Dec 15, 2023 | Featured Articles

The session one panel discussion featured (l-r): Bob Jordan, CEO of The Housing Agency; Julie Lawson, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; David Duffy, IBEC’s Director, Property Industry Ireland; Dearbhla Lawson, LDA’s Head of Strategic Planning and Chief Planner; Sean O’Connor, Chief Executive, Tuath Housing Association; and Jim Baneham, Housing Agency’s Director of Delivery and Innovation.

Do we have sufficient land to meet Ireland’s housing needs in the coming years? How can we create fundamental systemic changes in the way we think about land and development? These questions and more were discussed at The Housing Agency’s Annual Conference on 1 December at Tangent in Trinity College Dublin.

The half-day conference, ‘Land for Affordable Housing’, which was run in collaboration with the Land Development Agency (LDA) and the Geary Institute for Public Policy, UCD, consisted of expert panellists from across the sector continuing the conversations from the ‘Talking about Land Series’ and events at the International Social Housing Festival (ISHF) in Barcelona.

This series consisted of seven talks examining how governments in other countries intervened in the management of state lands and land markets to ensure adequate affordable housing supply.

Michael Carey, Chairman of The Housing Agency, opened the conference which had two sessions. The first session covered what we know so far with Julie Lawson, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, giving a keynote address on ‘Land tools to shape housing systems and their outcomes’.

This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Bob Jordan, CEO of The Housing Agency, with discussion from David Duffy, Director of Property Industry Ireland, IBEC; Dearbhla Lawson, LDA’s Head of Strategic Planning and Chief Planner; Sean O’Connor, Chief Executive, Tuath Housing Association; and Jim Baneham, Director of Delivery and Innovation with The Housing Agency.

Session two looked to the future and Professor Michelle Norris opened the session by discussing the role of government intervention in land markets. This was followed by a panel discussion about solutions, implementation and the way forward chaired by David Silke, Director of Insights and Operations, The Housing Agency.

The panel featured Claragh Mulhern, Acting Principal Advisor at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Margaret Geraghty, Housing Delivery Co-ordination Office at the Local Government Management Agency; Dr Larry O’Connell, Director at the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and Niall Cussen, Chief Executive and Planning Regulator at the Office of the Planning Regulator.

 Further information and videos of the conference and the ‘Talking about Land Series’ are available on The Housing Agency website and YouTube Channel.

The latest issue of ‘Council Review’ features updates on two of the Housing Agency’s schemes:

Secure Tenancy Affordable Rental (STAR) investment scheme: With a budget of €750m, the STAR scheme aims to deliver over 4,000 Cost Rental homes by 2027 and to assist eligible households in the private  rental sector, who are experiencing acute affordability pressures in the rental market.

The Croí Cónaithe Cities scheme, created as part of the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan, has the objective of activating existing planning permissions to increase the supply of apartments for owner-occupiers to purchase.

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