The head of the Land Development Agency has hit out at local authorities for failing to use available funds to tackle the housing crisis.
John Moran has said “bigger and bolder” ideas and a “change of culture” away from building semi-detached houses to denser development is required.
Mr Moran said that only 5% of a €2bn urban regeneration fund, which is open to applications by local authorities and other State agencies, was applied for in 2018.
“The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund was allocated €2bn for expenditure between 2019 and 2027,” he said. “Based on 2018 figures, €1.3bn, or 63% of that fund could remain in 2028.”
Mr Moran, who is speaking at the national conference of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland in Dublin this morning, will tell those attending: “We don’t do densified living well in Ireland.
“A culture change is needed. Dotting the landscape surrounding cities, even villages, with semi-detached developments and one-off housing will not answer the challenges that come with drastic population increases and climate change.”
Given the fact that the population is projected to grow by a million people by 2040, with 75% of that growth earmarked to take place outside Dublin, Mr Moran believes “drastic and significant changes” will be needed to cope with such growth.
He said LDA must focus its efforts on enabling higher-density urban supply if it is to fulfil its mandate and facilitate the delivery of 150,000 homes by 2040.
“Unprecedented collaboration between the different State agencies, private sector, social bodies, and funding programmes will be required to achieve an optimal outcome.”
Separately, the Government is to launch its Winter Ready campaign today, which will provide extra seasonal rough sleeper beds over the coming months.
Some homeless services will extend their opening hours while additional outreach services will also be rolled out to assist rough-sleepers.
New figures have revealed that the number of people in emergency accommodation increased for a third month in a row in September.