Cash injection for social housing

HousingEstateGeneric-editOver €35 million has been allocated to Waterford City and County Council for social housing projects up until 2017.

Announced last week under a national €1.5 billion scheme, the funding will facilitate delivery of 760 housing units in Waterford.

And it will, according to Minister of State Paudie Coffey, result in a 40 per cent reduction in Waterford’s housing waiting list.

The funding forms part of the Government’s €3.8 billion social housing strategy announced last November out to 2020, under which each local authority was asked to bring forward housing unit targets and specific building projects out to 2017.

As part of the strategy, targets had to be agreed with each local authority in 2015. Approximately 300 separate building proposals by local authorities around the country are currently being assessed by the Department and will be announced in a number of phases starting in mid-April.

The housing will be provided through a variety of building, buying and leasing by Waterford City and County Council, but the local authority will be expected to kickstart a new building programme. The various schemes will target the refurbishment of vacant social housing units and local authorities will have the option of both building and acquiring housing.

The average national cost of building a social housing unit is €185,000 – meaning in some parts of the country it will remain cheaper and quicker to acquire as opposed to build.

“This announcement shows the commitment of this government to tackle the issue of housing lists across the country,” said Minister Coffey. “€1.5 billion over the next three years is a huge investment in housing and I now expect Local Authorities to deliver on the plans that they have submitted to our Department over the next three years.”

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