The government yesterday unveiled part of its plan for dealing with the housing crisis by identifying a number of major urban development sites where affordable homes can be built.
Minister for Housing Simon Coveney announced that he was establishing a fast-track planning system to enable the building of 30,000 new homes over the next four years.
The new developments would be in major urban centres with a Housing Delivery Office set up to act as a trouble shooter if required.
Under the proposals developers will be allowed to buy State-owned lands at a knock-down price if they deliver starter homes for no more than €200,000.
The Government plans to use land owned by local authorities, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and other State agencies to provide cheap sites for builders to help boost housing supply for first-time buyers.
The move is part of the Government’s ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ programme, which aims to ramp up delivery of 25,000 new homes every year, and 47,000 social units by 2021.
Minister Coveney has also announced details of 23 sites in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick where housing will be prioritised over the next three and four years.
The sites earmarked for development are as follows:
- Dublin – PoolbegWest, North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock; as well as sites at Oscar Traynor Road, O’Devaney Gardens and St Teresa’s Gardens; and at locations in North City Fringe, Kilternan-Glenamuck, Cherrywood, Shanganagh-Woodbrook, Hansfield, Donabate, Oldtown-Mooretown, Adamstown, Clonburris and Corkagh.
- Cork – Cork Docklands, Old Whitechurch Road, Midleton and Ballincollig.
- Limerick – Greenpark.
- Galway – Ardaun.
Some 26,400 will be delivered in the next four years, and up to 60,000 over the longer-term.
Despite planning permission being in place for more than 27,000 units in Dublin – and sufficient land zoned for more than 410,000 homes across the country – many projects did not stack up financially.
When homes cost more than €300,000 in Dublin, and €250,000 or more in Cork and other cities, demand for units “tapers off markedly”.
That’s why he hopes this new plan will prove fruitful.
The minister said he also wants to make the best use of existing housing stock.
He said a new rental strategy will be announced by mid-December that will protect tenants while ensuring that new rental properties are still built.
Mr Coveney said there needed to be a balance in responding to unsustainable rent inflation and not putting “the dead hand of regulation on the construction sector and therefore stop any momentum that is starting in building the rental sector”.
- Do you think this strategy will work?
- Does it give you hope of affording a home?
- Does it need to be expanded to other areas?
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