12th October 2021 | Press Releases

Housing budget will address vulnerable populations and land hoarding say Greens

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A record level of investment of just under €6bn was announced under today’s (12th October) housing budget. Following the Housing for All strategy published last month, the 2022 budget sees an increased commitment to addressing the housing needs of vulnerable populations, in addition to tax measures that will help deter land hoarding and free up key sites in towns and cities for delivery of homes.

Green Party Spokesperson for Housing, Francis Noel Duffy TD welcomed this year’s budget allocation for housing;

“Today’s budget sees a commitment of €676m to support a package of measures that will deliver more affordable housing, including 4,130 affordable purchase and cost rental homes. Cost-rental is being introduced to Ireland for the first time and is a key affordable housing solution that the Green Party secured as part of the Programme for Government.

“A commitment of €300m in today’s budget for residential and community retrofit schemes is a vital step towards achieving the goals of the National Development plan to grade at least 500,000 residences to a Building Energy Rating of B2 by 2030. From today’s allocation, €109m will go towards free upgrades for low-income homes, €60m for a low-cost retrofit loan scheme and €31m for business and public sector energy schemes.

“I also welcome the inclusion of significant funding to protect our most vulnerable with €194 million for homeless services along with approximately €40m in health supports. An increased allocation for housing adaptation grants from €60m to €65m will also assist our elderly and people with disabilities to adapt their homes to meet their living needs.”

Today’s announcement included an increase in Traveller Specific Accommodation Schemes to €18 million.

Deputy Duffy added;

“The time is now to address the Traveller accommodation crisis. This funding will be available to local authorities to deliver traveller-specific accommodation. It is particularly timely following the recent briefing from the Irish Traveller Movement to the Housing Committee. We need to listen to the voices of the Traveller community in order to make real and lasting change.”

Also announced today was a new Zoned Property Tax to help prevent land hoarding and speculation.

Green Party Spokesperson for Planning and Local Government and Chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee, Steven Matthews TD stated;

“The Zoned Land Tax announced today is a major improvement on the Vacant Site Levy as there is no minimum site size exemption to avoid paying the tax. This will bring a huge amount of sites in our towns and cities that are currently exempt into the net and encourage the use of that land for the provision of homes.

“It will apply to land that is zoned for residential or mixed use development, which is serviced but is not being developed by the site owner. This is a taxation measure which will be initially charged at 3% of the site’s market value and which will be administered by Revenue with the assistance of the Local Authorities.

“The Green Party has consistently campaigned for tax measures that would deter land hoarding and speculation in the housing market and stimulate the delivery of the right kind of housing in the right place. We are now delivering on that promise in Government to help us to increase delivery of homes across every town and city.”