The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has welcomed today’s publication of the Government’s Housing for All national housing plan. Speaking on foot of today’s launch, ICSH CEO, Donal McManus, said: “As the national social housing federation, representing more than 250 approved housing bodies across Ireland, we welcome the enhanced role for approved housing bodies in social housing provision, the expansion of cost rental homes, dedicated multi annual funding and commitments to support AHBs in providing special needs housing including the commitment to end homelessness by 2030.
The Plan’s incentives to address other obstacles in our housing system are also welcome, including delivery streams dedicated to the provision of housing for people with a disability and the provision of Age Friendly Housing under Local Authority Housing Delivery Action Plans. The ICSH also welcomes the commitment to increase Housing First targets to 1,200 tenancies over five years. Other welcome measures include the commitment to implement the Housing Options for our Ageing Population: Policy Statement, a new National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2022 – 2027) and a national policy on rightsizing.
Approved housing bodies (AHBs) have a proven track record of delivering quality affordable rental homes. We increased the size of our sector by 50%, exceeding the Rebuilding Ireland target to deliver 15,000 homes by 2021. Under Housing for All and beyond, we believe we can double the number of homes under AHB management by 2030. The AHB sector is also keen that the Plan’s objective to achieve an off-balance sheet statistical classification for AHBs is progressed as rapidly as possible.
“Housing for All must be an agile response to our enduring housing crisis, one that talks to our national, regional and local planning structures, as well as our Climate Action Plan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The new Housing for All Plan is an opportunity to rebalance our housing system towards affordability and choice and to address serious gaps in our current housing provision to provide everyone with a better quality of life”, Mr McManus added.