The development of residential lands owned by local authorities and the Housing Agency, for social housing and, where appropriate, for mixed-tenure developments, is a major priority under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. To this end, details of some 1,700 hectares of land in local authority and Housing Agency ownership were published on the Rebuilding Ireland Housing Land Map, with the potential to accommodate some 42,500 homes nationally. The map also includes details of some 300 hectares of land in the ownership of other State or semi-State bodies, with the potential to deliver a further 7,500 homes.
The map is the result of the collation of data by my Department from local authorities, the Housing Agency, and other State and Semi-State bodies. All of the mapped sites can be viewed at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/rebuilding-ireland-land-map/.
The Rebuilding Ireland mapping project is, by its nature, iterative and requires regular updating by local authorities and other land owners to ensure changing circumstances are reflected. In addition, all local authorities and the Housing Agency have been requested to prepare Strategic Development and Management Plans for housing lands in their ownership, with particular emphasis on prioritising those sites with the greatest potential to deliver housing at scale, in the short to medium term. These plans are close to finalisation and will be published in due course.
The Rebuilding Ireland map represents a vital initial step in shaping and informing a significant policy shift towards maximising the State land potential to contribute to key housing and planning policies such as securing more compact and sustainable growth, as signalled in Project Ireland 2040, which requires significantly more effective land management in key development areas.
Against that background, it is proposed to establish a National Regeneration and Development Agency to assist in ensuring a more effective approach to strategic land management, particularly in terms of publicly owned land. Detailed arrangements in relation to the functions, powers and mechanisms for the establishment of the Agency are currently being developed by my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with a view to their finalisation and implementation at the earliest available opportunity.