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RIAI Welcomes Intent and Ambition in Government’s Housing Strategy

Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

RIAI Welcomes Intent and Ambition in Government’s Housing Strategy
- Delivery dependent on central and local government working in a co-ordinated manner as proposed -

Tuesday, 19th July, 2016: The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has today welcomed the intent and ambition in the Government’s Housing Strategy. We commend Minister Coveney and the Government for this considerable achievement in having consulted widely and produced a research-based, co-ordinated approach with timelines and key deliverables within 100 days. The new strategy provides an opportunity for a fresh start to deliver Ireland’s housing needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

The RIAI hopes the cross-departmental approach proposed will overcome many of the unnecessary blockages which Architects have seen at first hand and which have caused unnecessary delays in housing project delivery. In addition to a cross-departmental focus, the RIAI recommends there be a cross-discipline approach in which architects can contribute to the realisation of this ambitious strategy. Architects both in the public sector and private practice are ready to support the delivery of quality, sustainable long-term housing solutions in line with Minister Coveney’s comment on the importance of design, density and location.

Earlier this year the RIAI published a Housing Policy document and the RIAI welcomes the Government’s adoption of key recommendations including streamlining and accelerating planning decisions, more efficient procurement processes and identifying innovative solutions for lifetime housing.

The RIAI had long advocated the need for a review of the planning process given the lack of consistency between local authorities. The fast-tracking of larger developments through local authorities and An Bord Pleanala and committing to an 18 week decision timeline is to be welcomed. In addition to the streamlined planning process the RIAI also proposed a review of the procurement systems given the considerable delays experienced by architects in delivering housing projects through duplicated procurement processes, which added up to 7 months to delivery timelines.  The introduction of a Centre of Procurement Excellence is a step in the right direction to address this key concern.

The RIAI also looks forward to contributing to one of the key actions set out in the strategy to propose innovative housing design solutions for lifetime communities in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

The manner in which the Government structured this response should not just be seen as an answer to a housing crisis but a long-term approach to the delivery of quality housing as future demand will remain a constant.

For reference: Niall Quinn, The Reputations Agency, 01 6618915 or 086 827 4829

Categories: Architecture | Housing | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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