Housing commencement notices down 

by Rose Barrett
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The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage published its monthly data recently on the number of Commencements Notices (residential construction starts) for October 2023 and despite its claim of an increase, the number overall will be down on previous years, writes Rose Barrett.

The data claims that in the first ten months of 2023, there were commencement notices for 1,632 homes in Fingal, a 6.3per cent increase on the same period in 2022 (1,535 units). However, looking at the overall figures as supplied by the Dept of Housing, the number of commencement notices is, in fact, down overall on years 2000-2022.

Given that commencement notices for 2020 were 2,380, 2,447 in 2021, and 1,935 for 2022, the final figures for 2023 are unlikely to match or surpass recent year/s.

Cllr Ann Graves (SF for Swords) stated: “The Government committed to delivering 5,500 affordable homes this year. Up to 2,000 of these are through the controversial shared equity loan scheme which is not affordable housing.

“It is hard to see how the Government will come anywhere close to meeting their targets for affordable purchase or affordable cost-rental homes this year.”

Cllr Graves noted the Department’s progress report published in September shows that just 1,401 of the promised 9,100 new-build social homes were delivered in the first half of this year.  “That is just 15per cent of this year’s target,” said Cllr Graves.

“On the basis of this rate of delivery, it is hard to see this year’s social housing being met! Meanwhile, homelessness reached a record high last month, with the latest figures showing that 13,179 people were living in emergency accommodation, including 1,993 families and 4,000 children. This is a monumental failure of Government policies.

“I’m dealing with these failures every day as the number of people dealing with evictions and homelessness grows – it’s heartbreaking telling families in the run up to Christmas that there’s no emergency accommodation available to them,” she concluded.

However, the Dept of Housing maintained that “commencements this year have continued and 26,547 homes were commenced nationally in the first ten months of 2023. This is a 16.6 per cent increase on the same period last year (22,760).

 

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