Budget 2018 expected to help Louth County Council deliver on housing

Fine Gael's Peter Fitzpatrick comments on measures announced in Budget

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Budget 2018 expected to help Louth County Council deliver on housing

Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick believes Budget 2018 measures will help Louth County Council deliver on housing

Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick believes measures taken in Budget 2018 will help Louth County Council deliver on housing.

Commenting on the measures, Deputy Fitzpatrick said, “Every working day of the week next year, 98 households will have their housing needs met.That’s good news for families here in Louth who will have a solution to their housing needs."

The Louth Deputy went on to say:

“Budget 2018 will see a total funding provision of €1.9 billion, which represents an increase of 46% on 2017. A large element of this funding (€1.14 billion) is for the delivery of almost 5,900 social homes through a range of construction and acquisition programmes.

“The balance of the funding will be used to add additional tenancies, and maintain existing ones. This will be done by funding the existing Rental Accommodation Scheme and the Housing Assistance Payment.

Louth County Council has the funding available to increase the housing supply here in Louth.

“To further increase supply the Minister announced the establishment of Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI). He has allocated €750 million of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund available for commercial investment in housing finance. 

“HBFI will increase the availability of debt funding on market terms to commercially viable residential development projects whose land owners want to build homes, by making finance available at a lower rate.

“To get up and running quickly, HBFI will draw on the extensive skill and expertise in residential development funding that currently resides in NAMA,” Deputy said.

“The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and NAMA are already supporting the commercial delivery of 30,000 houses and apartments over the period to 2021 and these additional funds have the potential to fund the construction of an additional 6,000 homes.

“The real way to tackle homelessness and to make housing more affordable for everyone is to increase housing supply. This budget will see an increase in funding for Homeless Services a further €18 million to over €116 million to ensure that emergency accommodation and other supports are available to those who need them. 

“An increase of €31 million has been allocated to the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme bringing the total to €115 million. This will deliver an extra 4,000 social housing homes next year.

“The Housing Assistance Payment Scheme will be increased by €149 million in 2018, enabling an additional 17,000 households to be supported and accommodated in 2018 while we steadily increase our housing supply.

“Changes to the vacant site levy will mean developers need to get on with the task of developing lands urgently or risk seeing the levy they pay on their undeveloped sites increase dramatically.

“This will stop the hoarding of development land here in Louth” the Fine Gael TD said.

“The message from Government to vacant site owners is clear – to have the levy lifted, they need to get on with developing your lands urgently.

“Fine Gael is determined that everyone has an opportunity to a home of their own, that’s why we’re committed to creating a functioning housing market, unlike the boom and bust that we have witnessed in the past.

“We are committed and determined to a long term, sustainable housing model that provides security for tenants,” Deputy Fitzpatrick concluded.