Delivering Ireland's Property Needs: The PII Pre-Budget Submission

Key Budget Recommendations:

Prioritise funding of Ireland’s social housing needs
Prioritise construction of 5,500 new social housing units, by ring-fencing income from selling surplus state property and investing in housing funding schemes.

Harness
private institutional and charitable investment in social housing construction, and speed up delivery through planning reform. Improve more efficient use of existing social housing by centralising and professionalising property management.

Reform and improve the delivery of Part V by amending social housing requirements for small residential developments; Mandate professional housing bodies to engage with developers at pre-planning stage and zone land specifically for social housing to create an efficient delivery model.,

Require Local Authorities to approve planning decisions
on social housing developments within six weeks, form a a dedicated team within An Bord Pleanala to make decisions on appeals within a further six weeks.

Accelerate delivery of high-quality, sustainable private residential property
Reduce non-construction costs of new property by reducing the Windfall Tax on re-zoned land to the standard rate of CGT. Introduce a time-limited 9% VAT rate on the construction of residential property.

Reform building standards and planning policy to facilitate purpose-built student accommodation, and property for the active-retired, especially in city centre locations.

Implement the Actions in Construction 2020 to co-ordinate the provision of city infrastructure to unlock the potential of brownfield development.

Support the conversion of un-used retail units in town centres to residential use, especially those on the ground floor of developments which would provide important accommodation for people with disabilities by providing a time-limited and targeted VAT rebate.

Promote investment in commercial property and speed up delivery of critical public infrastructure
Support IDA Ireland pre-lettings of appropriate commercial premises, with the express intention of those leases being assigned to the FDI tenants themselves, preferably before completion of the construction.

Exchequer Capital Investment should be targeted to where it will create the most jobs, relieve infrastructural bottlenecks and support increased economic activity. Mandate the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to invest in Ireland’s changing public infrastructural and social housing needs.

Encourage European Investment Bank
(EIB) funding for smaller-scale social projects to complement direct capital investment in critical infrastructure.

Make Building Information Modelling (BIM) compulsory for all public sector building contracts from 2017 to improve the life-cycle costing of public buildings and infrastructure.

Reform Government Procurement to provide more information on life-cycle costing and use of qualitative, environmental and/or social criteria for awarding public contracts. A consistent and inclusive approach for the recent experience in similar projects requirement should be adopted.
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