Initiative Ireland chief executive Padraig Rushe has urged the Irish government to take additional measures to fast-track affordable housing supply.
Speaking at Policy Forum for Ireland, Rushe (pictured) called for reform of the planning process for residential developments below 100 units to avoid market oligopolies and to increase speed of delivery.
“We want to encourage conversation around all the elements which contribute to housing supply shortfalls and the experience on the ground,” said Padraig Rushe, chief executive of Initiative Ireland.
“An increase in supply that doesn’t address household demand for example is a key concern and something that needs to be monitored carefully to avoid displacing markets.
“Our developer offering is backed by our own Irish Impact Investor Community and more recently by Fairfield Real Estate Finance and Goldman Sachs as our new funding partners. We also aim to support approved housing bodies, to directly finance developments and also provide flexible shorter-term funding solutions, to complement state funding solutions.
“Our AHB program is backed by a new fund established by Initiative Ireland, in partnership with the Credit Union Development Association, Davy and Northern Trust.
“Combined, we’re working to deliver a 16 per cent increase in supply on average over the next three years, to establish a non-state funded model that promotes competition and sustainability. As a sustainable lender, we believe it is vital that we build and share a clear understanding of the market.
“We want to encourage an increase in housing supply and finance and we will play a key part in that delivery, but we also want to ensure all parties track and monitor the market to align supply with actual demand on the ground.”
This follows the Presents Housing 2021 Report which found that in 2020 only 35 per cent of new homes were delivered for household buyers and planning approvals and extensions were only at 45,000 units – lower than the forecast needed for 59,000 per annum to adjust for non-commencements.
Application approvals in the first half of 2021 accounted for 18,113 units, indicating a severe drop year-on-year which is expected to impact delivery in 2022.
The report showed that lower-income families remain locked out of housing, especially within the Greater Dublin area where households on the average income of €65,400 (£55,550) were able to access less than seven per cent of new homes built and 8.5 per cent of existing housing sales.
Over the past five years, household buyers have gone from accounting for 62 per cent of sales to just 54 per cent of sales.