The housing crisis is one of the major challenges facing Ireland. In 2016 Rebuilding Ireland was produced in direct response to this, with the plan aiming to go some way to addressing the exceptional disparity between supply and demand and years of underinvestment in the sector.
Over two years on, where are we? Figures up until June 2018 show a drop in the number of people on the social housing list. 71,858 were on the waiting list for accommodation, a reduction of 13,941 from 2017 and an overall drop of 22 per cent since June 2016. However, undoubtedly, there is still a long way to go, and some of the challenges to resolve homelessness are highly complex.
In the wider market, the issue of mortgage arrears also remains significant – currently standing at above 15 per cent of all mortgages. Constraints on lending and the cost of land will also have an impact on supply. As ever, there is a high level of demand for the rental sector, but how can we ensure that this is affordable? The Residential Tenancies Board latest Rent Index report shows that as of Q2 2018, standardised average rents are continuing to trend upwards at an accelerated pace.
There is also the need to ask ourselves what types of housing and communities we need and want to foster. Simply saying we need to ‘build more housing’ is not entirely the solution – what is the right type of housing supply? How can we make better use of our existing buildings? How can we cater for the increasing number of one and two-person households? Single-person households currently account for 47 per cent of the entire social housing waiting list.
This conference will focus on the challenges that lie ahead, look at progress to date and discuss the way forward to ensure we are able to tackle the housing crisis. It will bring together the key stakeholders with an interest or role in housing in Ireland and attract a 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;
✔ Are we building the right type of housing?
✔ Issues around funding and financing;
✔ The reclassification of housing associations;
✔ Creating a sustainable rental sector;
✔ Housing First National Implementation Plan;
✔ Looking at constraints on lending and the issue of land cost;
✔ Going modular: innovative approaches to housing;
✔ Addressing the skills shortage in the sector;
✔ The role of local authorities;
✔ Fostering the communities we want to have.
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.