The chief executive of the Irish Council for Social Housing, Donal McManus has called for regulation of the planning system to speed up the process which is holding up “hundreds” of building projects.
Ms McManus told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that if the process was streamlined “it could speed up” the building of social homes.
Social housing bodies will surpass their targets in 2023 and will do so again in 2024, he said.
There were a number of schemes in the pipeline, but it takes years for a home to get through the process from a site being identified to completion, he explained.
Land needed to be secured now for such projects, he urged. The Land Acquisition Fund should be “annualised” so that it is known in advance what land will be available in a continuous supply, said Mr McManus.
The planning system was also causing delays and if it were streamlined then the entire process could speed up delivery of social homes.
Mr McManus said that some social housing bodies were working “at full tilt” while others could do more but they needed sites to become available, this was why the Land Acquisition Fund was so important.
It comes as Ireland’s state architect said the completion of modular housing has been held up by issues with sites.
A number of rapid-build homes are being constructed at sites across the country to house Ukrainian refugees.
Social housing waiting lists fall over 36% in six…
The first houses, at a site in Cork, are due to be finished later this month, state architect Ciaran O’Connor told an Oireachtas committee.
Last month Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urged a “reality check” on the potential of modular homes to address Ireland’s housing crisis, saying that while they would help increase the housing stock, they would take time to build.
The Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage heard from a number of expert witnesses on modern methods of construction on Tuesday.
Mr O’Connor said the Government last June requested 500 units, later increased to 700, which he said are in the process of being completed with the first to be handed over in two weeks.