The Social Democrats Group on Dublin City Council object strongly to the plans announced by the Government today to remove Councillors’ oversight on the sale of public land to the Land Development Agency.

Councillor Catherine Stocker said:

“This is a power grab by a Government focused on private market solutions to the housing crisis.

The Bill proposed by the Government today will remove Councillors’ oversight of the use of public land in Council control. The Bill, if enacted, will transfer lands to the Land Development Agency without any public vote. This will pave the way for greater privatisation of these public lands without democratic oversight and in a way that may be unacceptable to the elected members of the council and the people they represent.

We’ve seen the controversy over the transfer of public lands to private hands – most recently with the Oscar Traynor Road site. These lands are urgently needed to build affordable and social housing, not to be used for developer profits and to build homes utterly unaffordable for ordinary people.”

Councillor Cat O’Driscoll, the Social Democrats group leader on Dublin City Council, said:

“Councillors are tasked with protecting public land and ensuring developments such as affordable housing are actually affordable. Instead the Government intends to bypass Councillors and allow the transfer of public lands for the development of housing by private developers. Under these proposals local Councillors will be unable to prevent the LDA building private homes at full market prices on public land. We need more public scrutiny and accountability of the LDA – not less.”

“The cost of housing is having a crippling effect on people. The State must empower local authorities to take a proactive role in the building of quality social and affordable homes up and down the country with the input of local Councillors. That is the only way this housing crisis will be solved.”

5th February 2021

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