While, in the first instance, the development of residential land in local authority ownership is a matter for the individual authority concerned, including its elected members, I am determined to ensure that new social and affordable homes are delivered from the public land bank without undue delay. This entails a particular emphasis on prioritising those sites with the greatest potential to deliver housing at scale, in the short to medium term.
Local Authorities update their residential land bank on a quarterly basis on the Rebuilding Ireland land map, which is available at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/rebuilding-ireland-land-map/.
The map includes details of over 700 local authority and Housing Agency sites amounting to some 1,700 hectares, approximately 111 hectares of which is in the ownership of Cork County Council. The map also includes some 30 sites (comprising c. 200 hectares) in the ownership of State or semi-State bodies. The map does not include other lands that may be owned by local authorities and earmarked for non-residential purposes.
In relation to the development of Cork County Council’s residential land bank, my Department is in regular contact with the local authority regarding the accelerated delivery of social and affordable homes. A detailed breakdown of the Cork County Council social housing construction programme is set out in the Social Housing Construction Status Report which is published on a quarterly basis. The report covering the period up to end Quarter 1 of 2019 is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q1-2019/ . The Quarter 2 2019 report will be published shortly. Further projects will continue to be added to the programme on an ongoing basis.
Moreover, to support the delivery of affordable homes, the Government has provided €310 million, under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF) in Budget 2019, for enabling infrastructure on local authority and Housing Agency lands to facilitate affordable housing delivery. The second call for bids under the Fund issued to local authorities, including Cork County Council, in April 2019. Thirty-one responses were received from fifteen local authorities under this call which included six bids from Cork County Council. Following the completion of the assessments of bids submitted, I intend to issue approvals in the coming weeks.