First of 150,000 homes promised by Land Development Agency due in 2020

The first of the Government's promised 150,000 new houses will be built by 2020.

3,000 homes are to be built on eight state-owned land banks, according to the newly formed Land Development Agency.

At least 40% of the properties built would be social housing.

The locations include Dundrum Central Mental Hospital, Skerries, Balbriggan, Naas, Dyke Road in Galway, St Kevins in Cork City, Meath Hospital in Dublin 8, and Columb Barracks in Mullingar.

"We can expect real work to commence on these sites in the very short term," said John Coleman, Chief Executive of the Land Development Agency (LDA).

"That said none of the sites currently have a usable planning permission in place but that is why the LDA is here.

The lead times and work necessary to make a site construction-ready are well understood but even allowing for this we expect construction to start on the first site in 2019 and the first new homes to be delivered in 2020.

Mr Coleman said that the LDA is examining building on private as well as public sites.

Solidarity/PBP TD Mick Barry says the market price for these homes will not be affordable.

"If you do the math in what the minister indicated in the Budget statement you are looking at an average of €50,000 off market price," said Deputy Barry.

"You're looking at affordable houses with the potential of being above €300,000.

"The segments of society who can't afford that, which don't just include young people coming out of college but include workers on the average wage, are effectively being locked out."

Digital Desk

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