Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Housing Minister Simon Coveney and other Cabinet members have published the long awaited Action Plan "Rebuilding Ireland".
Described by Government as an 'action driven plan that will result in a dramatic increase in the delivery of homes nationwide'.
The plan provides an action-oriented approach to achieving Government's Housing objectives including
- Tackling Homelessness - 6170 people recorded as homeless in May 2016
- Increasing Social Housing Output - 47000 units to be delivered by 2021
- Increasing Housing Output - 25,000 units per annum by 2020
- Improving the Rental Sector - 324,000 registered tenancies
- Utilising existing Housing Stock - 198,358 vacant homes in Ireland
Ultimately, the most effective way to reduce and stabilise rents in the medium to long term, according to the Minister, is to increase supply and accelerate delivery of housing for the private and social rental sectors.
In addition to focusing on the supply issue, the plan attempts to address the important issue of standards of private rental accommodation as well as improving the inspection and enforcement functions provided by the Local Authorities. Consistent and fair enforcement of accommodation standards is considered critical so that the compliant and responsible landlords are not operating at a disadvantage to the non-compliant irresponsible landlords as a result of lax inspection regimes and poor enforcement.
A shared services model for inspection and enforcement of the rental accommodation standards regulations will be developed by the local government sector, either through a single national lead authority or a number of local authorities leading for their regions.
In order to increase the numbers of properties inspected, specific funding for inspection and compliance activity will be identified from 2018 onwards and annual targets for both inspection and compliance will be agreed.
Can 'Rebuilding Ireland' really tackle the country' housing shortage? Only time will tell whether any or all of it has been made possible.