NAMA’s concerns about the hoarding of land which should be used for housing could be tackled with increased penalties and incentives contained in an already published Social Democrats’ Bill.

The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said government support for the legislation would show that the Minister for Finance was serious about tackling this problem, which was highlighted by NAMA at a press event today.

“The Social Democrats have published a Bill that would deal with land-hoarding. The Urban Regeneration and Housing (Amendment) Bill would mean that owners of vacant sites would face higher levies the longer the land remains undeveloped. It would also get rid of loop-holes which currently allow land-owners with high loans to avoid paying the levy.

“The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has reportedly said the Government was working on a vacant site tax and it could be introduced in the next budget. If the government supported our Bill the problem of land hoarding could be solved sooner.”

Deputy Murphy said the urgency of this reform was highlighted by NAMA’s statement today that it has sold land which could be used to build 50,000 homes, but only 3,000 units are being built on the sites.

“NAMA’s statements today highlight the completely flawed role that it plays on housing supply. NAMA’s role should be changed. There is no point in NAMA selling land off to the highest bidder and then complaining that it’s not being built on. Why on earth has NAMA not set conditions to such land sales in the first place?”

Read more about our plans to free up vacant sites for housing.


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