Changes to planning legislation and practice:

  • Vacant site levy will take effect in January 2019.
  • Large housing schemes (100 plus homes in a scheme) to be subject to a fast track planning process. Local authorities will be taken out of the process and schemes will be assessed by an Bord Pleanála only.
  • An Bord Pleanála will be encouraged to prioritize decisions on large housing schemes with the aim of dealing with them in 18 weeks.
  • Plans for the reduction of development contributions and a rebate scheme for development contributions to facilitate affordable starter homes in Dublin and Cork will be drawn up.
  • There will be changes to the way the Part V Social and Affordable Housing Scheme is operated.
  • There will be changes to the planning legislation to make it easier to convert commercial buildings to residential units.


  • Further legislation is proposed to deal with mortgage arrears.
  • The Code of Conduct for Mortgage Arrears to be kept under review.

The Rental Sector

  • Measures are to be introduced to encourage further institutional involvement in the Buy to Rent Market.
  • However, changes are proposed to security of tenure for residential lettings including introduction of indefinite leases.
  • Measures are to be introduced to limit ability to seek large scale possession of residential units on a sale so that where there is a sale of 20 units or more in a development at one time, the sale is to be with sitting tenants in situ, except in exceptional circumstances.

Student Accommodation

Student Accommodation complexes of 100 or more units will also benefit from the new fast track planning processes referred to above.

Specific Areas of Opportunity

  • Development of private housing on sites adjacent to public housing being developed by local authorities (equivalent to previous PPP housing projects).
  • Funding to be made available to activate inactive zoned housing sites with planning permission from 2017.
  • 47,000 social housing units to be delivered by 2021.
  • State to seek to buy 1,600 vacant homes from banks and financial institutions by 2020.
  • Possible reintroduction of Urban Regeneration Schemes.