The Taoiseach has admitted it is '50 years overdue'

A new Land Development Agency is to build 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

Ssome 40% of any buildings on have to be social (10%) and affordable (30%) housing.

The LDA will have capital funding of €1.25bn behind it - with a chief and management team already in place.

It has an initial pipeline of land for 10,000 homes - with 3,000 of these on already secured lands.

These are in places such as Dundrum, Balbriggan, Skerries, Naas, Meath, Cork, Mullingar and Galway.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at the Dept of Social Protection fro the launch of the Land Development Agency | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the agency is playing catch-up.

"While the indicators show that the numbers of new houses being built is up by more than one-third compared to this time last year and is increasing month on month, we are still facing a huge challenge in meeting demand.

"We know we are playing catch up after our housing sector was destroyed.

"The Land Development Agency is a Government intervention that is 50 years overdue and which, in time, I believe will be seen to be as significant as the decision to establish the ESB, Aer Lingus or the IDA."

Step in the right direction

The Simon Communities say the developmenyt's positive, but are concerned that only 40% will be for social and affordable housing.

Spokesperson Niamh Randall said: "This is a step in the right direction and we certainly welcome the establishment of a national centre of expertise for State bodies and local authorities, with expertise in project management finance, planning, development and procurement with the right legislation.

"We look forward to more details on affordable and social housing requirements on land purchased by the agency where affordable housing is defined and determined by people’s income and ability to pay."

Additional reporting: Jack Quann