The Irish Home Builders Association has expressed “deep disappointment” at the announcement from Government that the “unnecessary delay” to private home building activity is set to continue.
Speaking following the announcment by Taoiseach Micheal Martin yesterday evening, James Benson, Director IHBA, said while the IHBA “acknowledges the seriousness” of the Covid crisis he believes Ireland’s ban on private home building is “totally at odds” with construction activity worldwide.
“As an industry we have a proven health and safety track record,” he said.
“The safety measures and protocols introduced under the standard operating procedure have proven effective against all variants of the virus.
“We have had 35,000 workers working on social housing, FDI and designated essential projects since January and the HSE produced figures show only 42 cases of covid at peak during this time.
“Our numbers show clear evidence that home building can continue safely.
“Ireland’s ban on private home building and construction is totally at odds with all international practice with construction continuing in the UK, across Europe and across the world.”
“Private home builders contribute to relieving the housing crisis and have a major contribution to make.
“Those who have been continuing to build social housing have shown that this can happen safely.
“Today’s announcement is short sited, unfair and discriminates against private home builders.
“We are increasingly concerned about the impact of this lockdown on the supply of homes.
“The current lockdown has already taken 8,000 homes out of supply this year.
“The extension of these restrictions will mean a further reduction in housing delivery by up to 800 homes a week.
“The impact of this decision will be seen in housing delivery for years.
“It will erode the progress that so many have worked tirelessly for.”
Mr Benso said the ban on construction means housing delivery is “now set to fall significantly short of the 33,000 homes needed per annum.”
We would urge the Government to acknowledge the strong safety record of home builders and to urgently develop a plan which will see this essential service restored in full.
“This needs to be done immediately and should not have to wait until 5th April.
“At a minimum, the model for a phased re-opening of the education sector should be replicated for private home builders to finish private homes near completion.
“Failure to accelerate the return of home building will unnecessarily exacerbate Ireland’s housing crisis.”