Figures released by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government show more than 500 additional households were supported through social housing solutions in 2018, representing 93% of the Council’s Rebuilding Ireland target set for the year.
Under the Rebuilding Ireland Programme, annual targets are set for each local authority area. Local authorities are responsible for monitoring and delivering on these targets, including through collaboration with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). In 2018, 22 local authorities exceeded their overall Rebuilding Ireland targets.
Local authorities take the lead in addressing the very difficult issues faced on housing. We are absolutely committed to meeting the challenge, and the 2018 figures leave no doubt that we are delivering on our targets and making crucial progress for the individuals and families we support.
As the figures show, social housing output is increasing year-on-year. Working in partnership with AHBs and the Department of Housing, local authorities will continue to increase our capacity and accelerate our delivery.
Last year, a total of 109 new homes were added to Westmeath’s social housing stock through build, acquisition, or long-term leasing. This represents 10 more homes more than had been targeted.
Local authority housing, once built or acquired, is state-owned; it is an investment that will continue to provide for those in need of housing into the future. Local authorities currently own and manage more than 130,000 homes around the country, each additional unit provided by local authorities is added to that stock. That is why it is so important to ensure the homes we deliver are well-planned, built to last, of high-quality, and situated within communities and with nearby services.
While we build up our stock of social housing, supports like the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), administered through local authorities, provide us with a flexible way to provide accommodation for those in need. In 2018, Westmeath County Council supported 400 additional households through HAP and RAS.
Last year, 46 homes were acquired for social housing, representing 3.5 times the target.
Homes acquired by local authorities form part of the social housing stock in the same way they would, had they been new builds. Often, it can be quicker and more cost-effective to acquire a home rather than to build, particularly in areas where demand may not be strong and where an existing home better meets the needs of the tenants. In many cases, local authorities are acquiring homes that have fallen into disuse, bringing them back to life and adding them to the permanent social housing stock within existing communities.
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 22/02/2019