The Government has launched the Land Development Agency to build 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years. This new agency will manage the state’s own lands to develop new homes, and regenerate under-utilised sites. Further down the line, strategic sites from a mix of public and private lands will be made available for housing also.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy signed the new agency into law late last week with a chief and management team already in place. There’s an initial pipeline of State land which is capable of delivering 10,000 homes, with 3,000 of those homes on lands which have already been secured. The Agency is already in the process of expanding its portfolio.
The Agency will be a commercial State-sponsored body, acting within a clear Government policy framework: that all public land disposals must deliver at least 40% of any housing potential on such lands in the form of social (10%) and affordable (30%) housing.
It will establish a national centre of expertise for State bodies and local authorities, using experienced staff with expertise in project management finance, planning, development, and procurement. It will be further underpinned by dedicated legislation, overseen by an independent board and provided with both the initial and long-term capital to function on a commercial basis.
This combination of land and capital for investment will enable the Agency to prepare development plans for these sites and subsequently to fund the development of the sites and construction of housing on a commercial basis. This will enable the Agency to make a significant difference to housing supply in the years ahead, which will have far wider competitiveness benefits.