06 Oct 2022

Significant increase in new housing builds in Limerick as Housing for All reaches major milestone

Housing Minister admits retirees may have to use pensions to pay rent in the future

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage I FILE PHOTO

MORE than 700 new homes were built across Limerick during the first year of the Housing for All initiative while work to build another 782 began.

Since the government plan was launched, a range of measures have been delivered including investment in social housing; measures aimed at addressing viability and activating the delivery of new homes; additional supports for renters; measures to enhance construction sector; planning and land management reforms

Measures aimed at bringing vacant and derelict homes back into use were also introduced and Limerick City and County Council has continued it programme of acquiring derelict and vacant properties.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the plan, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, said a lot has been achieved.

"When we launched Housing for All our aim was that everyone should have access to a home to purchase or rent at an affordable price, built to a high standard and in the right place. We backed that with a guaranteed over €4 billion a year in housing investment and a series of actions to deliver 300,000 new homes by 2030, including 90,000 social homes and 54,000 affordable homes. While there’s a lot of work still to do, we can see already, after the first 12 months that the plan is working in Limerick and across the country," he said.

According to the Department, 723 new homes were built in Limerick in the 12 months to end of June 2022 (a 23.6% increase on the previous 12 months); Commencement Notices for a further 782 homes were received in Limerick in the 12 months to the end of July 2022 (a 1.2% increase on the previous 12 months) while planning permissions for 1,459 homes across Limerick were granted during January, February and March - representing a 81.7% increase on 2021.

The local authority has also received approval (and funding) for six new posts to help with its housing delivery programme.

Under Housing for All, an exemption from planning permission requirements for converting vacant Limerick pubs into homes has been introduced while the existing exemptions to converting vacant commercial premises into homes in Limerick have been extended.

In 2021, 323 new social homes were delivered across Limerick while there was a 38% reduction in the number of households on the social housing waiting list in Limerick at the end of last year compared to the first annual assessment conducted in September 2016.

Several other key measures which have delivered nationally through the Housing for All initiative have also had an impact in Limerick.

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