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Cork East Fine Gael TD, and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton supports the allocation of €1.9 billion to housing programmes under Budget 2018 which will enable the Government to meet the needs of 25,500 households in 2018.

“Budget 2018 will see a total funding provision of €1.9 billion, which represents an increase of 46% on 2017 resulting in 98 households having their housing needs met every working day of the week next year. A large element of this funding (€1.14 billion) is for the delivery of almost 5,900 social homes through a range of construction and acquisition programmes”.

“The balance of the funding will be used to add additional tenancies, and maintain existing ones. This will be done by funding the existing Rental Accommodation Scheme and the Housing Assistance Payment which will aid Cork County Council in increasing the housing supply in Cork East. The Housing Assistance Payment Scheme will rise by €149 million in 2018, enabling an additional 17,000 households to be supported and accommodated in 2018 while housing supply steadily increases”.

“To further increase supply the establishment of Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) has been announced with €750 million of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund available for commercial investment in housing finance”.

“Drawing on NAMA’s extensive skill and expertise in residential development funding, HBFI will increase the availability of debt funding on market terms to commercially viable residential development projects by making finance available at a lower rate. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and NAMA are already supporting the commercial delivery of 30,000 houses and apartments over the period to 2021 and these additional funds have the potential to fund construction of an additional 6,000 homes”.

“Housing supply is pivotal to tackling homelessness and to making housing more affordable for everyone. This budget will see an increase in funding for Homeless Services to over €116 million to ensure that emergency accommodation and other supports are available to those who need them. An increase of €31 million has been allocated to the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme which will enable the delivery of an extra 4,000 social housing homes next year”.

“Changes to the vacant site levy will mean that developers will need to develop lands urgently or risk seeing the levy they pay on their undeveloped sites increase dramatically. This in turn will help towards eradicating the hoarding of development land”.

Minister Stanton concluded that “Fine Gael is determined that everyone should have an opportunity to own a home of their own and as such we are committed and determined to a long term, sustainable housing model that provides security for tenants”.