Today, following months of campaigning by Green Party TDs, the Government committed to increasing the provision of public housing on public land in our cities.
Cabinet agreed that in large urban areas, namely in Dublin and Cork, 100% of housing built by the Land Development Agency on public land will be social and affordable housing. The first draft of the bill, published by the last Government, would have seen just 40% of these units be delivered as social or affordable, with 60% going to the private market.
The change comes on foot of an amendment to the bill submitted by Deputy Francis Noel Duffy to the Oireachtas Committee on Housing. It will see a significant increase in ambition for cost rental and affordable purchase housing in our city centres, where housing affordability problems are most acute.
Responding to the news that Cabinet had agreed the change, Deputy Duffy commented;
“This is a big policy win for the Green Party in government. We´ve been working closely with Minister O’Brien on this Bill and I thank him for his engagement and leadership on this issue.”
“The Land Development Agency is going to be a real game changer for housing in Ireland. Finally, we will have a dedicated organisation with the necessary powers and capital behind it to plan out and build on our underutilised public lands. With cost rental housing in the Affordable Housing Bill, two major elements of Green Party housing policy are now coming to life.
“With these Bills, the Government is doing what has been sorely needed in housing for a long time – restoring the State to its rightful place at the centre of delivery. The land is ours, all of ours, and we should retain the value and the benefit of the asset.
“We targeted this measure where it was needed most – the urban centres with the greatest supply and affordability crunches. It will still be the case that at least 70% of the developments in other areas will be solely public, in many cases much higher than 70%.
“The housing crisis is not beyond us to solve. It will take imagination; collective action and it will take time. Today. I am more confident that together we will get to a place where every Irish person has the home they need and deserve.”
Cllr Claire Byrne, Green Party candidate for Dublin Bay South, also welcomed the move;
“I’m delighted that there’s been a breakthrough so that all public land being developed by the LDA in Dublin will be used for much needed social and affordable homes.”
“Prices and rents in Dublin Bay South are among the highest in the country. We cannot have a situation where young people are forced out of the neighbourhoods where they grew up and where they would like to stay. Cities are for living in and for vibrant, sustainable communities.
“The Green Party has identified sites in Dublin Bay South where we should have cost rental housing with secure tenure. Now, these plans can become a reality and it’s through the party’s participation in government that this has been possible. We will continue to push affordable housing solutions for our cities and nationally.”
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