New land hoarding tax presented as game-changer as hopes rise for hous…

With the State firmly in the grip of Covid-19 during last year’s budget, expectations for housing completions were not high, but it didn’t stop the Government from making outlandish housing projections.

Social housing and homelessness schemes spent far less time out of action than the rest of the construction sector, but nevertheless, upping the output from Rebuilding Ireland’s 2021 social housing target of 8,907 houses to 9,500 seemed almost eccentric.

Unsurprisingly, it looks highly doubtful this target will be met. In the first six months of this year 2,433 social homes were built, which includes regeneration schemes – where existing social homes are being replaced – and Part V schemes, regarding homes that developers are obliged to sell to local authorities.

The number of homes completed generally speeds up in the second half of any year but this is a lot of ground to make up. Doubtless, however, given the pandemic and materials and worker shortages, there will be a degree of self-congratulation if the figures come anywhere near the mark.

Expectations will be different this year. Housing hopes are high, not just because the pandemic is receding into the rear-view mirror, but because of the new Housing for All plan published just last month, the successor to Rebuilding Ireland.

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