Greens call for Government to act on NAMA warning

The Green Party has called on Government to heed NAMA’s warning on Land Hoarding, and implement legislation to ensure speculators cannot hold on to zoned land suitable for housing.

The call comes as the head of NAMA Brendan McDonagh criticises the practise of landowners hoarding sites which should be used for housing at the launch of their annual report.

The Green Party’s Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said today: “It is extraordinary that NAMA disposed of enough land to build 50,000 homes, but only 3,000 units are under construction.

“At a time when interests rates are at an historic low point, and as thousands of families struggle in temporary accommodation it is immoral that the Government is failing to build sufficient housing to tackle the scale of the crisis.

“The Government’s Vacant Sites Levy is being laughed at by land hoarders who watch the value of their holdings increase by double digits every year as thousands suffer in homelessness.

“Fine Gael must grasp the nettle of housing supply and ensure that banks lend, and that land is used for appropriate uses. It is shameless that the Government voted down the Green Party’s legislation to tackle land hoarders and derelict sites, and then cries wrings its hands at the problem.

“For many years we have advocated a Site Value Tax that would discourage land hoarding. This would ensure that fallow lands in or beside our cities and towns would be developed for appropriate uses. It would also encourage owners of empty buildings to maintain and tenant them, or face a penalty.

“The Government must also make it easier for Councils to build homes. Currently they must consult with the Department of Housing at least four times, and this means it can take over four years for a local authority home to be constructed. The Government’s own red tape must be reduced.”

ENDS

Page published 1st June 2017, last updated 1st June 2017

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