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New planning regulations let developers off hook for social housing - Ellis

2 October, 2014 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has described new planning regulations proposed by the government as a sop to private developers which would do nothing to help the social housing crisis. He made his comments following the publication of plans by Minister Kelly to cut the required social housing for each new development by half.

Deputy Ellis continued;

"The gutting further of Part V regulations will do nothing to help our housing crisis. Part V obliged property developers to commit 20 per cent of their developments to social or affordable housing; they could also pay a contribution to the council to get out of this responsibility. It was far from perfect, having been weakened by Fianna Fáil, but cutting it further is counterproductive.

“The required reform was to increase the responsibilities of private developers, to force them to hand over properties they are not using and to put the power in the hands of the council as to how to manage Part V. Slashing the responsibility might encourage some developers to build a few more houses, but it will mean many more will only build half of what could have been required.

“Part V was not a complete failure, resulting in thousands of social and affordable homes being built, but it definitely needed to be strengthened. This is a missed opportunity to improve the delivery of social housing. While it is good that developers no longer have the option to pay off councils instead of building houses, the halving of their responsibilities shows that the government are more interested in encouraging private developers and increasing their profits than building homes for those that need them most."

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