More land needs to be zoned for house building, says O'Brien

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said a review will be based on the latest census data
More land needs to be zoned for house building, says O'Brien

Michelle Devane, PA

More land needs to be zoned as residential for house building, Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has said.

Mr O’Brien said the Government is reviewing the National Planning Framework to assess how much zoned residential land is needed across the country.

The Dublin Fingal TD also said he had instructed all local authorities that any land zoned as residential should not be de-zoned given the country is in the midst of a housing crisis.

Mr O’Brien said the “time-bound” review of the National Planning Framework will be based on the latest census data.

He said: “I am reviewing the National Planning Framework on the basis that now that we have the new CSO data, the new census data that’s there.

“I believe that we need more land zoned.”

 

He said the Government needed to ensure there was a “sound mechanism” behind the framework.

A report by property agent Savills Ireland found the residential housing targets set out in the National Planning Framework will exacerbate the housing crisis.

The residential land supply study found the housing targets and guidelines were fundamentally “flawed”.

After the launch of housing body Respond’s annual report in Dublin, Mr O’Brien told reporters he welcomed the report.

He added that if the review recommends more land is zoned “we’ll do this”.

“I’ve told all of our local authorities through the development plans that no zoned service land should be de-zoned,” he said.

“Every director of service, every chief executive (has been told). We’re in the middle of a housing crisis. We need homes built.”

The minister told the crowd gathered for the Respond event that the Government will exceed its target of delivering more than 24,600 homes this year.

He said the focus will be on helping those at the “sharpest end” of the housing crisis, who do not have a home.

Respond, one of the country’s largest approved housing bodies, announced it has 1,422 new social and cost rental homes in construction across the country.

The organisation’s 2021 report outlined it had completed 624 new social and affordable homes last year.

It also started construction on 778 homes to increase the number of properties it owns or manages to more than 6,500.

The organisation worked with 207 families in homelessness, and helped almost 500 children through its early learning and school-age care service.

Some 168 older people were given assistance through its day care service for older people, while its refugee resettlement service worked with 406 people.

Its family support services helped 300 people.

Respond was directly responsible for providing 16 per cent of new social and cost rental homes built by approved housing bodies across the country last year, including the first purpose-built cost rental scheme at Woodside, Enniskerry Road.

Respond spokeswoamn Niamh Randall said the organisation is committed to helping alleviate the massive need for social housing.

“Respond’s current building programme has a value of more than €1 billion,” she said.

“However, the current models for delivering social and cost rental homes are proving increasingly challenging in light of construction cost inflation, which has seen significant increases in the last 12 months, along with the recent increases in interest rates.”

The Respond report comes after the latest housing statistics found there are now 10,805 people homeless across Ireland.

The Department of Housing’s August report showed there were 7,585 adults and 3,220 children in emergency accommodation across the country.

This is up from 7,431 adults and 3,137 children in July.

It represents a 32 per cent increase overall compared with a year ago, and child homelessness is up 47 per cent compared with the same time last year.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more