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Housing Commission Recommendations for Housing And the Wider Construction Industry

The long-awaited Housing Commission’s report was published in recent weeks and it presents a fairly comprehensive roadmap for addressing Ireland’s long-standing housing challenges. Established in December 2021, the Commission was tasked with examining critical issues in the housing sector, including tenure, standards, sustainability, and quality of life. 

The recommendations laid out in this report aim to fundamentally reshape the housing landscape in Ireland, ensuring a sustainable, inclusive, and well-functioning housing system for the future. The report can be accessed in full at


Key Recommendations


1. Meeting Ireland’s Housing Requirements

The report emphasises the urgent need to tackle Ireland’s housing deficit through emergency actions. This involves a step-change increase in housing supply, ensuring that the quantity and types of housing meet the actual needs of the population rather than just market demands or construction sector capacity. 

Housing policies must align with economic development plans, particularly within the National Planning Framework, to ensure that housing supply meets population needs across all regions, including the critical Dublin area. The full economic and social costs of failing to meet housing requirements must be accounted for in policy formulations. The report acknowledges that it is crucial to provide a range of housing types to meet the needs of various groups, supported by high-quality data resources to inform ongoing policy decisions.


2. Delivering a Sustainable Housing Supply

The report recommends the creation of a Housing Delivery Oversight Executive, a legislative decision-making body focused on removing barriers to housing delivery and coordinating public investment in utilities on zoned land.

Also, the establishment of high-yield Housing Delivery Zones in strategic locations will facilitate the short- to medium-term delivery of housing at scale. Enhancing the powers and resources of local authorities is also essential to support the delivery of diverse housing types, including private, affordable, social, and cost-rental housing.

Furthermore, the delivery of enabling infrastructure ahead of housing construction is critical. The report advocates for improved public participation in the planning process, particularly during the early stages of policy formulation and land-use zoning.


3. Enhancing Cost and Quality of Housing

According to the Commission, the state should support the development of standard house and apartment types to drive efficiency and reduce costs. Conducting a comprehensive National Housing Condition Survey every five years will ensure housing conditions and standards are regularly monitored and maintained.


4. Boosting Capacity and Innovation in Construction

The establishment of a unit to coordinate, monitor, and track major public sector construction projects is recommended to enhance the scale and capacity of the homebuilding sector.

A National Housing Procurement Strategy would promote collaboration between contracting parties and the supply chain, reform public works contracts, and focus on collaboration and dispute resolution. Supporting this, developing a pipeline of skilled labor and facilitating the use of modern methods of construction and digitisation will improve productivity in the construction sector.


5. Addressing the Rental Sector

Balancing the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords through legislative reforms will make the private rental sector more attractive. Delivering cost-rental housing at scale is essential to address rental market challenges and affordability issues.

Also, reforming rent regulations to establish a system of ‘Reference Rents’ will further help regulate market rents fairly and effectively. Consolidating rental standards into a single nationwide risk-based inspection process is also recommended.


6. Promoting Homeownership Affordability

Regularly reviewing measures to assist first-time buyers, using equity loan schemes, and maintaining a central online resource for home purchasers are identified as critical steps to enhance homeownership affordability.


7. Strengthening the Social Housing Sector

A new Social Housing Act should be enacted to protect the sector’s social purpose and ensure its sustainability. Increasing the size of social and cost-rental housing to 20 percent of the national stock and providing a sustainable financing model for social housing are also key recommendations.


8. Promoting Sustainable Rural Housing

Incentivising the reuse and retrofitting of vacant rural dwellings and addressing historical infrastructure challenges, particularly in water and sewage management, will support the development of sustainable rural communities.

The Housing Commission’s Report provides a set of 83 recommendations to transform Ireland’s housing sector. According to the Housing Department, “a preliminary review of the Housing Commission recommendations suggests around 65 of the recommendations are already advanced or at varying stages of implementation, with some more advanced than others. Comprehensive consideration will be given to those remaining to be implemented”.

By addressing the systemic issues that have long plagued housing policy and delivery, these proposals aim to create a sustainable, inclusive, and well-functioning housing system. As a construction contractor, Townmore already plays a crucial role in housing delivery and will play a further role in implementing the recommendations of the Housing Commission, ensuring that we build sustainable homes that meet the changing needs of Ireland’s growing population.