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28.12.03 Taoiseach announces the release of further State lands for the Sustaining Progress Affordable Housing Initiative


The Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D., announced today 28December 2003 that the Government has released further lands inDublin, Cork and Waterford for affordable housing. The sites willallow approximately 3,600 houses to be built. The houses willbe sold at affordable prices.  Rising house prices have madeit difficult for some workers to buy their own homes. Thisinitiative will boost the availability of affordable housing forthis group. 

The Taoiseach said The release of state-owned land at thesesites has the potential to yield around 3,600 housing units, inCork, Dublin and Waterford. State owned lands at HarcourtTerrace, Portrane and St. Bricins Hospital in Dublin are among thesites released. Local authority lands in the South DublinCounty Council, Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council areaswill also be used.

In Cork City properties on the Model Farm Road and the YoughalRoad have been identified along with lands in Clonakilty. 

Waterford City Council is to provide land for approximately 100housing units.*

Lands for 2,650 of the 3,600 units are to be identified by localauthorities at the request of the Minister for the Environment andLocal Government, Mr. Martin Cullen T.D. The number of unitson each site will be depend on its characteristics, and theappropriate housing mix for the area and other facilities.

At the ICTU conference in July, the Taoiseach announced therelease of lands at Infirmary Road and Jamestown Road in Dublinalong with lands in Kildare Town and Gormanstown in Co. Meath.

These additional sites, when combined with the sites previouslyreleased by the Government and existing schemes will result inapproximately 6,100 housing units in total. 

The Government is honouring its commitment in SustainingProgress to deliver affordable housing the Taoiseach said. TheGovernment will deliver good quality housing for those who havebeen priced out of the market in recent times. We will ensure thatthe projects are developed in a sustainable manner

The Taoiseach said that the Affordable Housing Initiative is animportant part of Government policy. Bringing balance to thehousing market is a priority.   Government policy iscreating an environment where housing construction is at thehighest per capita level in Europe with over 60,000 units beingbuilt in 2003

The Government is also investing huge resources to providesocial housing.  Investment in housing in 2004 will exceed€1.8 billion, up 5.5% on 2003 levels.  Local authorityhousing starts will increase to 5,000 units. This willconsolidate the progress in the voluntary and co-operative housingsector to meet social housing needs.  

The Taoiseach said, The Government is committed to meeting theneeds of a young, increasing and working population. Todaysannouncement is an important step in delivering on Governmentcommitments.  It shows that Government and the Social Partnerscan co-operate effectively.  The success of SustainingProgress in addressing major national issues is evident.

28 December 2003

* Details of sites in the Appendix.


Details of lands which the Government haveagreed to release for use in

the Affordable HousingInitiative


About 2,300 units will be provided by theDublin local authorities on their own lands:  South DublinCounty Council (1,000 units), Dublin City Council (900) and FingalCounty Council (400). These local authority developments willbe additional to their existing programmes. 

In addition, the Government have agreed to the release of thefollowing sites with the potential to yield about260 housing units:

·         Department of Agriculture and Food site at Harcourt Terrace, Dublin2;

·         Department of Health lands at Portrane, Co. Dublin;

·         Part ofDepartment of Defence lands at St. Bricins Hospital, Dublin 7.

The potential yield from all sites may vary depending upon theneed to incorporate a mix of housing and other facilities.

Taking into account the 400 units likely to be built on thesites at Infirmary Road and Jamestown Road announced last July, thetotal number of potential units expected to be delivered in theCapital under the Initiative will be approx. 2,960units.  This will be boosted by affordable housing coming fromPart V of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended.


About 250 housing units will be provided onCork City Council lands for this Initiative.

In addition, the Government have agreed to the release of thefollowing sites with the potential to yield about690 units, bringing the total potential number ofunits to be delivered in Cork under the Initiative to about940 units:

·         Department of Agriculture and Food and Office of Public Works landsat Model Farm Road, Cork City;

·         Department of Defence lands at Youghal Road in Cork City;

·         Department of Agriculture and Food lands in Clonakilty.


Projects will be developed on lands owned by Waterford CityCouncil with potential to yield about 100 unitsfor the Initiative.

Other areas

Last July, the Taoiseach also announced the proposal to develophousing under the Initiative in Kildare Town (Magee Barracks) andGormanston, Co. Meath.  The Government will continue toexplore the potential for other State lands and under-utilisedlands to be used for the Initiative and for other housingpurposes.