Eoin Ó Broin: When it comes to social homes, those costly old habits die hard
Turnkey developments, built by private developers and bought by the state, are the single most expensive way to provide social housing. So why are most of our social homes built in this way?
Last year, the government funded the delivery of 5,073 new-build social homes. This was 34 per cent below the Rebuilding Ireland target of 7,736.
Much of this shortfall was due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on construction, but that is not the whole picture.
Last week, in response to a parliamentary question, the Department of Housing released a breakdown of its 2020 social housing output.
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No independent valuation for €2k social housing rents
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council signed 25-year lease on 87 Dundrum apartments for use as social housing without seeking opinion other than developer’s on rent levels
Over 75% of new social homes are bought or leased from builders
Building of public housing by local authorities has dwindled to nearly non-existent levels in our biggest cities, official figures show
Developers reap healthy profits while claiming housebuilding is not lucrative
Astra Construction posted a thirteenfold increase in after-tax profits between 2018 and 2019, while Park Developments saw a €14.8m profit over 18 months
Why our councils remain stuck in the social housing cul-de-sac
The lengthy approval process that council social housing projects must go through is a long-standing bugbear of TDs and councillors. But is long-term leasing of social homes a worse option?