Minister Daly launches Waterford Age Friendly Strategy at John’s College

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Declan Dunne Respond! CEO, Deputy Mary Butler, Minister Jim Daly, Mayor Pat Nugent, Donal Connolly, Waterford Age Friendly Alliance

On Friday 5th December, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD officially launched the Waterford Age Friendly Alliance City and County Strategy 2017-2022 in John’s College. During the visit, Minister Daly viewed all of the information stands and talked to the residents of John’s College while touring the facilities on the campus.

20The Minister also had time to drop in to Dermot Power and was highly impressed with the views of Waterford City from the apartment. Eleanor Gaffney and the John’s College Choir added some festive cheer to the occasion with a magnificent performance and nobody went home disappointed.

12The Age Friendly Cities and Counties Programme is part of a worldwide, World Health Organisation inspired movement which embraces the challenges and opportunities that our ageing population presents by facilitating local authorities to take the lead on changing thinking about ageing, and how services are planned and delivered.

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Minister Jim Daly, Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council

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Donal Connolly, Waterford Age Friendly Alliance, Kevin Moynihan, Waterford City and County Council

The Waterford Age Friendly City Programme started a number of years ago with Waterford City and Council as the Lead Agency. Over the last number of years, a multi-agency Alliance was formed with a number of Older People representing their peers as well as representatives from the relevant Statutory, Community and Voluntary agencies across Waterford City and County.

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Dermot Power, Minister Jim Daly

During the visit, Minister Daly viewed all of the information stands and talked to the residents of John’s College while touring the impressive facilities on the campus.

During his speech Minister Daly stated:

“The development of this strategy demonstrates how different organisations and agencies can work together in partnership to deliver something great for their community.  Multi-agency planning with public and stakeholder consultation is the most effective way we can deliver services and indeed solutions for our communities.”

According to Michael Walsh, Chairperson Waterford Age Alliance and Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive:

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Tim Noone, HSE; Philip O’Reilly, Mayor Pat Nugent, Minister Jim Daly, Deputy Mary Butler, Mags Drohan, St Brigid’s Family Community Centre

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Minister Jim Daly, Philip O’Reilly

“With regard to the aging demographic in Waterford, both in urban and rural areas, it is seen as imperative for everyone to begin the planning process to future proof and age proof any and all developments and services provided to the public. It is with this in mind that the Waterford Age Friendly Alliance has worked to develop this five year strategy document which will be implemented with immediate effect”

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John’s College Choir

The John’s College choir concluded proceedings and added some festive cheer to the air.

About the Age Friendly Ireland Programme

As in all other countries in the world, the population of Ireland is ageing. To plan for this, in 2013 the Department of Health published the National Positive Ageing Strategy. The Strategy sets out a vision for an age-friendly society through the achievement of four national goals (participation, health, security and research). It recognises that all sectors of society – government, businesses, voluntary groups, service providers, local authorities and the general public – have a part to play in creating an age-friendly society.

The Strategy allocates lead responsibility for its Priority Action Areas to various Government Departments and agencies.

Posted: December 2017

Minister Zappone officially opens the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD  officially opened the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght, Co. Dublin on 10th November 2017.

Video filmed at the Family Hub – Tallaght launch can be found here

The facility has capacity for 9 families where 7 families have their own apartments with 2 families sharing a kitchen in adjoining apartments. The Tallaght Family Hub has seen 9 families with 24 children move into homes of their own

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone, speaking at the launch of the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Overall figures show that 50 families have moved into homes of their own from 5 Family Hubs in Dublin.

The average stay in for families in the Respond! Family Hubs has been 7 months and 8 days – 9 months in Tallaght and 5.5 months in High Park.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD said:

“Respond! Family Hubs are caring new model of accommodation which includes a range of wrap-around services to help families be in a better position to move to secure housing in the short term. I am happy to see that every family here has a key worker and support plans which are developed with every resident based on their own individual need.

Ellie and Kayleigh Foster speaking at the launch

This supported temporary accommodation is designed to be as close to a home as possible and to ensure that every child and adult leaves in a better position than when they arrived”.

Respond! CEO Declan Dunne, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone and Respond! Board of Directors Chairman John O Connor.

CEO of Respond! Housing Declan Dunne said:

“I am glad to report that 23 families including 47 children have moved out of our Family Hubs and into homes of their own. The overall figure of 50 families in Hubs supported by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive is a credible outcome from a new model first launched only 7 months ago. Together we can aim to continually improve the Family Hub model to ensure that all families who currently find themselves homeless have the homes they truly want, need and deserve as soon as possible.

Family Hub Manager Hilary Francis with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone at the launch of the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Last year Respond! delivered 135 new social homes and we have recently significantly ramped up our ambitions for social home delivery with 2,918 homes currently in our development pipeline. We know that the long-term solution to the current homelessness crisis is the building of social housing and we aim to play our part. We are committed to providing homes for life for those in housing need. Family Hubs are a short-term solution while we, with our partners, work on the long term solution.”

Posted: November 2017

 

Respond! publish Annual Report 2016

2016 was a year of great change in Respond!

We are privileged to have a new Chairperson in John O’Connor and largely a new Board of Directors, whose experience and acumen is undoubted.

Declan Dunne also joined Respond! as the new CEO in August 2016 and we have set upon a path of internal transformation in order to properly situate ourselves in the current housing and homelessness context and to set a clear path for our future direction.

Photo for website

 To view the full report please click  Respond! Annual Report 2016 

Respond! has significantly ramped up our social house build and acquisition plans in order to address the significant shortfall in social housing supply which is causing many of the downstream issues of homelessness and insecurity.

2016 saw the official opening of John’s College in Waterford City. Originally a diocesan seminary John’s College is now a 67-unit state of the art development for older people and those with special needs and requirements. John’s College now a vibrant space where residents and the wider Waterford community interact via the Hub Café and the other community services located there. This adds to Respond!’s considerable output in Waterford city and county where we have built 574 social homes since our founding in 1982.

Moy Glas Glade in Lucan is now home to 14 families who were previously many years on the social housing list. Originally an unfinished private estate, Respond! took over Moy Glas Glade and ensured the completion of the project for social use.

Phase I of Ashmount Mews in the Mayfield area of Cork City was opened in 2016 and 16 families got the keys to their new homes. Ashmount Mews was Respond’s first NARPS development – NAMA’s special purpose vehicle to take ownership of properties where there is an established demand, leasing them to a local authority or Approved Housing Body. When Phase II is completed 35 families will be housed in long-term, secure situation. Respond! continued also to advocate on behalf of our residents via submissions to the policy process arguing that eliminating barriers to social house-building is the single greatest way we can contribute to fulfilling the ambitions of Rebuilding Ireland.

Respond! are a solutions-oriented organisation unafraid to innovate but knowing we have to keep listening and learning all the while. The new Strategic Plan we are embarking on will ensure that the organisational structure is fully aligned to the new strategy.

Declan stated that he is  “delighted at the progress we all made together in 2016 and am genuinely excited by our new strategic development process which I believe will make sure Respond! only goes from strength to strength”

Posted:  8th November 2017

 

Christmas Card Competition 2017

Kianna Byrne Rowan Heights, Marlys Lane Drogheda Co Louth age 8

Winner – Kianna Byrne Co Louth

Respond! Christmas card competition – overall winner is Kianna Byrne from Drogheda (aged 8)

  • Age 16 category Annmarie Kelly O’Brien ( Co Limerick)
  • Age 10 category Kianna Byrne (Co Louth)
  • Age 6 category Lily Lanning (Co Clare

One €100.00 Smyths voucher was awarded in each of the three categories.

DSCN4626[1]There were over 100 entries and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD selected the winning entries.

Lily Lanning, Shannon, Co Clare age 6

Lily Lanning, Co Clare age 6

Annmarie Kelly O'Brien, Limerick age 15

Annmarie Kelly O’Brien, Limerick age 15

Please find  an example of some of the other artistic entries below

CYMERA Collage of runners up

Well done to all who took part

Christmas card comp 2017

Posted: November 2017

Beauchamps’ social housing event with Minister Eoghan Murphy

Beauchamps photo

Group photo: Back L – R: Declan Dunne, CEO, Respond! Housing Association / Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government / Felix McKenna, CEO of Urbeo Residential / John White, Managing Partners, Beauchamps / John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency Front L – R: Dorit McCann, Partner & Head of EU, Competition & Procurement, Beauchamps /Fidelma McManus, Partner & Head of Housing, Beauchamps

On 25 October 2017, Beauchamps held a social housing event with special guest Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The event provided a forum for clients and other participants in the housing sector to engage on key issues related to the housing crisis. The purpose of the event was to spark some very fresh thinking about the provision of social housing in Ireland and also to provide practical guidance on overcoming one of the key challenges – procuring social housing developments.

The event was attended by over 80 representatives from local authorities, developers, approved housing bodies, financial institutions, funds, state bodies and other key participants in the social housing sector.

The event looked at:

  • Government initiatives associated with €1.9 billion budget allocation for housing next year (and increase of 46% on 2017)
  • How to ensure procurement processes do not present obstacles to the efficient delivery of social housing
  • Coordination between the private and public sectors for delivery of social housing and sustainable communities
  • Key success factors identified from recent experience with successful social housing initiatives – such as NAMA’s NARPS Project – in order to deliver large scale housing more efficiently

PANELLISTS INCLUDED:
Minister Eoghan Murphy – Eoghan Murphy TD was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in June 2017 by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He is a member of Fine Gael and represents the constituency of Dublin Bay South.
Felix McKenna – Felix McKenna was recently appointed CEO of Urbeo Residential, a newly created Fund to provide social and affordable housing in sustainable mixed-tenure communities. Felix was previously Deputy Head of Asset Management at NAMA with responsibility for social housing delivery.
Declan Dunne – Declan joined Respond! as CEO in August 2016 following on from his role as CEO of Sophia Housing Association. He was a Director of the Ballymun Regeneration Board for ten years and also serves as Chair of the Homeless Network all of the major Homeless Agencies. Declan is a member of Dublin Statutory Consultative Homeless Forum and the Implementation Advisory Group at the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.
John O’Connor – John is the Chief Executive of the Housing Agency, which is a statutory body set up under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG). John was previously the Chief Executive of the Affordable Homes Partnership and prior to that Executive Manager with Dublin City Council’s Housing Department.

Posted: November 2017 Source:  https://beauchamps.ie
  

Respond! Family Hub – Tallaght

Roof top (5)Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD will launch Respond!’s Family Hub in Tallaght on Friday 10th of November at 8:45 am, more details to follow……

 

Killure Grove prepare for Halloween 2017

A spooketacular event was held in Killure Grove Community Centre to celebrate Halloween 2017. The community got in the spirit of the occasion early spending time together making decorations for the community centre and also designing costumes for the scary night.

Congratulations to all the children who entered an art competition themed the magic of Halloween and received prizes.

Children of all ages got into the spirit of Halloween dressing in fantastic costumes, they also enjoyed face painting, pumpkin carving, ducking for apples and treats galore. Great night had by all.

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Housing and Homelessness: Donegal’s Hidden Problem

A conference on Homelessness in Donegal saw a packed venue at the Radisson Blu in Letterkenny on 27th October where over 150 people attended.

Panel. Declan Dunne SpeakingA number of speakers including contributors Thomas Pringle TD, Peter McVerry of McVerry Trust, David Hall of iCARE Housing and Declan Dunne of Respond! Housing outlined the issue of homelessness.

The event was organised by Housing Rights Awareness with Frankie Healy co-chairing the event for the evening as the problem of hidden homelessness in Donegal and the Government’s response was discussed in detail.

Thomas Pringle Speaking. StandingDeputy Pringle told the event it was humbling to see how concerned people are about homelessness in Donegal. While official numbers don’t reach the thousands as they do in Dublin, people here feel that hidden homeless is reaching unacceptable levels and that something needs to be done before the problem gets worse. They’re aware that the Government’s priorities lie elsewhere which they feel is not good enough.”

“While official numbers don’t reach the thousands as they do in Dublin, people here feel that hidden homeless is reaching unacceptable levels and that something needs to be done before the problem gets worse. They’re aware that the Government’s priorities lie elsewhere which they feel is not good enough.”

“Twice I introduced legislation to have the right to housing recognised in the Constitution and twice Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil voted it down. People deserve a Government that protects their interests over the interests of the private sector. Anything different is just plain dangerous” concludes Pringle.

Fr Peter McVerry spoke of the changing profile of those entering homelessness:

“It used to be mainly people with drug and alcohol problems but now we’re seeing families and even people with jobs. The cause of the homelessness problem is we stopped building social housing. Over the next 10 years the Government will transfer €7.5 billion to private sector landlords and not one social house will be built” he concluded.

Declan Dunne CEO Speaking. StandingDeclan Dunne of Respond! Housing summed up the issue of the Government’s funding of HAP.

“The main problem with HAP is the insecurity. We need to build social homes as the only solution. It’s about handing over keys to people,” he said.

David Hall of iCARE Housing said plainly “There are 17,000 people before the courts at the moment in danger of losing their home and 32,000 people in arrears. We have a housing crisis but with thousands more close to losing their homes, this will turn crisis into a catastrophe”.

Article written by stephen from the Donegal Daily October 27, 2017

 

 

Respond! College holds Graduation Ceremony for Healthcare Support Class 2017

32Respond! College held a graduation ceremony for Level 5 Health Service Skills and Healthcare Support Students on the 29th September 2017 at Johns College, the Folly, Waterford.  50 mature students from Waterford, Kilkenny and Portlaoise and received their QQI Level 5 major and minor awards in Healthcare. Mayor Reinhardt and Respond! CEO Declan Dunne were both in attendance.34

48The Healthcare programmes was delivered by Respond! College in 2016-2017, and the programmes were part funded in Kilkenny by Carlow Kilkenny ETB and in Waterford by Waterford Area Partnership. The students are now qualified carers and some of them are already using their qualifications in paid employment.

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Programme Leader Sarah Barron said:

“We are very proud of all our students who worked very hard throughout the year and deserve this great day of celebration. This programme really shows what can happen when the community pulls together. We are very grateful to all those who part funded the programmes, without whom it would not of been possible.”

40The students are looking forward to their careers as qualified carers as holding the Health Service Skills and Healthcare Support Certificate is now a prerequisite for entry/advancement within the caring profession. Respond! College’s teaching philosophy means that the students’ life experiences, both personal and professional, is highly valued and this becomes the centre point of the entire learning process. This allowed students to share knowledge, skills and experience in ways that were mutually beneficial.”

Posted: September 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ireland building again: can we reform our way out of crisis? – article by Paul Melia

Brid McGrath Respond! Head of Policy pictured in for article by Paul Melia in the Sunday Independent 24th September 2017

Ireland has plenty of land, but we’re not building on it. Environment editor Paul Melia asks if restructuring the way we tax land and property could solve the housing crisis

Bríd McGrath, head of social policy with housing body Respond! Photo: Justin Farrelly

Bríd McGrath, Head of Social Policy Respond! Photo: Justin Farrelly
 

In 1957, aged just 18, Galwegian Peter Walsh travelled with the first-ever Irish team to enter the WorldSkills competition in Madrid for skilled tradesmen.The carpenter and joiner took first place, and was presented with his winning trophy by General Franco.

Over the following years, he received awards from the President of Italy and the UK’s Prince Philip for his work, and in 1970 he established his housebuilding firm, Peter Walsh Construction.

Today, the 78-year-old works a 70-hour week. Despite his pedigree, and demand for homes, business has never been so bad.

“It’s the worst it’s ever been in Galway,” he says. “We specialise in building on a person’s own site. Until 2007, we used to build up to 10 houses a year, and then the world came to an end.”

His firm builds anything from an extension to a bespoke home. It also offers four extendable house types, each with an A3 energy rating, solar panels and wood pellet stove. He is insured, tax compliant and on the Construction Industry Register.

But despite doing everything right, there’s little business to be had.

“We can build a three-bedroom bungalow for €165,000, plus site works, but people don’t have the money, it’s as simple as that. We could price an extension, but the client can’t get the money from the bank. We live in hope.”

It seems perverse that in the midst of a housing crisis that a company with a track record like Peter’s is struggling.

Scant supply, soaring prices

At least 25,000 new homes are needed every year to meet pent-up demand, and in 2016 just under 15,000 units were connected to the ESB network, the metric used to assess new supply coming on stream. Some 18,000 are forecast by year-end, but given the low rate of delivery over recent years, the real requirement is probably far higher.

Chair of the Housing Agency, Conor Skehan, says that a large part of the problem is the lack of homes coming on to the market.

“One of the things people aren’t picking up on is the difference between a shortage of houses and a shortage of houses for sale. Transactions are impeded by negative equity, and that prevents churn, where people downsize and move and free up family homes. There’s 20,000 to 30,000 transactions not taking place because of that.”

He says the issue of mortgage arrears needs to be dealt with, to help people in difficult situations but also to free up homes.

The lack of supply – whether through new build, utilising existing stock or converting commercial units or older buildings for residential – has resulted in soaring prices.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) says house prices have risen by 12.3pc in the year to July. National monthly rents now average €1,017, 14pc higher than the peak of the boom. That’s an extra €63 per month, more than €750 a year in after-tax income. But there are other issues too, and plenty of good ideas out there to help solve this crisis.

Among the concerns include the Government’s take on the cost of a new home through VAT and development levies. Regulations around utilising commercial buildings play a part, as does the cost of finance.

But most agree that at the heart of the crisis is land.

There is no shortage. Some 17,434 hectares of zoned and serviced lands are available across the country, which could enable delivery of more than 410,000 homes.

The hoarding factor

But there is nothing to force landowners to utilise their sites, despite the necessary services including power and water all being in place, and provided at the taxpayer’s expense.

State bad bank NAMA has said that developers are hoarding, noting earlier this year it had sold sites capable of delivering 50,000 units. Only 3,000 are being built.

DIT housing lecturer Dr Lorcan Sirr says our attitude needs to change.

“Land is a finite resource, and the sooner we realise that owning it is a privilege and that holding it should be a liability then the sooner we’ll be able to reform our dysfunctional system of housing delivery,” he says.

The Government is planning to introduce a vacant site levy from January 2018, although the first bills won’t be levied until 12 months later. It will oblige owners to pay an annual 3pc levy based on the market value of the site.

But head of social policy with approved housing body Respond!, Bríd McGrath, says this is unlikely to release new sites.

“You’re still quids in with the vacant site levy at 3pc, because land is increasing in value well above 3pc. If it was an accumulator tax – if it was 2pc above rising values – it would make a difference,” she says.

Most agree the solution is a complete restructuring of how we tax land and property.

The site tax solution

Chairman of O’Mahony Pike architects, James Pike, says a site-value tax is needed to replace commercial rates and the local property tax (LPT).

This idea was cited both in the Troika deal, and in the 2011 Programme for Government. But instead of introducing a system based on land values, a quick fix was decided upon – the LPT, based on the value of the house.

The Smart Taxes group, of which Pike is a member, says a site-value tax is fairer.

“If you get a block of land in a town or city centre, the land more or less has the same value, but valuing the buildings may be more difficult,” he says.

“With taxing the land you incentivise use of vacant sites and you incentivise making maximum use of buildings. Existing residents who benefit from, for example, a Luas line would pay, and not just new developments.

“That would spread the load but you also wouldn’t need to charge development levies. Because the local authority would have guaranteed incomes, it could borrow long-term for infrastructure instead of charging upfront.

“It might take five years to get a better system, but it would be worth it.”

Engaging the State

Given the market’s failure to deliver homes, many argue the State must now step into the breach, utilising its massive landbank.

Karl Deeter, of Irish Mortgage Brokers, suggests that sites be released for social and affordable housing schemes, or private homes, in return for equity. Developers would have little cause for complaint.

“On a vacant site (in Dublin city centre), you could build an eight-storey building with 75pc of the building rented at 20pc below market, and for the rest you have a guaranteed upward-only rent review of 2pc a year,” he says.

“If we do it on a build to sell, or build to rent, we share the profits..

“We need to flood the land market. People want to talk about the law of the jungle, but you can’t be a lion, and when a rhino comes along you complain.”

Affordability is by far the biggest issue. Under Central Bank lending rules, to buy a home costing €350,000 – considered ‘affordable’ in the ­capital – an income of €90,000 a year is required.

Builders suggest that VAT adds around €40,000 to the cost, but if the rate fell from 13.5pc to 9pc, it would reduce the price per unit by €10,000. Development levies should also fall.

The concern from Government is that any cuts would not be passed on to buyers, but Construction Industry Federation boss Tom Parlon says it must act.

“The Government has to ask if it can afford to take €40,000 (in VAT) from each unit? Can the local authority take €15,000 (in levies)? If Government swallowed the accusation they were bailing out developers, it would stop this from getting worse.

“A much bigger political hump will be this time next year, when the parties are going for election, and we have an increased number of homeless people and rents are going up.”

But there are tax breaks and incentives which could be used to increase supply.

“We hear about under-occupancy of properties,” says Karl Deeter. “If a lot of these houses had backyards, we could give a planning exemption to build a 70 square metre home provided it meets certain criteria. The owner could rent out the house under the rent-a-room system, where they would get €14,000-a-year tax free.”

The Government plans to build 47,000 social houses by 2021 under a €5.35bn package outlined in its Rebuilding Ireland strategy announced last year. Housing bodies and others suggest the approvals process needs to be quicker, and warn that the cost of securing some social units is too high.

Under the Part V process, up to 10pc of units in a development must be offered to the local authority as social housing. In recent weeks, it emerged that Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was told that a social apartment in a Dalkey scheme would cost €520,000.

“Instead of taking property, we should take land instead,” Lorcan Sirr says. “And also, your planning permissions will expire if the land isn’t handed over within six months. Why would you buy houses when you can build them yourself for €200,000? I think that could be a game-changer.”

The affordability question

The big gap is catering for families or individuals in the €35,000 to €75,000 income bracket who don’t qualify for social housing, but struggle to secure reasonably-priced accommodation.

With assets of more than €13bn, there is a role for credit unions to finance housing, particularly affordable rental, and achieve a steady return over time. There is no logical reason why the garda credit union couldn’t build homes for its members.

James Pike, who is also a board member of the Túath Housing Association, says it has proposed a ‘rent and save’ scheme. The State leases the land, and gets 10pc of rental income. Rents would be 80pc below market rates, and index-linked to provide certainty.

Because it would be low-cost, well-managed housing, it would also be occupied, providing certainty to investors. A small portion could be sold to fund development. Tenants could buy their units over time.

“Affordable homes will never be provided by the private sector. For a fund operating in a precarious stock market, it’s a steady 3pc,” he says.

Planner Tom Phillips, who is also chair of Property Industry Ireland, says while there is a fast-track planning system in place for schemes of 100 units or more, other reforms are needed. “There is nothing in legislation which requires local authorities to respond (to the developer). It’s open ended,” Phillips says. “The local authority may never respond, despite the builder having tight timeframes, and that adds to costs.”

In addition, standards are interpreted in different ways by different planning authorities, adding to delays.

Funding remains an issue, particularly for smaller builders keen to deliver 20 to 50 units a year. Action is needed on this. Banks also appear reluctant to lend for one-off homes or smaller projects, impacting on builders like Peter Walsh. With around two-thirds of houses in Dublin being suitable for families, higher densities are also needed.

But the low-hanging fruit, without doubt, are the 180,000 vacant homes dotted across the State. Even bringing 10pc on stream would have an impact.

Tom Phillips also points to the benefit of employing town architects, which has helped transform Westport in Mayo, and could be used in areas including Limerick city, Youghal and Boyle which have enormous potential to re-use existing buildings as homes.

The construction industry says the internal layout of protected buildings should be capable of being altered to provide homes, which is currently banned. There can also be too much red tape around converting commercial units to homes. There is potential for 4,000 units in Dublin alone, and a one-stop-shop for necessary approvals around planning, fire and disabled access is needed.

But there are also unexplored opportunities including worker housing for those employed in a city for a number of days before returning home.

There’s vocational housing, for nurses, gardaí and teachers, and housing for the aged which is largely ignored here. Delivering all three would help free up family-sized homes.

Conor Skehan says the most important thing now is not to get in the way of delivery by introducing new policies.

“We’re at the classic year four of a five-year cycle. This is always when panic sets in. The reality on the ground is the long, slow slog of permissions is in and they are being built. Well-intentioned interventions create uncertainty, so don’t change the goalposts. The recovery has started. The short-term solution is don’t get in people’s way.”

Tom Phillips agrees.

“There are plenty of policies, but it needs a bit of umph to get it going.”

@paulbmelia