The war in Ukraine poses a major risk to the state’s plan to increase housing supply to 33,000 apartments per year


The war in Ukraine now poses a number of major risks to the state’s plan to increase housing supply to an average of 33,000 apartments a year over the next decade, the government will admit this week.

The latest progress report on the Housing for All plan, to be released tomorrow, will find that the war has also exacerbated inflationary pressures, with rising energy and material costs affecting the construction sector and leading to significant increases in the cost of construction programmes.

the Irish Independent anticipates supply chains have been disrupted, creating uncertainty in both the availability and cost of materials such as steel and timber.

Overall, the report will say that this has brought a degree of uncertainty to the housing market and possible supports for the construction sector are being examined.

The state’s response to the influx of tens of thousands of refugees will also pose challenges, particularly in terms of finding sufficient and suitable housing for Ukrainian families arriving here, the progress report said.

Looking at the broader housing market, the report will state that the number of homes granted planning permission in 2021 was 42,991, a four-fold increase from 2011 and indicating a strong housing supply pipeline. More than 60 percent of the permits granted concerned apartments.

It will identify a “strong pipeline” of housing for 2022 with 33,006 housing starts in the 12 months to February this year – the highest since 2008.

According to the progress report, 135 of a total of 213 measures in the area of ​​“housing for all” have either been completed or are being implemented on an ongoing basis.

Meanwhile, the cabinet has been told that up to 32,000 Ukrainian refugees could have arrived in Ireland by Easter.

The latest estimates, presented to ministers yesterday, say arrivals could range between 26,000 and 32,000 by the weekend after next since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.

Ministers have been told the main challenge remains restricting the supply of suitable shelter for people arriving here.

The Irish Red Cross has received 20,719 housing offers from citizens and is currently reviewing them.

However, ministers have been told that between 50 and 60 per cent of these may not be suitable.

A government spokesman said the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet, Co Cork, which can accommodate up to 400 refugees, would be available from April 18, with a further 320 spaces at the military’s Gormanston camp in Co Cork.

More than 18,600 refugees have arrived in Ireland so far, around one in three of them are children. The seven-day average of arrivals is 580 people per day, with the proportion of people looking for housing rising to 81%.

According to recent estimates, the cost for each cohort of 10,000 refugees is expected to be around €500 million per year, assuming all arrivals require emergency hotel accommodation.

The additional financing needs will be covered by the remaining €2.5 billion of the Covid-19 emergency fund.
Cabinet has been told that almost 10,000 beds in hotels and guesthouses have been procured and that 1,800 beds from local authorities could also be made available. The war in Ukraine poses a major risk to the state’s plan to increase housing supply to 33,000 apartments per year

Fry Electronics Team

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