Govt urged to double social housing units by 2030

The number of social housing units in Ireland needs to double by 2030, according to think-tank Social Justice Ireland.

Its recommendation is made in a submission to the Department of Housing as part of a review of housing policy.

Social Justice Ireland (SJI) said the Government needs to set a target of 20% of all housing to be social housing by the end of this decade.

This would require 14,341 social housing units to be built each year at a cost of €3.3bn per annum.

It wants the sale of State land to be prohibited and used for social housing.

It also urges that the sale of houses held by Approved Housing Bodies be prohibited to keep them in use for social housing.

SJI advises that “tax loopholes” around investment funds purchasing residential property should be closed.

Fine Gael Minister of State Martin Heydon yesterday said the Government will take action “very soon” to stop investors from bulk buying property.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics, he said that planning and taxation were among the ways being explored to tackle the issue.

But he said it accounts for less than 1% of the market and was “not a widespread” issue.

Mr Heydon said the Government is consulting with the Attorney General to ensure that any decisions do not have a knock-on impact on people trying to buy homes.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said she believed the number of properties being bought by investor funds was closer to 20%.

Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster said her party would propose measures next week to end special tax deals for these funds, apply stamp duty surcharges to them and introduce a legislative cap on what investors can buy.

She said “what is happening across the state is madness” and “a direct consequence of Government policy”.

Article Source – Govt urged to double social housing units by 2030 – RTE – Robert Shortt

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