The European Commission has given Ireland extra time to build affordable housing, after the government admitted it was going to miss key funding deadlines.

The government blamed the Ukraine war and Brexit for causing “construction materials inflation, rising energy costs and supply chain challenges”, according to EU documents.

There were also legal and IT problems which added to the delays.

The EU has now granted Ireland an extra 18 months for hundreds of new homes.

Under the European Union’s covid recovery plan, ‘NextGenerationEU’, Ireland was allocated more than €900 million for a range of eye-catching projects.

The EU approved Ireland’s spending plan in July 2021.

According to the European Commission, so far none of the money has actually been disbursed.

Last month the Irish government applied to amend the terms it signed up to, including delaying deadlines for energy efficiency and housing projects.

The European Commission today announced that “the reasons put forward by Ireland justify amendments”.

Ireland originally requested €915 million. The budget has now been increased to €989,938,300 to take into account problems and delays.

Under the amended social and affordable housing scheme, by 30 September this year, the government now promises:

  • “At least 100 homes shall have been made available for sale through the Affordable Purchase Scheme for homes on public lands.”
  • “At least 450 homes shall have been completed and tenanted to middle income earners in urban centres with a reduction of at least 25% on open market values, as defined by a professional property valuer.”
  • “At least 100 homes shall have been made available for sale to purchasers who
    avail of the equity support scheme.”