Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that Sinn Féin cannot support the Land Development Agency (LDA) Bill as it currently stands, as the legislation it is “not fit for purpose”.
Speaking ahead of the vote on the legislation this evening Teachta Ó Broin said:
“After three weeks and seven hours of debate too many unanswered questions around this significant piece of legislation remain.
“We still don’t have a clear timeline for the delivery of new homes on the nine sites the LDA is currently working on.
“We are none the wiser as to the tenure mix on these sites, the percentage of social and affordable homes that will be delivered and the number of homes that will be sold at open market prices.
“The figures proposed for the cost rental units are still too high and will be out of reach for many ordinary people who earn too much to be eligible for social housing and not enough to pay market rents or access a mortgage.
“This Bill’s potential to further erode local democracy in relation to the sanctioning of land sales is another element of the legislation we cannot stand behind.
“There is still no clarity on whether the LDA and it’s subsidiaries will be subject to the lobbying of FOI legislation.
“Of course all this could have been teased out during the pre legislative scrutiny process, but the Minister for Housing refused to agree to this process.
“It has left Sinn Féin in the position where we simply cannot support the legislation as it stands.
“Public land should be used for public housing and the local councils should be supported and resourced to do so.
“Sinn Féin has a costed plan that would deliver genuinely affordable homes to rent and to buy for ordinary working people.
“We do need coordination on land management but the LDA legislation doesn’t have the strong land management functions required to do this, such as greater use of CPO powers.
“I welcome the Minister’s commitment to work with members at Committee stage on this legislation.
“I intend to submit substantial amendments to address the flaws in what is a Fine Gael policy dressed up in Fianna Fáil rhetoric.”