Cork's NAMA wastelands... just 62 homes on lands for almost 9,000

Cork's NAMA wastelands... just 62 homes on lands for almost 9,000
The treasury building on Grand Canal Street in Dublin which houses NAMA. 

JUST 62 homes are being built on lands in Cork sold by NAMA despite having the capacity for 8,899.

New figures have shown that former NAMA lands have the capacity to significantly improve the housing crisis but they are left lying idle.

The lands were sold on by NAMA but have yet to produce the social dividend that the agency has promised.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that this was a "shocking waste" of land when thousands of new homes were needed.

Figures obtained by his party showed that there is the potential for more than 50,000 homes to be built on land across the country that were held by NAMA, but just 7% are on track.

In Cork, this amounts to almost 9,000 homes if the land was developed for housing.

Mr Martin said that this was down to land-hoarding by developers who are being incentivised by policies introduced in the last few years.

“In Cork, there is essentially no construction at any sites sold by NAMA debtors and is a direct result of Government housing policy and deference to international investors.

"We know that the cost of land is a key determinant holding back new construction. Despite this the Department of Finance is incentivising investors to sit on sites and not to develop them through the Capital Gains Tax exemption for lands bought prior to the end of December 2014 and held for seven years," he said.

He said that the government should pull back the holding period from seven to four years, allowing site-holders to sell them on from next year.

He said that a more effective tax on vacant land was also needed to incentivise developers to build.

"I also strongly believe that a new Site Tax is required to encourage the use of empty sites. The Government's Vacant Site Levy, which will not take effect until Jan 2019, is nowhere near strong enough to discourage land hoarding in a growing market.

“Utilising more of these potential housing units will help reduce the growing private rents that are crippling young professionals and couples," he said.

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