Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith raised the issue in parliamentary questions.

Development levy waiver extended to end of the year

Over 100,000 homes built since 2020

Development levies and water connection charges are to be scrapped for all homes to the end of this year. The confirmation from Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, came last Thursday during Parliamentary Questions in the Dáil.

Cavan Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD, Brendan Smith, had raised the issue. He asked the Minister if the current temporary waiver of development contributions and the refund scheme for Uisce Éireann water and wastewater connection charges would be extended.

Deputy Smith welcomed the confirmation this week as good news.

“This is an important measure in helping to reduce housing costs and increase housing supply,” said the Cavan Monaghan TD.

In April 2023, the Government introduced a temporary waiver of “section 48” development contributions and the refunding of Uisce Éireann water and waste water connection charges in a move to reduce housing construction costs and boost supply.

The schemes applied for one year to all permitted residential developments that commenced on site between April 25, 2023 and April 24, 2024; and were completed not later than December 31, 2025.

“I am reviewing the schemes at present,” Minister O’Brien told Deputy Smith in the Dáil last week.

The Minister provided further clarification at the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis at the weekend where progress on housing targets were outlined.

Monaghan Senator Robbie Gallagher said progress is being made under the government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan.

“Over 100,000 homes have been built since 2020 - the year Fianna Fáil re-entered government.

That is already more homes built than in the past two Governments combined,” he said.

Senator Gallagher pointed to a number of other markers.

“Housing commencements have surged to the highest level ever registered, with a new record already set every month this year. 500 first time buyers are drawing down mortgages every week, the highest levels since 2006. More single people are now managing to buy their own home with the support of the First Home Scheme,” he said.

The Minister claimed at the weekend that more social houses have been built than at any time in half a century and the government is set to break that record again this year. “And what this means that we can exit people from emergency accommodation into safe, secure homes for life. For those who are renting in what we know is a very constrained market we have introduced a renter’s tax credit which we then increased by 50% in last year’s budget. Through the short-term letting legislation we are ensuring that homes in areas of high demand are returned to the long-term rental market,” said Minister O’Brien.

Senator Gallagher conceded that far too many people are still experiencing homelessness, “our most pressing challenge”.

He said that “supply is the key” and measures will continue to increase supply.

“More homes are being built and more homes are being bought than any time in a generation,” he concluded.