Housing for All: The facts, the intent and the national response

Link to Housing for All, executive summary and main document: 





  • Industry response: 
    • SCSI – While giving a broad welcome to the ambitions outlined in the plan, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said its successful implementation would “depend on the removal of several key barriers to housing delivery” and stressed that a “new sense of urgency and spirit of collaboration was required if those barriers are to be removed and we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of previous housing plans”.
    • IPAV – The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers hailed the commitment of €4 billion per annum to build 300,000 homes over the next nine years but it said “the nuts and bolts of how this would be achieved remains to be seen”.
    • RIAI – The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland acknowledged “the scale and ambition” of the plan, while Ibec described it as an ambitious step in addressing one of the country’s main social and economic challenges. It said the “biggest single domestic driver of competitiveness pressures for business is the lack of housing supply”: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/charities-and-business-groups-say-housing-for-all-will-alleviate-crisis-if-it-is-implemented-1.4663497 









Highlights from the launch speeches:

An Taoiseach, Michéal Martin TD

“In my view, housing is the single most urgent and important social issue facing our country at this moment in time. And it is one that I am determined that we, as a government, get to grips with. Access to housing is not just about the immediate, material need for a roof over your head – although the absolute tragedy of homelessness is one that we are determined to eliminate by the end of the decade – it is about much more than that. Access to housing is fundamental to our security, stability, health and progress as a nation. When a family has a secure tenure in a safe and comfortable home, children have the peace and potential to do better at school, and to develop their wider personality and sense of identity. Parents have the freedom and confidence to engage with, and help develop, their local communities and build sporting, artistic and cultural connections. Communities of secure, engaged and confident households are safer, more enriched and happier places to live. A country of engaged and contented communities is a more attractive place to visit, establish a business, or invest in. And greater prosperity means more investment in education and healthcare, more opportunities for our young people and better outcomes for everyone. It all comes back to housing…”


  • Scarcely a family untouched by the crisis – potential to be profoundly destabilizing 
  • Unprecedented in scope and scale – budget
  • Addresses challenges of FTB, renters, low-income families, people starting over, students 
  • Tailored and specific approach for rural ireland
  • Addresses need of people who build new homes
  • Note of caution – no easy or immediate fix, demand for delivery  – solving this problem requires hard work to solve the social emergency that is our housing crisis
  • We must all be invested in …delivery
  • Dashboard stats for transparency
  • Delivery office with Housing Department – There will be nowhere to hide
  • “Unflinching”: Hard truth – national government alone cannot fix it
  • Too many developments are being rejected by all parties
  • The State needs to build homes and the state needs to build homes
  • “High quality of life. That is our standard”


Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD

“I want to welcome the focus in this document on home ownership. Owning your own home is very much part of our culture as Irish people, part of our society. This is a housing plan for everyone, but it’s very very strong on home ownership too, and I think that’s really important. …I am often struck by the extent to which the housing crisis impacts everyone in our society; whether it is people who are renting, for whom rents are too high; first time buyers which cannot afford to buy and are stuck in a rent trap; older people who are homeowners and secure in ther own homeownership and their own home but they are angry on behalf of their adult kids which are still living with them, or perhaps renting but can’t afford to buy their own home; families that cannot upsize, bringing up kids in a small apartment or a small housing with no back garden; students who cannot get accommodation, people who fall off the ladder into homelessness; and of course there’s an impact of businesses and investment too…”


  • Local authority Home loans to be expanded
  • Help to buy
  • Housing First scaling to reduce homeless
  • LDA is a reality with a big budget and capacity to borrow
  • Cost rental to be scaled up
  • 40,000 homes per year every year by the end of the decade – hopefully sooner
  • Plan backed by €4bn housing budget annually
  • This is the housing policy for the duration of government 
  • Greater certainty to developers etc


Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD

“We [need to] deliver cost rental at scale; this is just the start of it. Once we learn how to do it, we will ramp it up massively…”


  • This has to be housing for all
  • Population has started to flatten and this is concerning
  • Need to bring down cost, getting design and quality right – create certainly – reduce uncertainty, reduce costs – planning (low carbon, compact) – Planning system is  not working well
  • Must deliver radical tax changes – tax zoned land, and vacant properties 
  • Gain goes back to public sector
  • LDA is a significant 
  • Need to revitalise town centres
  • This policy has sustainability written right through it
  • Message to leaving cert students: Think of going into construction – 27,000 jobs in construction and same again for climate and retrofitting
  • Only half will be delivered by the State


Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien

“This Government IS keenly aware of the challenges facing people across this country. We know the impact of the housing crisis is felt in every single family across our country; from hard-pressed tenants stuck in a rent trap, wondering if they will ever be able to own their own home, to those at the sharpest edge of the crisis, who will spend tonight sleeping in emergency accommodation, or worse, sleeping on the streets in one of our cities. It is only by taking measures acoss all aspects of our housing system that we can begin to improve the situation for all our citizens across the board. That is what this plan is all about. It is a whole of government approach to get to grips with this crisis, to improve the lives for all of our people. Housing for All is THE most ambitious housing plan in the history of our state…”


  • Backed up by unprecedented financial commitment
  • New vision
  • Puts ownership back into peoples homes
  • Government to bridge 
  • €250,000 affordable housing
  • Local authority home loan, with reduced interest rates, and improved affordability measures – to reverse the trend of declining home ownership: “I believe in home ownership and this plan supports it”
  • Cost rental – 25% below open market value
  • Empower LA to build again, with AHB – 10,000 pa
  • Shared gain in zoned lands for the benefit of the community
  • Judicial reviews will be overhauled  – targeted, radical, and necessary 
  • Public, affordable and 
  • *reference opened cost rental 50% below BMV
  • 5 pieces of tenancy legislation to protect tenants during pandemic 
  • Banned coliving
  • The housing system is complex, no silver bullet and will not be fixed overnight but drive to fix it – financed plan 


Media Q&A:

Will targets be published in advance? 

Transparency promised with detailed targets – affordable – rental – social housing first and private sector


Specific target to bring rents down? 

  • 2000 cost rental homes per year (Balbriggan referenced)
  • 26,000 lost homes (output or investors exiting sector?)
  • Planning – strict time frames –
  • Judicial Review Bill due to be published in the Autumn “to unblock housing delivery’ 


9/10 year – but what will be different in 2 years? 

  • 6,000 affordable homes per year, by LA, through shared equity
  • 2,000 cost rental homes per year
  • LDA will break ground on their sites – activate dormant planning permissions
  • From next year – significant ramping up of home building
  • People will have “real options”  equity scheme will bridget mortgage lending 
  • 9,000 in 2022
  • 27,000 new jobs in constructio
  • Certainty for the sector
  • €20bn (4bn annually for 5 years) – 
  • 10% social and 10% affordable – signed today!
  • What will it take to eradicate homelressness – Lisbon – more one-bed units – expand housing first with wrap around services (600 currently)- to be increased to 1,200 then 1,500 : Homelessness oversight committee


Cost rental (the journal) – consideration given to tax rent credit?

  •  Rents linked to general inflation, deposits limited, cost rental (state-backed rents) will drive rents downwards, no tax credit – focus will be on supply, tenants of indefinite duration
  • Vacant property tax? Next year – the LPT returns will be used
  • Mention of divorced people – 
  • Minimum BER for rental homes – (similar issue as eliminating bedsits – can be avoided by advance notice?


Section 6 – Referendum on Housing? 

  • Will happen within the lifetime of this government (but not necessarily under his time an Taoiseach) 
  • Affordability: local authority-led affordable housing 250,000;  shared equality is a game-changer; 
  • LA affordable fund



  • We will not be tolerating excuses to delays implementing the plan (whole of government issue) “no one can hide”
  • Land value sharing – new plans only? Very significant change and unzoned land tax coming, planning changes for 
  • 213 action points – all challenging but doable
  • Finance to 2026 – will lead us to 2030
  • Tanaiste Rebuilding Ireland – achieved a lot, cost rental, housing first, 



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