SOCIAL HOUSING

Murphy sets 1,074 new build social housing target for Louth

Projects are ongoing at Mounthamilton, Muirhevnamor, Saltown, Clos Na Manach, Barrack Street and more

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Murphy sets 1,074 new build social housing target for Louth

Louth County Council aim to deliver social housing units comprising of new and redeveloped builds

The Government have set a target to provide 1,074 brand new social houses in County Louth over the next four years - through new builds, acquisitions and leasing.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy released the Quarter 4 2017 Social Housing Construction Projects Status Report today, which sets out the progress made to date in advancing the construction pipeline, as well as social housing delivery targets for local authorities for 2018-2021. 

According to the report, 1,074 new social houses will be provided in Louth in that time period. It says that the target is to provide 306 of those homes in 2018, with 225 them as part of new build projects. 

The complete target for 2018 is 825 - if you include all new builds, acquisitions, leases and social houses provided via Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accomodation Schemes. 

The projected figure for 2018 would be significantly down on last year when Louth County Council provided 1,115 social houses - according to the new figures - of which 946 were through HAP or RAS initiatives. 

According to the latest available figures from the local authority itself, it aims to provide 208 social housing units this year - 42 of which they have already provided. 34 of these have been via the Approved Housing Body Capital Advance Loan Fund, while three are with help from the Mortage to Rent scheme and five are Buy 7 Renew properties. 

Work is currently ongoing on a 43 home development at Mounthamilton in Dundalk while 41 homes are scheduled to be delivered in Clontygora, Muirhevnamor with other projects are various stages including Saltown, Clos Na Manach, Barrack Street, Haggardstown and Mount Avenue. 

106 social houses are to be delivered in Ardee at the Castle guard development, with work set to begin on 80 new homes in Dunleer later this year. 

Speaking on Thursday, Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick said, "In the latter part of 2017, Minister Murphy secured significant additional funding to increase the overall level of ambition under Rebuilding Ireland in the period to 2021, and also signalled a rebalancing of the strands of delivery towards construction projects.

"Overall, the Government has now committed €6 billion to support the accelerated delivery of 50,000
additional social housing homes by end 2021, through build (33,500), acquisition (6,500) and leasing
(10,000) programmes."

His party colleague Fergus O'Dowd also welcomed the announcement and praised Louth County Council's work on tackling the social housing crisis. 

"I have consistently called for the government to increase their ability to pursue the tens of thousands of vacant homes through out the country by introducing a vacant homes tax."

"Louth County Council have led the way in terms of actively pursuing vacant homes and it is making a difference to their levels of stock. More local authorities throughout the country need to follow suit and target higher levels of Compulsory Purchases on vacant properties."

Peter Fitzpatrick, Eoghan Murphy and Fergus O'Dowd have all reacted to the announcement of the delivery targets for social housing nationwide and in Louth.