The Taoiseach criticized state agencies and government departments for “owning” land that could be used to build houses.
As the Irish Examiner reports, Micheál Martin said vacant state land should now be used to provide housing for young people looking for a first home.
“Every day in the Dáil people are asking me to declare the housing situation an emergency and yet when you translate that to local level, it doesn’t seem to always be the case that people see it through that lens. People in this country need housing, the younger generations need housing,” he said, reports Breaking News.
Martin said the Office of Public Works had been working in “good faith” to identify vacant public land and property across the country, but added that “there tends to be a possessive attitude by agencies and departments”, reports Breaking News.
Asked about concerns raised by the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland that inflation will result in housing shortages in 2024 and 2025, Martin said “all hands on deck” will ensure housing targets are met.
Citing the Croí Cónaithe project, he said the government had made significant interventions to help stimulate development in urban areas.
When asked about the possibility of tax breaks for developers, he said: “We’re open to all proposals that can come our way but I think we have to work through what has already been agreed in respect to the various mechanisms that we’ve designed,” reports Breaking News.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien acknowledged that there will be “challenges” in meeting housing targets in the coming years due to inflation.
But he said the government’s targets would be exceeded this year and he would be flexible to help guide further development.
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