MINISTER for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath has said he is optimistic more apartment schemes will come on stream in the near future as efforts are being made to tackle viability issues.
The Fianna Fáil minister said the Government is working closely with the Land Development Agency (LDA) to unlock land in private ownership that has planning permission but where delivery has stalled due to financing and other constraints.
“We have a number of apartment schemes that have planning permission but they face a viability challenge and now we will be working, in particular with the Land Development Agency, to try to bring about commercialisation of some of those projects and I am confident that we will see developments in Cork in the not too distant future,” he said.
“The LDA has gone to the market as part of Project Tosaigh to reach out to the private sector.
“They are engaging directly with developers and landowners where we have schemes with planning permission in place that have not yet commenced and the focus of that particular initiative is for the LDA to become directly involved, for the State to take the leading role in bringing about those developments getting underway,” he continued.
Mr McGrath made the comments while speaking to reporters in Cork yesterday at the official opening of NetApp’s new international headquarters on Albert Quay.
The software company has already hired over 100 employees in Cork and aims to reach 500 employees in Cork by 2025.
Asked if he has concerns as to whether these new recruits will struggle to find a place to live given the housing crisis, Mr McGrath said the shortage of housing is a challenge that the Government has to face up to and is facing up to.
“We are focused on implementing the Housing For All plan. We will exceed the overall targets this year. The target is for 24,600 units by way of output, that will be well exceeded this year.
“We are operating in an environment of significant materials cost inflation in construction… there are headwinds in that area including labour shortages, but we have a target next year of 29,000 units. We need to get to 33,000 and beyond,” he said.
Mr McGrath said there is a need to increase the supply of all types of housing.
He also said he anticipates a more significant rollout of rapid build homes across next year and beyond “to accommodate people seeking refuge in Ireland but also to help those in Ireland who are on the public housing list currently as well”.