Increase in social housing investment important but urgent delivery needed
Tuesday 13th October 2015: The Government has missed an opportunity to fix the ‘broken’ housing sector in Budget 2016 according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.
The Society said the lack of direct measures to improve the commercial viability of new home building and increase the supply of housing was deeply disappointing.
The SCSI had advocated a suite of short and longer term measures to kick start housing supply including a reduction in development levies and VAT as well as the creation of a new Housing Agency to assume responsibility for the sector.
Andrew Nugent, President of SCSI, said “The Government’s Housing Agency has already stated that we need 21,000 units per year and so far this year we have built just 7,000 units nationwide, many of which are once off homes.”
“The Minister has stated that NAMA will deliver 20,000 units over the next 5 years but we actually need that level of output each year. The lack of direct action will mean that more people will continue to struggle to afford to buy and rent property in a market constrained by severe shortages in supply.”
The SCSI said that the postponement of the Local Property Tax date until 2019 was welcomed and prudent.
Nugent also commented on measures relating to the land sector.
“The SCSI supports the measures announced by the Minister to improve the transfer of property between parents and their children by increasing the CAT threshold, increasing land mobility and encouraging more young farmers to enter the agricultural sector where the age profile of farmers is very high” Nugent said.
Commenting on the increase in social housing investment, he said that while the modest increase in funding allocation was welcomed, the need for delivery of these units and allocation of the funding is now the priority to meet the needs of the estimated 90,000 people in need of social housing support.