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Proposed law change in Ireland would require affordable homes quota in new development

Words: Roger Milne
Housing / iStock_000074406885

Media reports this week indicate that the Irish cabinet is backing a law change that will double the percentage of social and affordable houses in any development.

At present, all new developments must earmark 10 per cent of the units for social housing. Under proposals put forward by housing and local government minister Darragh O’Brien, new residential developments must now also include a minimum of 10 per cent of affordable homes.

This will require a change to the Planning and Development Act.

O’Brien is responsible for a clutch of key planning and housing policy initiatives at present. These include the affordable housing bill, the land development agency bill, and a major new housing policy, Housing for All, due to be published later this summer.

The land development agency bill is currently going through the Oireachtas – it will give statutory power to a new quango to develop significant housing developments on lands owned by the state.

O’Brien is under mounting political pressure to increase the supply of new homes. However, more than half the new housing developments granted planning under the government’s fast-track process have been halted by judicial reviews, posing a major risk to future housing supply.

Figures provided by Dublin-based legal firm FP Logue show that of the 28 schemes granted planning under the strategic housing development system so far this year, 16 have stalled because of legal objections.

These schemes contained plans for 4,151 individual housing units.

Image credit | iStock