30/01/2015

Call For Affordable Housing To Be Reinstated

The Minister of State with responsibility for Housing is being called to re-instate an affordable housing provision for the Dublin area in newly proposed planning legislation.

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, was speaking after the presentation of various Irish planning stakeholders to the Joint Oireachtas Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht Committee meeting this week where the general scheme of the Planning and Development (no. 1) Bill 2014 was discussed.

She said: "I fully support the recommendation made by the Irish Planning Institute in its presentation to the Committee, that an affordable housing provision be made for the Dublin area given the sharp changes in the market in terms of increasing prices. It confirms the pressing need to predict housing supply requirement and the close monitoring of delivery of housing in areas where supply is needed.

"At the moment, developers are required to ensure that 20% of land zoned for residential, and other uses, is reserved for social or affordable housing. With the massive fall off in private construction, very little social housing is being provided under Part V of the Planning and Development Act.

"With the fall in house prices, not matched by a similar fall in building costs, this provision as currently framed is serving as a disincentive to increasing much needed private, and as a consequence, social housing supply.

"In the General Scheme of the 2014 Planning and Development Bill, the requirement for 10% affordable housing is not being retained, which I feel is a mistake as this will price many first time buyers out of a market of rising prices which is unfair and will push them out of the market altogether."

(MH/JP)

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