Somebody has to put a stop to social housing provision

Somebody has to put a stop to social housing provision in its current form. It isn’t working and the continuance of Part V contributions is a mistake.

Part V works as a blunt tool which hits new home buyers in order to provide for social housing, it creates a 20% tax of sorts that has to be absorbed elsewhere in the end costs.

Think about the sums like this, imagine you had to give away 20% of €100, and that for a project to stack up you needed about a 20% return on costs to cover financing charges, cashflow and to help get the next project underway.

The return on €80 to get the €20 on top of the €100 in cost is 50% (80+50% = 120), this cost is absorbed by the end buyer, on top of VAT and development levies etc. This example is not completely fair I’ll admit because the rules state that it’s 20% of the land at existing use value rather than at development land value, some of the compliance matters are dealt with at the end.

Worst of all, it puts the onus on the provision of social housing squarely on the shoulders of new home buyers, meaning everybody who bought in the past or who buys a second hand home gets to shirk the social responsibility of participating on something that should be a society wide concern.

The Construction Industry Federation suggestion that there is a 1% levy on all residential property purchases is like another stamp duty and doesn’t go far enough because once again, it is only people who transact who are then contributing to social housing.

Instead an additional small sum should be added to local property tax and everybody in the country can pay a small sum towards housing our most vulnerable. Social housing is exempted (obviously) but wouldn’t it be a better idea if every household paid something towards housing the people who will never afford a home of their own? It seems far more equitable and fair rather than trying to push it all on new developments only.


Below is a list of the compliance choices:

Section 96(3)(a) Planning and Development Act 2000 – 2002

  • Transfer of land – the default option (for the developer) as underlined by section 96 (3)(g)

Section 96(3)(b) Planning and Development Act 2000 – 2002

  • Building and transfer of houses
  • Transfer of fully or partially serviced sites
  • Transfer of land within the functional area of the planning authority i.e. off-site land transfer
  • Building and transfer of houses on land off-site
  • Transfer of fully or partially serviced sites (off-site)
  • Payment of agreed amount
  • A combination of transfer of land under s.96(3)(a) and options u


One Comment

  1. A brazil

    karl, can I be devils advocat here?
    Should social housing be a permanent thing. Should the need be reviewed regularly – say every 3 or 4 years.
    Should you be entitled to a house forever?

    I consider social housing to be a huge gift from society. The tenant should maintain it – and it should not be a forever gift.
    Social housing should never be sold to the tenant – it should remain in public ownership for it’s intended purpose – to help those in genuine need.
    Has anyone asked this question?

Leave a Comment

Awesome! You've decided to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated.