Good progress has been made so far this year with solid figures to build on as we continue to increase housing supply, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
John Cummins, party spokesperson on Housing, said home completion figures and commencement notices show a very strong start for quarter one of this year.
Senator Cummins said: “The latest new home completion figures for Q1 2023, published by the CSO, show an increase of 19.1% on the same quarter in 2022, while the latest commencement notice data shows 7,349 homes commenced in the first three months of 2023, the highest figures for quarter one since records began in 2014.
“In addition to this, there is a strong pipeline of social and affordable housing, with over 19,000 social homes at various stages of construction and over 2,700 more affordable homes already approved for funding.
“Already in quarter two of this year, we have committed to reducing the cost of construction by suspending development levies and increasing the pace at which derelict and vacant properties are renovated by introducing an enhanced Vacant Property Refurbishment grant of up to €70,000 for owner occupier and rental properties.
“We have also committed to Government financing for the construction of affordable apartments via a Cost Rental subsidy/equity to unlock unviable schemes which currently have planning.”
Senator Cummins continued: “The First Home Scheme is also proving to be very successful. During the period July to December 2022, 750 approvals were achieved under this shared equity scheme. There were 586 further approvals in Q1 2023, bringing the total to 1,336 buyers in 24 counties which have been approved by the Scheme.
“A total of 3,556 potential buyers have registered their interest in the Scheme, with over 1,000 new expressions of interest received in the first quarter of this year. The First Home Scheme bridges the gap between the maximum mortgage an individual or couple can get through a participating bank and the cost of the home, subject to maximum caps which vary according to location. It can also be combined with the Help to Buy Scheme which has assisted 39,657 individuals and couples with their deposit up to €30,000 or 10% of the value of the home, whichever is less.
Senator Cummins concluded: “Supply, which is key to addressing our housing needs, is increasing. The Government’s Housing for All Plan is having a real impact. More homes are being built and bought than in a generation.
“We will continue to build on these figures to increase housing supply across the country.”