The Government’s announcement they are to spend €3.8 billion on social housing by 2020 will create a massive uplift in construction activity, according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). Under the Government’s plan 35,000 social housing units will be built or refurbished by 2020.
Speaking in reaction to the plan, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, “The building and refurbishment of social housing at these levels will mean a huge amount of construction activity. This is exactly the type of large scale capital investment the construction industry has been crying out for since the recession. It create a massive uplift for the sector. It will also have a double impact on the economy – creating thousands of jobs, while vastly improving the social housing supply.
“The Government estimates that this initiative will create 29,000 construction jobs. Coupled with the latest CSO figures this is really positive news for construction employment. For too long the construction sector has accounted for the largest segment of unemployed people in this country. This announcement will help ensure there is a significant reduction in the former construction workers who are on the dole.
“The industry looks forward to working with the Government and the various housing agencies to help bring these projects to completion.
“Of course while this announcement is to be welcomed, the industry is also keenly awaiting the Government’s plans to encourage private house building activity. We will not have a sustainable housing market in this country until we get the private sector building again. Even with the large number of units announced by the Government, private sector house building will still need to provide the vast majority of units built on an annual basis.
“At the moment we are seeing very little private house building activity and that trend will continue until steps are taken to address the problems holding back private development. The first step will be to tackle the financing of these projects. The Government has promised to bring forward measures in this area and those proposals are keenly awaited by the industry,” Mr. Parlon concluded.