Coveney: Housing Map could see up to 50,000 houses built 'within four years'

The Housing Minister said Sinn Féin are misleading the public on housing

Coveney: Housing Map could see up to 50,000 houses built 'within four years'

Housing Minister Simon Coveney at a press conference in Custom House to launch the new housing land map. Image: RollingNews.ie

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney told Newstalk he hopes his plans to build up to 50,000 houses on state-owned sites will come to fruition within four years.

Speaking on Newstalk Drive, the Minister said he hopes the houses will be delivered within the lifetime of the current government.

Explaining how the new land map will work, Minister Coveney said: "We have a publicly owned land bank of about 2,000 hectares.

"These are in areas that zoned for housing, and we want to try and use that landbank to build houses for people - affordable houses, social houses, affordable rental accommodation."

More than 800 sites – across over 2,000 hectares of land - owned by local authorities and public bodies will be offered to the private housing market to help boost supply.

Four sites in Dublin alone could provide a total of 3,000 homes – including 1,000 social housing units – if the plan is successful.

Responding to Sinn Fein criticism of the plan, he said the plan will address the issue of supply as they've previously called for.

"For the first time ever, we have a publicly available and accessible map of the country, in terms of all of these sites are in the ownership primarily of the local authorities but also of semi-state companies, departments [and] harbour boards."

On involving the private sector, Minister Coveney said it will create "much more balanced and integrated communities".

National Maternity Hospital

On the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital, Minister Coveney said adequate time must be given to Minister for Health Simon Harris to resolve the issue.

"I believe the hospital needs to function independently," he said. "The Minister has asked for some time and I think we should give it to him."

Reaction

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) welcomed the Housing Land Map's publication saying:

“These sites present an opportunity for housing associations across the county to work in partnership with local authorities and private sector developers to build affordable homes.

"Four new mixed tenure developments, with a commitment to at least 30% social housing, have already been brought to the market by South Dublin County Council at Kilcarbery, Dublin 22 and by Dublin City Council in Infirmary Road Dublin 7, Oscar Traynor Road Dublin 9 and Emmet Road Dublin 8.”

Kathleen McKillion, ICSH Director of Operations, added: “We’ve been calling for the Government to embed an active land management strategy into the housing system to ensure a continuous pipeline of building land for social housing. The publication of the Housing Land Map means the Government now have the tools to do this."

Additional reporting from Michael Staines