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell TD, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, unveiled a budget package for 2024 of €6.94bn.

Reflecting the importance placed on Housing for All, the Government’s national strategy, there will be a record €5.1bn capital investment in housing in 2024 – made up of €2.6bn exchequer, €978m Land Development Agency (LDA) and €1.5bn Housing Finance Agency (HFA) funding.

The Minister for Housing also informed Cabinet colleagues today of his intention to seek Cabinet approval for an additional €6.75bn in funding for the LDA and the HFA.

This is part of Ireland’s long term investment in future housing need.

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage unprecedented budget package of near €7bn announced 1
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Minister O’Brien emphasised that Housing for All is taking hold, with record commencements, completions and first time buyer purchases seen across 2023 – and that this year’s Budget will help add to the momentum created over the last two years.

Minister O’Brien said:

The capital funding being provided for housing in 2024, coupled with LDA and HFA investment, stands at a record €5bn – the highest ever in the history of the State. This funding will ensure we can continue to deliver new affordable homes for purchase and rent at pace.

More than €760 million in direct affordability and home ownership funding will support the initiatives we have put in place such as Cost Rental, the First Home Scheme, the Affordable Housing Fund, the Secure Tenancy Affordable Rental investment scheme and the Help-to-Buy initiative. I am very glad to see that my colleague the Minister for Finance has extended the Help-to-Buy to the end of 2025 and made some technical amendments ensuring its optimal interaction with local authority affordable purchase schemes.

Our focus for capital investment in social housing will be on new build – with the funding we have received supporting the delivery of 9,300 new build social homes in 2024. I’m pleased to be in a position to announce the increase of the single stage approval process threshold from €6m to €8 million meaning our local authorities will have greater autonomy in constructing social housing developments. Social homes will also be delivered through a continuation of the successful Tenant in Situ scheme.

The Minister for Finance has announced an increase in the Renters Tax Credit to €750 and the introduction of significant changes to the tax treatment of landlords. This is something I have advocated for and I believe is crucial as we scale up the supply of homes all across the country.

Up to 10,200 new households will have their housing needs met under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), as well as continuing support for over 74,000 existing tenancies under these schemes. HAP and RAS are vital, direct, supports for households. We are reducing our reliance on such schemes and since 2020 over 14,000 individuals and families exited from HAP to social housing provided by local authorities and AHBs.

Those without a home remain the top priority for this Government and for next year, I will be making funding of €242 million available for the delivery of homeless services to ensure that local authorities can provide emergency accommodation and others services to households experiencing homelessness , and – crucially – that households at risk of homelessness are prevented from entering into emergency accommodation and those in emergency accommodation are supported to exit into secure tenancies as quickly as possible.

This will be kept under continual review in 2024 with a commitment to respond to any arising challenges and provide any necessary funding required.

An acquisition fund of €35 million, administered by the Housing Agency, will be used for Housing First acquisitions. Housing First is an internationally recognised, evidence-based model for individuals who are long-term homeless with complex needs. In practice, it means permanent homes for individuals who have complex lives, without any preconditions around sobriety or mental health treatment, and then providing them with a range of wrap-around supports to help them maintain their tenancy. It’s a crucial scheme in our efforts to help those who have been entrenched in homelessness.

Our efforts to tackle vacancy and dereliction will continue unabated with the Croí Conaithe fund increased substantially for 2024 which provides the funding for the Vacant and Derelict Property Refurbishment Grant and the Ready to Build Scheme. This ‘carrot’ approach will be carefully balanced with the ‘stick’ approach of the Vacant Property Tax which has been increased to five times the Local Property Tax (LPT).

The LDA and HFA are crucial to our Housing for All plans and I will be seeking Cabinet approval in the coming weeks to capitalise the LDA to the tune of €6bn and increase the HFA borrowing limit from €10bn to €12bn as part of Ireland’s long term investment plans. The HFA increase in particular will support our AHB delivery partners to continue delivering Cost Rental and social housing at scale.

Next year, we have the funding and focus to ensure that more homes will be built across the State for those who are looking to buy but we also have a Budget that will allow us to help the most vulnerable and assist those who need help the most.

 

Other key highlights of today’s Budget announcement for housing include:

Funding of €1.86bn available to support the delivery of social homes by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies under the Local Authority Housing, Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) and Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) budgets.

• An allocation of €525 million for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) will enable 8,800 new households to be supported in a tenancy in 2024 as well as continuing to support almost 58,000 households in tenancies at the end of 2023.

• Funding of €111 million for the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) will support a further 1,400 households in 2024, along with the ongoing cost of supporting over 16,000 households already in the scheme.

• €75 million will fund more than 13,000 grants to adapt the homes of older people and people with a disability. A further €25 million will support adaptation works to 1,800 existing social homes.

• €90 million for the Energy Efficiency Social Housing Retrofit Programme.

• Funding of €70 million will be made available in 2024 for those impacted by construction defects. Details on emergency interim funding measures for those impacted by apartment defects will be available from November.

• An allocation of €50 million is provided for the National Regeneration Programme which will benefit some of the most economically disadvantaged communities.

• €21 million is provided to deliver Traveller-Specific Accommodation for members of the Traveller community.

• €31 million will support the continued transition to a strategic planned maintenance programme for local authority social housing and the remediation of over 2,000 void units for re-letting to households on housing waiting lists.

• €50 million is being provided for the Croí Cónaithe Fund, an increase of 66% from 2023, including the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) element which supports the building of apartments for sale to owner-occupiers by activating planning permissions already in place for such homes and the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) element which supports the refurbishment of vacant properties in cities, towns and rural areas.

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