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Budget 2022 Lays Strong Foundation for a 10-Year Housing Plan that Must not be Derailed

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has said that the Budget 2022 €4 billion capital and current investment in housing signals a commitment to a programme that responds to housing affordability pressures and supports local authorities and our approved housing body members to grow our stock of social housing and affordable rental homes. The ICSH welcomes the €70 million funding for 700 cost rental homes to be delivered by AHBs in 2022, which will increase the number of homes available at affordable rents for hard pressed households on moderate incomes. The enhanced funding for retrofitting also demonstrates a targeted responses to the scale and the complexity of the housing and climate crisis.

Speaking after the Budget 2022 statements today, Chief Executive of the Irish Council for Social Housing, Donal McManus, welcomed the €4 billion housing investment: “Construction is now back on track. Budget 2022 continues a multiannual investment programme that will support our housing delivery targets on a continual basis, both in terms of commitments in the Housing for All Plan and the National Development Plan.”  

The ICSH is pleased to see a €2.58 billion capital commitment which will deliver 9,200 primarily new build social homes in 2022 as well as a current funding commitment of €1.37 billion which combined, will deliver a total of 11,820 homes across the social housing delivery programmes. The ICSH welcomes the €345 million under the SHCEP programme, a substantial increase on the 2021 allocation of €250 million and recognition of the importance of the AHB sector, which will ensure the AHB delivery pipeline is secure, as well as supporting existing tenancies. We would also welcome more detail on the €85 million allocation to social housing retrofitting and the €202 million National Retrofit Plan programme, as the ICSH would like to see a commitment to supporting the retrofitting of AHB homes for vulnerable tenants, having called for a €16.5 million programme for the retrofit of 500 AHB units in 2022. The ICSH also believes that funding for homeless services in Budget 2022 must be an adequate response to housing precarity and the needs of the most vulnerable households.

Mr McManus added: “Looking towards 2030, Budget 2022 is a positive response to the challenges ahead. But we will need to demonstrate agility responding to the needs of lower and median income households in terms of delivering affordability and sustainability in the right location, as well as responding to the pressures on our economy that a largescale housing programme brings. Ensuring our existing housing stock is climate resilient is a priority, which also means addressing vacancy and repurposing unterutilised buildings for housing. This is something our member AHBs have been doing effectively over the past few years. The new €50m fund to service and refurbish town sites can be a real catalyst to revive many towns and provide affordable housing opportunities. Ultimately, a funded 10-year housing plan can offer the certainty that will enable us to respond to these challenges and we welcome the measure in Budget 2022 to provide this certainty”.