Ireland is to receive around €200m with which to build social housing next year from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Thousands of houses are set to be built across the country using the off- balance sheet financing and the bank has committed to allocating similar amounts over the next decade if the first round of funding is successful.
It comes ahead of the publication of the Government’s rental plan, which is due to be released by Housing Minister Simon Coveney next week.
EIB president Werner Hoyer yesterday said the institution is aware of the acute housing crisis and would be providing funding to build thousands of homes next year.
Speaking at an event to mark the opening of a branch of the EIB in Dublin, Mr Hoyer said: “The challenge for Ireland is huge and you have a growing population.
“But I think we are going to make a first deal at the beginning of 2017 of around €200m for social housing, both in Dublin and the surrounding areas.
“I think if that runs successfully and, if it is implemented wisely, then this will be a product type for the next decade.
“This is a first step. I think the housing challenge for Ireland will remain for the next decade and we will be there.”
The bank has already helped to fund a number of significant infrastructure projects including Luas Cross City, Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2, and Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment.
EIB, the world’s biggest international public bank, also announced it would be providing a €50m loan to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The bank will now have a permanent office in Dublin.
On water charges, Mr Hoyer said that the bank is waiting on a decision on the matter and “then we will be able to assist”.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Finance Minister Michael Noonan, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe all attended the announcement in the Shelbourne Hotel yesterday.
Mr Kenny said that the strengthening of the relationship between Ireland and the EIB is “particularly important at this critical time in our recovery”.
He added: “The Government and companies based in Ireland will need to focus more on capital investment in the years ahead.
“The EIB will have a significant role to play in helping to finance many of these new investments.”
Earlier yesterday, Mr Noonan was in Limerick where global medical company Becton, Dickinson and Company announced 100 research and development jobs at the National Technology Park at Plassey.
The total workforce at the company will then number 200.
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