Land Development Agency 'not the solution to the housing crisis'

Land Development Agency 'not the solution to the housing crisis'

Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has called for the Land Development Agency to be scrapped. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Calls have been made on the Government to scrap the Land Development Agency (LDA) and instead let local authorities build more social housing.

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said the LDA will not solve the affordable housing crisis and has proposed an alternative to the agency.

"We have local authorities, they have staff, they have land, give them the money and give them the additional support, and let them deliver a public housing programme," he said.

“We do not need a new commercial state agency. The Government must fund local authorities, approved housing bodies and community housing trusts to build public housing on public land.

“We need large scale mixed income and mixed tenure developments to meet social and affordable housing need.

“We also need an active Land Management Agency with strong Compulsory Purchase Order powers to ensure all State land is used for the right purpose.

“We need to deliver genuinely affordable homes for working people and the LDA is not the vehicle to do it," he said.

It had been promised that the agency, which was announced in 2018, would operate as a commercial semi-state and was tasked with developing public land and delivering 150,000 new homes over 20 years.

Mr Ó Broin now wants the authority to be broken into two entities - a stand-alone public land management agency and a housing delivery office which would give more power to local authorities to build homes.

“The LDA was controversial from the start and scepticism around it only grew once the draft legislation was published and scrutinised by the housing committee late last year," he said.

"The LDA would partner with private developers to controversially deliver just 10% social housing and 30% affordable housing on public land, the rest of the homes delivered would be sold at unaffordable market prices.

“The use of private equity finance would also hike up the price of the affordable homes, pushing them beyond the reach of ordinary working people.

“Furthermore, the LDA’s commercial activities would not be subject to the Freedom of Information Acts or the Lobby Register.

The LDA as it is currently constituted is not the solution to the housing crisis.

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