Government is Offering More Than 800 Sites To Build 50,000 New Houses Across Ireland. The Irish Independent reported yesterday that more than 800 sites owned by local and public authorities will be offered to the private market to help tackle the housing shortage.
About 30 sites 200 hectares are owned by public bodies, 250 hectares controlled by the Housing Agency and 1,500 hectares controlled by city and county councils, all combined capable of delivering 50,000 new homes.
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According to the report, expressions of interest from developers will be sought in the coming days for the plan launched yesterday by the Minister for Housing in a new Housing Land Map.
Developers will be invited to build homes under a licencing arrangement where land could be sold, provided for free, subject to a long term lease or arrangement where the land cost is repaid after units are sold with the State to get a return such as the provision of social homes.
These authorities will be free to dictate the number of homes per site, the mix and possible maximum prices for starter units or oblige developers to provide rental or homes for the elderly. Sites will come with fast-track planning approval.
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Minister Simon Coveney’s “Rebuilding Ireland” national housing plan launched last summer highlighted that a plan to identify and release state lands was being put in place, though the numbers initially flagged were to deliver 1,000 new homes annually. So this announcement is on a much bigger scale. It is likely it will take a long time to deliver on this magnitude of stock (availability of labour, resources etc).
Commenting on the report yesterday, Goodbody Stockbrokers said, “Cairn Homes has €100 million of investment capacity and the operational resources, so will be ready to partake in the plan. However, on face value the plan will increase supply, potentially eroding land values. Also, a competitive advantage of Cairn is its availability of capital, something that may erode if sites are sold up front for free but on long term lease arrangements or out of sale proceeds.”
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