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Revised Land Development Agency Scheme still has ‘fundamental problems’ - Eoin Ó Broin TD

28 October, 2020 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said the revised 'General Scheme of the Land Development Agency' still has "fundamental problems" and "runs the risk of making it even more difficult for working people to access to genuinely affordable homes".

The comments were made as Teachta Ó Broin published a detailed Head by Head comparison of the 2019 and 2020 General Schemes alongside an initial analysis of the new Scheme.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

"Last week, Minister Darragh O’Brien published a revised 'General Scheme of the Land Development Agency'.

"While the scheme is longer than the original version published by former Minister Eoghan Murphy, it still has fundamental problems.

"The legal structure of the LDA has been changed significantly. It has multiple references to affordable housing. It also includes references to climate resistant, low carbon homes.

"However detailed examination shows that many of the key problems identified by the Oireachtas Housing Committee in 2019 remain.

"Sinn Féin is still of the view that Government should create an active Land Management Agency with strong compulsory purchase order powers and a significant budget for acquisition of public and private lands to strategically manage public lands.

"We do not accept the need for a new state agency for public housing delivery. Rather we remain convinced that resourcing Local Authorities to drive ambitious regional public housing programmes to meet social and affordable need would be more democratic, efficient and cost effective."

Our key concerns with the new General Scheme include:

- The absence of meaningful land management functions and CPO powers

- The use of public land for unaffordable open market housing

- The failure to prioritise social and genuinely affordable homes

- The proposed financing mechanism for the so called ‘affordable’ homes and its impact on genuine affordability

- The use of Joint Ventures with private developers to deliver mixed tenure sites (the O’Devaney Gardens model)

- The lack of transparency and accountability in the commercial activities of LDA subsidiaries (exempt from FOI of Lobby Register Acts)

- The proposed planning role of the LDA particularly if it is used to by-pass Local Authorities and deal directly with An Board Pleanála

Teachta Ó Broin continued:

"We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to redirect our housing system to meet the needs of all those unable to access appropriate, secure and affordable homes.

"The General Scheme of the LDA does not achieve this and runs the risk of making it even more difficult for working people to access to genuinely affordable homes."

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