In the midst of a housing and homeless crisis, our towns and cities are filled with derelict and vacant sites. The Green Party wants to bring life back into our cities and towns by bringing these dead sites back to life.
There are 27 empty homes for every one person in emergency accommodation.
The legislation to encourage owners of these sites to make use of them is far too weak. To tackle this we launched a Living Cities Bill, that would:
- Create a transparent process by which vacant and derelict sites are added to the register.
- Increase the levy on derelict sites from 3% to 7%.
- Protect vulnerable home-owners from charges.
- Ensure smaller size sites are included.
- Increases the vacant site levy by one percentage point for each full year on the register.
Update June 2018.
GOOD NEWS! We have made wins with our bill! The government has implemented some of the changes proposed in our bill into another Planning and Development Bill.
- An increase in the Vacant and Derelict Sites levies to 7%
- The removal of the loophole that allows vacant sites in negative equity to hide from the vacant sites levy.
- Increased transparency in how and why vacant sites are added to the register.
However, there are still issues that remain:
- Vacant sites below 0.05 hectares are still exempt from the vacant sites levy – sites in the city could accommodate fantastic public housing projects at that size.
- There is a continued lack of public transparency regarding the process by which sites are entered onto the derelict sites registers? We all know that the levy is not being applied by local authorities, the reasons why need to be made public and questioned.
- There no incremental increase in the vacant sites levy as in the present Derelict Sites Act.
- Increases on the derelict sites levy to 7% will only come into effect from 2020.
- Currently, the Derelict Sites Act allows a local authority to increase the levy incrementally each year up to 10%, we need to make sure that this remains.
These issues need to be dealt with to ensure we can bring our cities and towns properly back to life as soon as possible.
What Can I do?
Contact your TDs asking that they ensure the remaining issues as highlighted above are dealt with.