Greens: Government must act on Repair – Lease Scheme housing failure

Empty buildings owned by Office of Public Works on Military Road, Dublin 8

The Green Party today called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD to rethink the approach to housing in the light of the failure of the Repair – Lease Scheme.

Cllr. Ciaran Cuffe said: “The Government are unwilling to tackle the housing crisis. They cannot rely on light-touch regulation to deliver homes. The City Council’s Vacant Sites Register shows that two Government agencies: the HSE and the OPW own large empty land holdings in Central Dublin. These can and should be used to deliver homes. This Government appears crippled by inertia, and voted down the Green Party’s sensible Vacant Sites Bill 2016 to provide for a stronger approach to vacant sites.

“The OPW owns three storey buildings across the road from Heuston Station on Military Road in Dublin 8 that could provide homes for families living in hotels. Why can’t Minister Murphy tell Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran to convert these buildings into homes? He can’t shed crocodile tears over the failure of the Repair – Lease Scheme when he is presiding over empty buildings that could be used for housing. He must instruct Moran to deliver the goods.”

Cllr. Patrick Costello stated “The Repair – Lease Scheme is a softly-softly scheme to encourage empty homes back into the market but it just isn’t working. We need to introduce a stronger vacant site levy with stiffer penalties for those sitting on empty properties in high demand locations, which is reality covers all of Dublin.”

ENDS

 

Issued 10th July 2017, page last updated 15th July 2017

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

Green Party welcomes 30km/h Calmer Communities

The Green Party has welcomed the roll-out of further 30 km/h zones in residential areas in Dublin City from midnight on Tuesday 30th May 2017.

New 30 km/h speed limits will be introduced in Sandymount, Crumlin, Drimnagh, Raheny, Artane, Donaghmede, Drumcondra, Glasnevin and Phibsborough. In most cases the new speed limits do not apply on arterial roads, but are being introduced on predominantly residential roads and streets.

The chair of Dublin City Council’s Transportation Committee Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “This will create calmer communities where children will be safer walking and cycling to and from school and the shops. The changes will also help older people who are often afraid to walk due to fears of speeding traffic. This initiative will encourage people of all ages to walk and cycle, and get more exercise.

“This initiative follows the lead set by other cities around Europe such as Edinburgh, London and Copenhagen that have already introduced area-wide speed reductions. The evidence from these cities shows that 30 km/h zones work and help create calmer communities for all.”
ENDS

Page uploaded and last updated 3oth May 2017