Swift action needed from Govt to use publicly owned sites for social and affordable housing

06 March 2018

Speaking ahead of a Green Party motion on the Cost of Rental Public Housing this evening, Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called on the Government to move quickly to use the 700 publicly owned sites already identified around the country for social and affordable housing.

The Labour Party will support tonight’s motion, but will submit amendments regarding the designation of two of the sites highlighted in this particular instance by the Greens.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The lack of affordable housing to rent and buy has become a national crisis issue that we must address quickly.

“In our Alternative Budget last year, Labour identified that there are nearly 700 local authority sites and a further 30 plus owned by public bodies available for mixed tenure development, consisting of over 17 hundred hectares.

“At a density of over 50 units per hectare, this is enough land for 85 thousand homes or more at higher densities.

“If the Government doesn’t move quickly, these sites will simply be hived off to the private sector and the homes sold at unaffordable prices.

“With supply such a critical issue, we simply have to start building homes- but homes that people can afford to both rent and buy, for the thousands of people on ordinary incomes that are getting squeezed out of the current market.

“We cannot continue to rely so heavily on the private sector to supply homes, as this is clearly not working.

“Just this weekend for example, the Sunday Business Post reported that the state’s largest house builder, Cairn Homes delivered, ‘well below what might be expected given the scale of the potential in the site they are active on’.

“It is clear that the State must pick up the slack in the provision of affordable homes.

“That is why the Labour Party will support the Green’s motion this evening, but shall submit amendments to direct the new National Regeneration and Development Agency to work with the relevant State agencies to designate specific publicly owned sites in Dublin City centre and plan for them to be the first of the major cost rental housing developments, and to plan for the construction of 3,000 new homes at these locations.”




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