Ministers welcome commitments in National Development Plan

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke and Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan have welcomed the publication of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Exchequer investment from the NDP, together with HFA lending and LDA investment will mean that some €4 billion in State funding will be available for housing every year from 2021-2025. The commitment will underpin the government’s Housing for All plan, which commits to more than 9,500 new-build social homes, 4,000 local authority provided Affordable Purchase homes and 2,000 ‘Cost Rental’ homes per year up to 2030. Housing for All is the government’s plan to increase the supply of housing to the required 33,000 homes, on average, per year over the next decade.

Whilst the NDP funding will lead to the delivery of thousands of homes in the mid-term, in the short term it will finance projects such as:

  • 116 Affordable Purchase homes and 37 Social homes at Boherboy Road in Cork
  • 39 Affordable Purchase homes and 12 Social homes at Dun Emer, Fingal
  • 86 Affordable Purchase homes and 18 Social homes at Merlin Woods, Galway
  • 372 affordable and 125 social homes in the Kilinarden Scheme in South Dublin
  • 58 new social housing units at Slievekeale, Waterford City

The Plan also outlines the significant €6 billion investment to be undertaken by Irish Water, of which over €4.5 billion will be Exchequer funded. Over €243 million has been allocated for non-Irish Water investment in rural water infrastructure including €175 million for the Rural Water Programme, €68.5 million for lead pipe remediation and funding for Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure. This funding will enable future housing delivery and support economic growth and development.

As part of the NDP commitment to transition to a climate-neutral and climate-resilient society the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will help fund the retrofitting of approximately 36,500 Local Authority-owned homes to a BER standard of B2/Cost Optimal Equivalent. Under the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme, local authorities are moving from a shallow to a deep retrofitting programme.

Between 2021 and 2030, an average of 47,624 direct construction jobs will be supported each year by NDP investment. In turn, this investment will support a further 33,130 jobs each year in Ireland.

The NDP emphasises the importance of the department’s Marine Area Planning Bill, published by Ministers O’Brien and Burke in July, towards enabling and encouraging future investment in high-speed submarine telecommunications infrastructure and the future development of offshore renewable energy.

The Plan also commits to investment in nature and biodiversity in order to improve the quality of natural habitats and support native species, including those under threat. It emphasises the implementation of the forthcoming National Biodiversity Action Plan, enhanced wildlife crime investigation capacity, the delivery of conservation measures at designated sites in the Prioritised Action Framework for Ireland (2021-2027) and the future-proofing of obligations under the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, including the delivery of a National Restoration Plan.

Commenting on the NDP, Minister O’Brien said:

“Housing is the single most urgent and important social issue facing our country at this time. The government is determined to ensure that people have access to a home to purchase or rent at an affordable price, built to a high standard and in the right place, offering a high quality of life. Today, the government has shown its financial commitment to the accelerated delivery of social and affordable housing – a key area of Ireland’s housing need.

“The €12 billion funding commitment provides the impetus towards delivering more affordable homeownership, secure renting and housing for our most vulnerable in society. Through the local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies we will deliver the largest house building programme in the history of the State. The NDP funding announced today reflects the cross-government approach to delivering the ambitious targets we set out in Housing for All.

“The funding for Irish Water and the Rural Water Programme will also enable increased housing supply throughout the country. The increase in Rural Water Programme funding will provide water infrastructure for towns and villages that currently have inadequate investment. It will help those areas to grow and revitalise in turn. The investment will also help address legacy infrastructural issues and increase environmental protection.”

Minister Burke added:

“Early in the lifetime of the NDP, Government will enact the Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Bill, which is the State’s leading response to much needed reform of marine governance. The Bill provides the legal underpinning to an entirely new marine planning system, which will balance harnessing our huge offshore wind potential with protecting our rich and unique marine environment.”

Minister Noonan concluded:

“Every euro invested in nature benefits society many times over through enhanced health, wellbeing and local economy impact, but also by ensuring our ecosystems can continue to provide us with other vital services like carbon sequestration and storage, water purification, flood mitigation and soil fertility. Nature is our life-support system and I’m delighted to see such firm commitments to protect, conserve and restore it in this Plan.”