On 2 September 2021, the Government released its Housing for All strategy. It is an expansive document which accepts the challenges that are currently being faced right across the sector and sets out a roadmap for the transformation of Ireland’s housing system over the next 10 years.

The plan is framed with the overall objective that everyone in Ireland should have access to sustainable, good quality housing to purchase or rent, at an affordable price, in the right location.

In total, Housing for All contains 213 separate actions under four separate pathways aimed at achieving the following objectives :

  1. Supporting homeownership and increasing affordability;
  2. Eradicating homelessness, increasing social housing delivery and supporting social inclusion;
  3. Increasing new housing supply; and
  4. Addressing vacancy and efficient use of existing stock.

The breadth of these actions is noteworthy, encompassing areas across the whole sector from proposed changes to planning law and regulations, to significantly increasing the role and responsibilities of Local Authorities, to tax measures aimed at improving affordability and incentivising housing supply, all with a lens to sustainability and meeting Ireland’s commitments under the climate change agenda.

The ambitious scale of the plan will see a huge expansion of the State’s role in the Irish housing market, and that is reflected in the investment which the State has committed to its success – an average of €4bn per annum to 2030.

Importantly, it is clear that the document has been prepared with a clear view of the need for collaboration, both across Government departments and between the public and private sectors, in achieving the objectives and resolving Ireland’s housing crisis. In addition, the plan acknowledges the need for the country’s housing market to meet demand across various tenures including private rental accommodation, as well as social, affordable, and private ownership housing. The implicit recognition that there is no “silver bullet” to solving Ireland’s housing crisis, that different tenures require different models, and that a holistic approach is required to overcome this challenge is to be welcomed.

The publication of the Housing for All plan is without doubt a hugely significant first step to addressing the issues present in Ireland’s housing market. Given the broad scope of the plan’s objectives and the ambitious targets which it sets, it is understandable that specific detail regarding various aspects of the plan remain, at present, unclear. We welcome further engagement with the Government in the coming months regarding how best to implement the plan’s proposals.

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Housing for All - Article Series

Below is a series of thought leadership pieces sharing insights on KPMG’s view on what Housing for All might mean for Ireland, its people, businesses and the environment.