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Housing, Local Government and Heritage | Impediments in the provision of affordable housing on State lands

To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which   his Department has identified issues deemed to impede the provision of much-needed affordable housing on State lands throughout the country; if he expects to be in a position to address the issue in due course; if the issues that currently impede a speedy and efficient public authority response to the affordable housing crisis will be resolved at an early date in order to ensure delivery of the Housing For All Programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


My Department has established various structures and supports to oversee affordable housing delivery, and identify and address delivery challenges as they arise.  For example, the High Level Affordable Housing Delivery Group draws together the key stakeholders responsible for delivering affordable homes. Its functions include monitoring progress under Housing for All affordable housing delivery streams, identifying and monitoring risks and impediments to delivery and developing mitigation measures as appropriate, with the overarching objective of accelerating the delivery of affordable homes.

Schemes of support are reviewed in my Department in the light of evolving conditions.  For example, following consultation with local authorities last year on the operation of the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF), the Affordable Housing Fund has now replaced it. Changes include expanding the scope of costs covered to subvent the all-in development cost of delivering the housing, which may include land purchase costs; taking applications as they are developed on a rolling basis as opposed to time constrained funding calls; and, allowing funding support to exceed the SSF maximum of €50,000 per affordable dwelling on a stepped scale to €100,000, based on location and density.

Another important public delivery stream for affordable housing is the Land Development Agency (LDA) and its role in the delivery of homes on State Lands.  The LDA is actively developing 12 sites, capable ofdelivering about 6,000 homes and has recently submitted planning applications for 2,358 social and affordable homes.

Under Housing for All, 20 further sites (additional to the initial tranche of State lands identified) were designated for transfer to the LDA. The establishing of the LDA allows proactive management of the State’s extensive land bank. A State Lands and Property Group monitors progress on the transfer of State lands to the LDA and considers further potential State sites suitable to support housing delivery by the LDA and local authorities. All relevant land-owning Departments and Agencies have been requested to engage fully with the LDA. In the longer-term, the LDA will assemble strategic land-banks from a mix of public and private lands, making these available for housing in a controlled manner, helping to provide essential long-term stability to the Irish housing market.

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