Thursday 18 April 2024
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Cork County Council exceeds Housing Construction Targets by 26%

Cork County Council exceeds Housing Construction Targets by 26%

North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the publication of the housing delivery target outcomes for 2018, confirming that Cork County Council over achieved its house building delivery target by 26%.  

The figures were published by Cllr. O’Shea’s colleague, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TDThe have confirmed the Council’s commitment to the delivery of social housing, particularly in the areas of construction and acquisition. 

The Council’s construction target for 2018 was 235 units but overall delivery was 295, 26% over target. This level of delivery has been achieved through a combination of approaches, including the construction of houses by the local authority on its own land, the acquisition of newly built schemes through a turnkey model in partnership with developers, the delivery of units through Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, and the construction of units by Approved Housing Bodies. 

Cllr. O’Shea said he welcomed the figures, which not only represents real progress in addressing the social housing waiting list, as the construction activity has had the added benefit of boosting the economy in rural areas of the county, stimulating the creation of jobs in areas which suffered a long absence of construction activity.   

Cllr. O’Shea commented: “In particular the Council’s Turnkey model has given house builders a path back to development by injecting capital into the market and providing certainty for developers. Examples of new Turnkey housing can be seen all over the county, such as in Kanturk, and many more are in the pipeline for 2019 and 2020. The Council’s construction programme for 2019 is to deliver a range of scheme across the county totalling 487 units.” 

The programme of acquisitions has complemented the construction programme and has achieved a similarly impressive return of 106 units in 2018, 39% over target. This has been achieved through a combination of local authority acquisitions, both under the buy and renew scheme and the standard acquisitions programme, as well as Approved Housing Body and Housing Agency acquisitions.  Although construction is the main delivery mechanism for social housing, acquisitions will continue to have an important role in delivery in areas where the demand is at a level below that required to justify significant construction schemes. 

The delivery of social housing through private leasing has proved to be a challenge across Cork County to date but, following a review of the existing schemes by the Department of Housing, it is anticipated that leasing will also prove to be a successful delivery mechanism in the future. 

Responding to the figures, Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey reiterated the success of the Council’s housing programme: “We are determined to facilitate the provision of suitable, cost-effective, high-quality accommodation to meet housing needs in the county. To this end 1,293 housing units were built or acquired by the Council in the 3 years up to year end 2018.” 

The Chief Executive complimented the agility and ambition of the Housing Directorate and other key Council departments as well as acknowledging the support of the elected members in ensuring the delivery of an ongoing programme that will see further significant increases in output over 2019 and 2020 well beyond Government targets set for the county. 

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, went on to say: “In meeting the challenges of housing supply in the county careful planning is required.  Cork County Council is always working with communities to deliver sustainable housing solutions that will meet the needs of the occupants. Quality and affordable housing are an essential foundation to healthy and strong communities and I am happy to see the positive figures released today reflecting the hard work of the council in this regard.”