It is now more than three years since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland. This wide-ranging action plan was in direct response to the housing crisis that grips Ireland. Now is a good time to reflect on the progress made and the challenges that remain.
Lack of supply has been at the root of this crisis. A key element of Rebuilding Ireland was to substantially increase the supply of new homes, both private and social. In 2019 the Government had planned to invest €2.4 billion in housing with the aim of delivering 10,000 new social homes, and overall it was expected that 25,000 new homes were to be made available across the country this year. While this goes some way to addressing the issue this still leaves a significant shortfall and there is no doubt that more needs to be done given the exceptional disparity between supply and demand.
Progress is also being made in the transformation and regulation of the rental sector, something that has been badly needed. Rent caps have been introduced with the commitment to further strengthen and extend them as well as other measures to strengthen security of tenure for tenants.
As we move forward, we must continue to prioritise the most vulnerable. The number of people who are homeless and relying on emergency homeless accommodation continues to rise. There must also be a broader range of affordable housing options both for rent and for purchase. The challenge is to provide housing for every stage of life to include student accommodation, affordable long-term rental, family homes, dwellings for one or two persons and accessible homes suitable for older people. Particularly in our urban areas there is also an urgent need for apartments rather than houses. In order to achieve this, the barriers to building more homes must be addressed.
2019 has also been the year when the environmental crisis has been top of the agenda with the acknowledgement that homes should be environmentally sustainable. The challenge will be to decarbonise existing stock and ensure new housing builds meet those requirements as we move towards net zero emissions.
As with most sectors, the use of technology presents an opportunity to transform how housing services are delivered. It particularly has the potential to support better and more meaningful communication between social landlords and their tenants, driving improvements in how housing providers understand the people they serve and the ways they deliver services to them.
This conference will focus on the challenges that lie ahead and look to how we can ensure we are on the right track to tackling the housing crisis. It will bring together the key stakeholders with an interest or role in housing in Ireland and attract good attendance from right across the sector.
A high level panel of local and visiting experts will examine key issues including:
✔ Progress update on Rebuilding Ireland;
✔ The challenge of delivering new homes;
✔ How AHBs can collaborate for better results;
✔ Making places more affordable and sustainable;
✔ An update on the social housing PPP programme;
✔ The regulation of AHBs;
✔ Transforming housing services through technology;
✔ Funding to increase the supply of new homes;
✔ Working towards net zero emissions for new social housing;
✔ Meeting current and future housing needs.
Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities
There are a number of opportunities for interested organisations to become involved with this conference as sponsors or exhibitors. This is an excellent way for organisations to raise their profile with a key audience of senior decision-makers from across the housing sector in Ireland. For further information on how your organisation can benefit, contact Lynda Millar on 01 661 3755.