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RIAI Welcomes Report on Affordable Housing

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018

RIAI welcomes reports into the cost of delivering homes but highlights dangers caused by the cyclical nature of the construction sector

  Effective and consistent planning and the urgent use of state land are essential to tackle crisis

UPDATE: RIAI President David Browne was interviewed by broadcaster Ivan Yates on The Hard Shoulder, Newstalk spoke on the DoHPLG’s reports on the cost of delivering housing in Ireland – Listen back

The President of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), David Browne, has welcomed a report by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in respect of delivery costs and viability for affordable housing.  The RIAI says the report highlights the complexity of delivering housing and the multi-faceted considerations that need to be addressed to increase supply. 

It also recognises that good quality design does not necessarily mean additional cost and that collaborative design teams, including architects, are required at the earliest stage of projects to achieve the best results in creating a quality built environment.   However, the RIAI warns that the procurement process must be efficient, effective and appropriate in order to achieve and maintain this focus on quality. 

The RIAI is warning that the cyclical nature of the construction sector is leading to delayed delivery, fluctuating prices and uncertainty in the housing market.   Effective and consistent planning and the urgent use of state land are essential to tackle the current crisis and prevent future peaks and troughs.

“At present, there are 60,000 housing units underway across four of the country’s top architecture practices but these projects were commissioned from 2013 onwards and are only now starting to come onto the market. The Employment figures in the report demonstrate the cyclical nature of the sector, with 110,000 people employed in 1998, rising to 270,000 in 2007 and dropping to around 85,000 in 2012.  Between 1973 and 1993, around 25,000 houses were delivered each year on average.  In 1997, 35,000 homes were built.  This soared to 90,000 in 2007 before declining rapidly to just 8,000 in 2013.  We simply cannot turn the construction sector on and off and expect the industry to operate smoothly at the same time.  The State should have been planning and commissioning feasibility and design work for potential housing development from 2011.”

“The recently published Rebuilding Ireland 2040 plan requires a detailed 5-year capital expenditure strategy with identified projects to be delivered each year. The sector is already working at near capacity and if the State fails to properly plan and coordinate its expenditure, it will overheat.  The time to act is now - it’s critical that State lands be used to develop affordable housing, as outlined under Section 3.5 of Rebuilding Ireland 2040.”

David Browne is available for additional comment.

For media interviews, images or further information, please contact:

Grace Cooney, Drury| Porter Novelli – grace.cooney@drurypn.ie / 086 153 6886
Anna Kavanagh, Drury| Porter Novelli – anna.kavanagh@drurypn.ie / 087 692 9458 

About the RIAI
Since 1839 the RIAI has been the professional body for architects working and practicing in Ireland.  The RIAI provides support and information services to its 3,100 members in all categories.  The RIAI engages with Government, the professions, with industry, clients and the public to promote the value of quality in architecture to deliver attractive and sustainable built environments, to enrich Ireland’s distinctive culture and heritage, to contribute to the Irish economy and to improve the quality of life for the people of Ireland for generations to come.


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