Government housing plan 'set to include €70m fund'

The Government's housing action plan is expected to include a €70m fund to buy houses for the homeless.

Leaks in today's papers suggest that vacant properties around the country could be bought by the State and offered to those in need.

Government housing plan 'set to include €70m fund'

The publication of an Action Plan for Housing was one of the government's key pledges for its first 100 days in office.

It is due to be approved by Cabinet this morning, and formally published this lunchtime.

Among its landmark promises will be a major new national fund, which will buy repossessed homes from banks, and use those properties to help ease the housing and homelessness crisis.

There'll also be plans to build 45,000 social homes in the next five years, and an increase in the number of 'rapid build' homes - which are assembled off-site and then shipped to their final address.

It will also propose greater protections for tenants - who will now have more rights if their landlord is selling over 20 units in their complex.

It will also include more details of the help-to-buy scheme - including cash top-ups for first time buyers.

Francis Doherty from the Peter McVerry Trust, said that speed is of the essence when it comes to solving the current crisis.

"For children in homelessness and anybody in homelessness at the moment, the solution to their immediate accommodation need is housing," he said.

"So we need to look at where we can deliver housing as quickly as possible.

"That will include rapid-build housing, so we need to see targets increase across urban areas for rapid-build housing, we need to see vacant properties brought back into use."

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