North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed extra measures agreed by Government recently under the Housing for All plan will speed up home building and drive down building costs in Cork.
Councillor O’Shea said that these additional provisions are good news for home buyers, renters and builders.
“There are three strands to these new measures, which will make home ownership more affordable for many again,” he said.
The measures comprise:
Reducing the cost of construction: by scrapping the development levies required to connect new homes with roads, water and other services, and subsidising development levies, saving up to the value of €12,650 per home on average. This will cut the cost of building a home and apply for a limited time only to act as an incentive. This measure apply to developments that commence from 25th April 2023 to 24th April 2024 and must be complete by 31st December 2025.
Increasing the pace at which vacant and derelict properties are renovated for new housing: by increasing grants to cut the cost of restoring empty homes and making it easier to apply. The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will be increased from €30,000 to €50,000 for vacant properties and from €50,000 to €70,000 for derelict properties, extended to cover houses built up to 2007, and will be available for properties intended for rental as well as owner-occupied.
Government financing of the construction of affordable apartments under Cost Rental: to get work started on thousands of affordable apartments to rent which have planning permission but which are not being progressed – again, a substantial subsidy for a limited time only to speed up construction. The Government has agreed to commit up to €750 million via the Land Development Agency and other providers as part of this initiative to complete 4,000 to 6,000 additional affordable apartments under the Cost Rental system.
“Thousands of private and public homes are being built but we need to do more,” Councillor O’Shea said. “These additional measures will make it cheaper to build and refurbish a home. It will speed up new home building and drive down costs across the board.
“I want to warmly welcome the confirmation from the Department that development levies have been scrapped for all developments including one-off rural homes, and also Irish Water connection fees for water and sewage have been scrapped for all housing developments for one year. This is good news for North Cork and for the many people starting off building their new home over the next 12 months or so.
“Housing for All is working – 30,000 new homes were built last year – ahead of target – and up from just 4,500 ten years ago. We can all see evidence of new construction around us in Cork County.
“Around 400 people per week are now buying their first home. Fine Gael set up a special Help to Buy Scheme to help first time buyers with a deposit, and our First Home Scheme helps buyers to bridge the gap and close the deal on a home.
“I expect the additional actions announced today will have an immediate impact and will increase the number of homes built in Cork over the coming years. It should address the difficulties around unactivated planning permissions and might open up options to people who previously might have discounted the idea of taking on a vacant or derelict property, making the best use of our existing housing stock.
“Building a mix of public and private housing and restoring a strong rental sector is the top priority now, giving everyone the opportunity to live their lives in the security of their own home. These extra measures give people more options, more opportunity and more hope for the future.”