“A €300 million investment fund from the Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank will be used to provide 2,000 social housing units over the next three years. Housing of this kind is badly needed in Cobh, Youghal, Midleton, Carrigtwohill, Mallow, Fermoy, Mitchelstown and many rural areas”, says David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East.

“The new programme announced today (Wednesday) will be the first ever supported by the European Investment Bank and the money will be made available to approved housing bodies for the upgrade and delivery of social housing.

“This programme will give housing bodies access to finance at very competitive rates and it facilitates the faster delivery of approximately 2,000 additional social housing units. Local construction companies and workers are also set to benefit from today’s announcement. I would encourage the Boards and Management of certified Approved Housing Bodies to take this opportunity to apply for access to this finance.

“The Government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020 aims to provide every household with access to secure good quality housing suited to their needs at an affordable price and in a sustainable community. This new agreement between the EIB and the HFA represents very good progress in that direction.

“Involving the EIB, alongside the Housing Finance Agency is a new and innovative approach to tackling social housing issues. I very much welcome this new thinking.

“We need to increase the number of housing units completed in the State in order to meet demand and social housing plays a key role in the overall strategy. By providing adequate social housing, we will in turn relieve demands on private housing.

“The Social Housing Strategy 2020 targets the provision of 35,000 new social housing units over a six year period, the support of up to 75,000 households through an enhanced private rental sector and the reform of social housing supports to create a more flexible and responsive system. The €300 million announced today is not enough to provide housing to everyone who needs it but it is a step in the right direction and it marks the start of a new approach which will provide affordable and sustainable housing into the future.”