Housing (Budget 2020)

Oct 08, 2019

A lack of affordable housing coupled with a lack of supply in the wider market has resulted in the housing crisis continuing into another budget year. In an attempt to alleviate this crisis, the Minister promised to increase capital spending on all housing measures to €2.5 billion in 2020. Many of the measures are aimed at fixing supply issues, with the taxation measures involving the extension of the Help to Buy Scheme to 31 December 2021 and an extension of the Living City Initiative to 31 December 2022.

Help to Buy Scheme

In his speech, the Minister announced that he will be extending the Help to Buy (HTB) scheme in its current form to 31 December 2021. The HTB scheme provides for a refund to first-time buyers of income tax and deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) that they have paid over the previous 4 years (up to a maximum value of €20,000) to go towards the deposit on a house. 

Social and affordable housing

  • €1.1 billion has been allocated for the delivery of 11,000 new social homes in 2020. A further 12,000 units are to be delivered in 2021.
  • An extra €80 million will be allocated for the Housing Assistance Payment in 2020 to provide an additional 15,750 new tenancies.
  • An additional €20 million will be provided for homelessness services in 2020.
  • €17.5 million is being provided to the Land Development Agency and €186 million is being allocated for the Service Site Fund and local infrastructure housing activation in 2020.
  • €130 million in urban regeneration and development funding is being allocated for 2020 to support the rejuvenation of Ireland’s five main cities and other larger towns.
  • €2 million has been allocated to the Residential Tenancies Board to support their increased powers to investigate and sanction non-compliance with rent pressure zone measures.

Living City Initiative

A scheme of property tax incentives for the regeneration of certain areas in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford, this initiative will be extended in its present form until 31 December 2022.  This is tax relief is available for money spent on refurbishing or converting residential or commercial properties in these areas.