Private Members Business

Posted October 31st, 2017

Last week in the Dáil we discussed how the housing crisis is being handled and the balancing of individual rights with the public good. You can read my contribution below.

The Government has responded to the current housing crisis with a comprehensive range of actions, policy initiatives and increased investments, as outlined in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, the Strategy for the Rental Sector and other relevant policies and actions, with the aim of increasing and accelerating supply across all housing tenures, and providing increased targeted supports for households in need, especially those in emergency accommodation or at risk of becoming homeless;

while it recognises the rights conferred by the Constitution of Ireland on private property, the Government has already taken steps to balance these rights with targeted interventions and proportionate measures that impact on these rights in the interests of the common good;

a range of such policy interventions are already in force, including:

– provisions under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts to cede a percentage, currently ten per cent, of residentially zoned and permitted land for social housing provision;

– compulsory purchase powers that enable public bodies to acquire lands or properties for housing purposes;

– the introduction of a Vacant Site Levy as a charge on vacant or underutilised housing lands in urban areas to incentivise their development or redevelopment and the announcement in Budget 2018 that the Levy will be more than doubled to seven per cent per annum from 2019;

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