January 2, 2017
The Social Democrats have called for an immediate response from the Government to close off loop-holes in the Vacant Site Levy so that hundreds more sites can be released for housing.
It has been reported this morning that 385 sites may be deemed eligible by Dublin City Council for this levy. However, hundreds more have been deemed exempt from the levy because they currently don’t meet the criteria set down in legislation (The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act, 2015).
Reacting to this news, Róisín Shortall TD of the Social Democrats said:
“There is an urgent need to close off loopholes in the legislation so that all vacant sites which can accommodate housing are included.
“High land prices are at the heart of why house prices and renting are so unaffordable in our country. If applied correctly, the levy will be a very important way of discouraging land hoarding and cooling land prices – but under current laws, hundreds if not thousands of sites are exempt.”
According to The Social Democrats, there are four key improvements the Government should be making to the levy:
“The housing crisis is the most urgent problem the country faces. It’s going to get worse in 2017 unless the Government gets its act together and targets both supply and demand measures without any delays. Those on housing lists, the homeless, renters, people looking to buy cannot spend yet another year waiting for comprehensive action to making housing available and affordable” concluded Shortall.