The Sunday Business Post reports that the Irish government has unveiled a €1 billion housing package aimed at encouraging developers to proceed with up to 80,000 inactive planning permissions for new homes. Under the new plans, developers will be required to provide cost rental homes for 50 years in exchange for subsidies of €150,000 per unit. Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien expects the subsidies to deliver 4,000-6,000 homes with €750 million allocated towards the initiative.
The cost rental subsidy is designed to bridge the viability gap for cost rental homes, ensuring rents remain at least 25% below market rates. The package also includes an increase in the vacant homes refurbishment grant from €30,000 to €50,000 and the derelict home grant from €50,000 to €70,000. To further incentivize developers, a 12-month exemption for development levies and water connection fees has been introduced, with the government reimbursing councils and Irish Water for the waived fees.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated that the housing package was a response to changing circumstances, such as higher interest rates, increased construction costs, and the influx of Ukrainian refugees, rather than an admission that the Housing for All Plan was not working.