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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: General Scheme of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (LSRD) Bill 2021: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (7 Sep 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I thank Mr. Hogan and everybody in the Department for the work they have done on the new large-scale residential development Bill. It is very welcome. When I was a public representative at local level I complained loudly about the strategic housing development process. I hope this new Bill will address many of the issues that created great concern for communities. I was concerned with the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: General Scheme of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (LSRD) Bill 2021: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (7 Sep 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I thank Mr. Hogan. The proposed vacant land tax is very welcome. Regarding the statutory meeting, my point, and I absolutely recognise the-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: General Scheme of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (LSRD) Bill 2021: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (7 Sep 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: No problem.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: General Scheme of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (LSRD) Bill 2021: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (7 Sep 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I have listened to the debate and I know the restoration of the democratic process and decision-making at local authority level has been warmly welcomed by everybody. I appreciate the witnesses have taken on board most of the feedback we have made. I want to return to where we were in my earlier contribution. I fully accept the facility that exists for elective representatives to make an...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Report and Final Stages (15 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: This issue is close to my heart as a former local authority member. I am proud to have been elected and re-elected to the largest local authority in the country, Dublin City Council. I also speak on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Seanad group. All Fianna Fáil Senators are close to the local authority members and many of them had the honour of being elected to their local authority and...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Report and Final Stages (15 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: This is an incredibly important issue. I look forward to the Minister's response. I believe he values our local authority members and is doing all he can to give them more powers. It is an incremental process. This is being limited to lands being zoned for housing between not being developed. It will not apply to any other lands. I see that as an improvement. The Fianna Fáil...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Report and Final Stages (15 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: That is not what he said. The Senator should withdraw that.

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Report and Final Stages (15 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: Hear, Hear.

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Report and Final Stages (15 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: Hear, hear.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (13 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Seán McCarthy. I also congratulate Deputy Ivana Bacik. I wish her well in her new role. She will be missed in the Seanad, but I am sure she will make an enormous contribution to the Dáil. I am delighted also to co-sponsor the Bill being proposed by Senator Chambers to make harassment a crime. The Bill is worthy of support...

Seanad: Affordable Housing Bill 2021: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: This sounds like a technical amendment, which sounds boring, irrelevant and maybe unimportant, but it is critically important to the work the Minister and the Government are doing around changing housing policy. Affordable cost rental is a brand new model of housing in Ireland that will provide both affordability and security of tenure for renters. That is critically important and nowhere...

Seanad: Affordable Housing Bill 2021: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I welcome the amendments. As I said when I was talking about affordable cost rental, the two benefits it will bring to renters are security of tenure and affordability. In order for that to be delivered to every renter in an affordable cost rental, it has to be uniform and standardised and there cannot be local vagaries and variations. This is all about trying to improve the security of...

Seanad: Affordable Housing Bill 2021: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: We support the amendment. We opposed the removal of affordable housing from Part V when it occurred. We are delighted to see that this legislation is going to ensure that in every new development there will be a minimum of 10% social housing and with a potential of up to another 10% affordable housing. It is critically important to support would-be homeowners in securing their home, a home...

Seanad: Affordable Housing Bill 2021: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: Now.

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Committee Stage (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: It is an important point. When we are talking about housing, we are talking about people's homes. We are also talking about the provision of homes and the State taking a lead in the provision of social and affordable homes for our citizens. We are doing so in the context of a crisis. We are coming out of a decade of undersupply of housing. We are also doing it in the context of Covid,...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Committee Stage (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I look forward to the Minister's response to this and to a confirmation that neither the LDA nor the Government have any intention of building homes in the Phoenix Park. I wish that the Office of Public Works would renovate some of the vacant homes in the park and make them available to be inhabited. A good number of the park lodges have been lying empty for far too long. As Senator Casey...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Committee Stage (12 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I concur with Senators Boyhan and Higgins on the need for the highest standards of accountability and transparency in any State agency or organisation. However, the provisions made in respect of the LDA mean that it will be accountable not only to the Minister and the Government, but to the Oireachtas. It will be accountable to all Oireachtas joint committees, the Committee of Public...

Seanad: Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Second Stage (9 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I thank the Minister of State for coming into the House with the Land Development Agency Bill 2021, which the Fianna Fáil Party is obviously supporting. It reflects the result of the general election in 2020 when people voted for change, and particularly for change in the Government's and State's role in the provision of housing. The electorate then quite legitimately asked why we have...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Proposed Changes to Local Property Tax: Discussion (6 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: I apologise for being late. I thank the witnesses for the opening statement, which I have read. When reviewing this tax, and a proposed change was long overdue, the principles of fairness and limiting increases or trying to achieve no increase for homeowners were very important. To address the fairness, it was important that the new homes that had been exempted be brought in. That was a...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Proposed Changes to Local Property Tax: Discussion (6 Jul 2021)

Mary Fitzpatrick: Obviously, this has to be legislated for. Is it anticipated by the Department that the changes will be introduced in 2023? I presume the increases in the deferral income thresholds are being benchmarked against social welfare income payments. Is that the case?

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