News & Events
The homeless and housing charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has called for the application of the Vacant Site Levy to be brought forward in order to stimulate construction of residential units in urban areas. Under current legislation the vacant site levy will not become effective until January 2019; Peter McVerry Trust is now calling for it to come into effect from January 2017.
Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “The vacant site levy is an important step to prevent investors hoarding vital land assets. The problem is that the levy is not currently active and will not take effect until January 2019. That means we are simply allowing speculators to hold onto sites in order to secure major profits in the future while society is going through major housing and homeless emergency.”
“We should not allow the speculation to continue and the vacant site levy needs to apply as soon as possible. If not, homelessness, rising rents and property shortages will continue to get worse.”
Peter McVerry Trust wants the next Minister for the Environment to move on the issue immediately and give local authorities the power and funding to assertively tackle vacant sites and buildings. “There needs to be a much more assertive style of land use management applied in urban areas to ensure that valuable sites are providing for society’s needs such as social and affordable housing.”
“If this is to happen Local Authorities need to be able to apply the levy now, to penalise land speculation and to incentivise investors to use or release their land assets. Local Authorities also need to be given the funding to finance wide scale compulsory purchase orders to acquire sites and buildings which can be used for providing mixed tenancy residential units.”
“Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies will be the key actors in tackling the current crisis and will need to play a major role in tackling the void left by private sector construction failing to deliver housing units.”
Concluding Mr Doyle said “The vacant site levy is an issue that Peter McVerry Trust will be raising this immediately with politicians in the coming weeks and with the next Government as soon as it takes office.”