About 75% of homes to be delivered by the Land Development Agency (LDA) are expected to be cost rental units, according to the organisation’s new chairperson, Cormac O’Rourke.
The LDA chair has told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage that the LDA plans for more than 10,000 new homes to be provided in the short to medium term and that the agency’s “working assumption is that cost rental will account for approximately 75% of homes built as a result of its work.”
Land Development Agency
The LDA was established to amass and develop state property for housing. The government’s Housing for All plan targets delivering 18,000 cost-rental homes by 2030. Under Housing for All, the LDA will be the state’s primary channel for developing cost-rental housing, and it will also provide affordable purchase and social housing.
Cormac O’Rourke told the committee that LDA’s main focus in the coming year would be on delivery, with construction at two key sites – Shanganagh, Co Dublin, and St Kevin’s in Cork – to start this year, but they will take some time to complete.
The LDA is also involved in Housing for All’s Project Tosaigh – an initiative to activate land with planning permission that is not currently going to construction or being delivered quickly enough. The proposal is to accelerate the provision of public housing – both cost rental and affordable purchase – on such private land through forward purchase.
Colm O’Rourke said that the ambition is to deliver 5,000 homes through Project Tosaigh over the next four years.
On medium-term plans, O’Rourke commented that approximately 5,200 more homes are to be delivered on 10 state-owned sites, including St Teresa’s Gardens and the Central Mental Hospital site in Dublin, as well as Shanganagh and St Kevin’s.
He explained that these plans “are subject to planning and government approval, and the expected mix of housing to be delivered on the sites is approximately 80% apartments and 20% houses.”
Modern methods of construction
O’Rourke also told the committee that the LDA will look to “encourage standardisation and modular construction – to speed up construction, improve quality, provide better working conditions for workers, and generate houses that are more sustainable at a lower cost.”